I have gotten away from a lot of journaling being a full-time teacher, a mom to three boys, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a parishioner, a fundraiser and every other role I had in my life, but when Steve died I knew I needed to get back to it.
I wrote letters to God. I wrote about how I was angry with him and how confused I was. I wrote scripture verses that were helping me heal. I wrote prayers of petition. I wrote prayers of gratitude. I asked that he watch over me and my boys. I thanked him for the time I had with Steve and for all that our life together had taught me.
I wrote letters to Steve. I wrote him poems. I wrote about how much I missed him and things that I appreciated about him. I wrote lyrics from songs that meant something to the two of us. I asked him for advice on how to be a single parent.
I wrote about what I was thinking and experiencing and what was happening in my life related to grief and related to everything else because although I was deeply grieving I still had the rest of my life going on and there was a lot going through my brain at every moment about my self-worth, about grief, worries about my boys and parenting and being a good mom, about my job and how that was not going well, about the students I worked with and the worries I had for them, about my friends and family and everyone else that was grieving while living their life, thoughts about my future and how I was supposed to be and who I was, and about the things I was learning about myself.
A friend of mine told me that I should write a guide for other widows on what to do related to the financial part and so I started this blog. I have not done a good job of sharing the financial portions like I planned but the rest of this has been so therapeutic that I've needed to continue it.
I did go back and take out sections of my journal and turn it into a book. I learned all about self-publishing and cover design.
In the spring of 2020 I was able to publish a book about my healing called "It's Okay to be Okay; Finding Joy through Grief" on Amazon. Any money that I have made by selling either the ebook or my paperback, I have used to purchase copies which I then donate to others that are grieving especially widows. I have received a lot of positive feedback from those that have read through it that it was helpful for them regardless if they had lost a spouse or not. I still hope to bring copies to the local funeral homes to be able to reach more people. I would also like to do a book launch that was cancelled because of the pandemic.
I did some writing using prompts that I found on Pinterest but found that just free writing and getting any thoughts in my head around paper was one of the best ways to heal.