Whether you are grieving the death of a loved one, or you are someone who seeks to learn more about supporting those of us who grieve, I wish to share a bit with you about why I decided, after all this time, to publish my book, By Grace of Mourning.
Writing, for me, became a way in which I could express my grief with total freedom. In the early days of my grief experience, I found that I could not find anyone who seemed to understand the depth of my pain about my baby’s dying, nor how long it was taking to come to some measure of grief resolution.
I wanted to be better yesterday, but it didn’t appear to work that way!
Time, and what I did with that time would heal me… I had all this love that had nowhere to go anymore, it seemed. By directing my love and grief through the ink of a pen, and usually in the middle of a sleepless night, I was able to find respite in spilling all my emotions and feelings onto paper.
Sometimes it was prose, sometimes poetry, but I did notice that, after each epistle, I seemed to feel exhausted or rested, having relieved just a bit of the immenseness of what I was feeling.
The first piece I wrote was poetry that we read at Lindsay’s burial service. Once I got over my self judgment of awkwardness at writing to my deceased child, I gave myself permission to do it often and well! The results were remarkable; sometimes it felt as though it was not really I who had written some of the poetry and prose; it just flowed out of me in a river of feelings.
In doing this, I found a place for the love to go. What began as a poem became a book, three months later. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross read it, and said I should publish it back then, but I was far too taken up with surviving.
Now, however, I recognize how much this writing has aided my healing journey, and given meaning and insight to the experience that was Lindsay. What began as such a tragedy when she died, has become such a gift in its opportunity to help me assist others in healing through their pain…
I like to think that this is indeed what being a wounded healer is all about. We who have traveled this journey of grief and mourning are given the privilege of supporting others as we were supported by those who understand the dynamics of this life changing experience. Although we cannot know how another person feels, we can most certainly identify with how the journey was for us, and support and share that common ground.
We know we can get better instead of bitter; it is a choice we’ve made.
In our compassionate support of the newly bereaved, we come to a clear realization that we have healed ourselves, even though it doesn’t feel like it on some days for a long while. The affirmation is there for the taking… What begins as desperate grief in mourning, becomes a legacy of hope, inspiration and even awe.
It takes time, and what we do with that time is so important to consider. It is true that the night’s darkest hour comes just before the dawn. I could not publish this book until my darkness and my Light could be represented with equal integrity.
It is my sincere hope that you, who take the time to digest my journey into grace in my book’s pages, will come to affirm the possibility of your own peace and healing.