Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Power of the Simple Letter

When you write to someone who has died, the experience can be emotional. So my first rule—-have a tissue box handy.

After that, you are pretty much free to do what you want. The beauty of so much about writing through grief is that there are no rules. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation or spelling. Get rid of that image of your third grade English teacher peering over your shoulder. If you write sloppy, it doesn’t matter. No one has to read your letter but you.

Some students ask me where to start. You can start like you would with a letter to a person who is still on earth. “Dear Daniel” is how I’ve started every letter I’ve written to my son Daniel who died at age four.

After you have the salutation taken care of, go from there. Tell what you are doing today, how you’re feeling, what’s been happening.

Perhaps you have something to say to this loved one you wished you’d said when he was living. Write that. Maybe you have some regrets and want to be forgiven. Write those. Be real. Keep in honest. Can you be humorous? By all means! Should you recall a shared experience? Taking the time to recall an experience can be therapeutic.

Letters are great ways to remember the ones we love who are no longer with us. Pick up your pen and see what your heart will discover when you write a letter today!

[First posted at Carol Stratton's blog.]

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