Musings on Journaling


I guess I take my journaling seriously! This was the second tool I discovered that truly began to lighten my heavy heart. And the amazing thing is I am still loving the process all these years later.

Not long after Peter’s passing I was inspired to journal: I have always loved writing letters, the long-hand pen to paper kind – but had never considered journaling.

But this was a little different, as I understood it would begin a connection with Peter on a new level. An intimate, personal, our time together level. I did not realize at the time how much I would come to crave this special time. My very first entry was “recently I feel as though I have been getting the message to write to you – from a few different sources – so thought I would try it. My goal I think is to keep you close – although as far as I am concerned you simply live in my heart and are with me in so many ways.”

As you can see from my collection of journals, this has been a most enduring practice. But it’s not the kind of practice that you take on drudgingly.....not at all......there is no schedule whatsoever. That’s the best part. You write when the spirit moves you (no pun intended!). And it is such a welcome space to sit in: sometimes it is at sunrise with coffee, sometimes it is at the beach, or in the evening with a glass of wine. Always a hand-picked journal, always a very special pen, and the thoughts just flow. I can write every day for a week, and then not again for a month. Every so often I will read back over old entries. I am astonished at the honesty, the growth, the connection, the healing. For me it has been a direct path towards soothing my soul. 

There is a quote I read along the way that really captures what I feel:

I believe the hardest part of healing after you’ve lost someone you love, is to recover the “you” that went away with “them”.

I continue to work on that with every passing year. And I do believe I have made progress. This experience has taught me so much about myself that I simply would never have known. Not exactly a silver lining, but an awakening of sorts. At least that is how I choose to see it now.

The act of journaling feels like a combination of a practice and a ritual – but in the best sense of those words. The experience is always positive. If I am sad it releases the emotion; if I am excited or content, it allows me to share that too – and in the process it keeps Peter in my pocket. My heart pocket.

It did not take long for me to realize I was feeling better – it doesn’t really matter why – just that through this simple exercise I was beginning to recover the “me” that had gone away with Peter through continuing our connection, which I am here to tell you is actually possible.

It’s not for everyone – the writing. But it is so worth the effort because of the benefits you may receive.

(P.S. I always look forward to choosing my new journal)!