I really hate grief memoirs.
Just because you’ve experienced grief does not make you an expert on grief. It only makes you an expert on YOUR grief.
So why are so many people out there peddling products and services to help the grieving with no other credential than their own grief, and unhealed grief at that? That’s really a question for another day but I think it has more to do with the need to have their grief seen and heard rather than any real interest in helping others. That may sound harsh but there it is. We all need to have our grief seen and heard but it must not be in the guise of helping others.
Sharing the stories of our loss is an essential part of the healing process of grief. The purpose of telling those stories is for personal healing not for the enlightenment or healing of others.
Can those stories sometimes help others? Certainly. This is what happens in support groups all the time. The stories of unhealed grief are mutually shared among group members. It’s powerful stuff and the common threads emerge out of the awareness and respect that each person’s grief is unique.
Therein lies the difference. Stories shared mutually and reciprocally, heal. Personal stories presented as “the answer”, generally don’t.
So yes, I hate memoirs but I love, love, love writing as a way to process your grief.
Now here’s what I do want you to do (besides finding a support group). I want you to write. I want you to write about your grief. I want you to write about the person who died. I want you to write about your life before and after the death. You will learn so much and move through your grief more completely and possibly faster.
This kind of writing is not for anyone else’s eyes but yours. Keep it in a safe place. Shred it when you’re done.
Don’t ever contemplate publishing it.
Just write, write, write…