Immediately after suffering a loss, a survivor may find that he or she is only able to write short, non-descriptive entries. As time moves on, however, survivors will find that recording their memories in a journal becomes easier, more descriptive, and even enjoyable. Their journal of fondest memories may also become a treasured heirloom for those they will someday leave behind as well.
A grief recovery journal allows the survivor to record their fondest memories of their loved one. Recording one’s fondest memories offers an opportunity for reflection and growth. It creates a place where the survivor can honestly reflect over the life shared with their decedent without fear of sharing private moments with others.
When one is grieving, reality may sometimes seem dreamlike. Recording one’s memories offers comfort that during moments of confusion one has a written testimony of truth for reference. This written testimony of truth provides comfort that the survivor may rely upon for strength and clarity.
The loss of a loved one brings on chaos and disorganization of thoughts. Recording memories and experiences helps the survivor to calm his or her mind by relying on the knowledge that their past is written for them to review whenever they are confused or when things begin to swirl out of control. It serves as an anchor to reality, an anchor to truth and an anchor to strength.
During the stages of grief recovery, reality may sometimes seem cloudy. A written memory offers comfort that on cloudy days or during cloudy moments of reflection, one may review their journal for accurate and honest information. The knowledge that truth is available brings comfort and clarity to one’s mind, thereby allowing the survivor to relax - it allows healing to move forward.
By far, the greatest advantage of a survivor’s journal is that it helps to relieve the stresses of debilitating loneliness. When one is unable to sleep or eat, one may occupy his or her mind and hands with the positive task of recording fond memories. It solidifies the love bonds and transcends the perceived finality of death as merely physical separation. It offers the survivor moments of reflection and allows them to explore and formulate their perceptions of eternal love and unity. It helps them understand that when a loved one has passed on love is not forever lost. Indeed, after the loss of a loved one, true love grows forever deeper and more profound.
If you have a loved one that has suffered a recent loss, or if you are a recent survivor, consider a grief recovery journal. In my experience as a professional funeral director and survivor support group facilitator, I have found journaling to have a profoundly positive effect on my clients and friends.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.