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A New Writing Course


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I'm going to do a 30 day creative writing course. It's called Writing your Grief. It starts on March 24th. It isn't free but it isn't expensive. It is run by Megan Devine. Her web site is called Refuge in Grief. I know many of you keep journals. I do, but sporadically. I write as though I'm writing to my Pete. Anyway I thought I would mention it. I hope it may help me.


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Thank you, Jan. For those who are interested, here are the details, from Megan Devine's website:
Writing Your Grief:
a 30-day grief & writing e-course with Megan Devine
Registration is now open.
Next course begins March 24th.
The Writing Your Grief e-course allows you to enter your grief as a story-teller as well as a person in pain. As you enter into conversation with your own heart, you’ll find new stories inside your grief.
Your grief has an intelligence of its own. Let it tell you what it knows.
My hope for you is that, through this course, you will:
  • connect with your true writing voice
  • engage deeply, and creatively, with your grief
  • learn about yourself, how you love, and how you’re loved
  • make new, and lasting, connections with our tribe of grievers and writers
Here’s how it works:
  • When you register, you’ll receive an email with a link to the welcome message and a prompt to get you started
  • We will all begin together on the opening day of the course. You’ll have access to our private group beginning the day before prompts begin.
  • Every day during the 30 day course, you’ll receive an email with the daily writing prompt.
  • Once a week, you’ll receive a visual prompt, or a suggestion for accessing your writing voice in a creative way
  • You’ll have access to our private facebook group where you can share your writing, and your writing process, with a community of people who get it. This connection is just as important as your writing practice.
  • After the course ends, you’ll receive a PDF with all the prompts, my reflections on the group, and messages from our community.
This course gives you a way to engage with your heart and your grief on a daily basis, helping you listen for your own story within your pain.
Have a question about this course? Check out the FAQ here.
Join our community of grievers and writers. The 30 day Writing Your Grief course is available for $35. This is a one time only introductory price. The course fee will increase after this session, so get your spot now.
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Dear Jan,

Thank you so much.

This sounds just wonderful. I still journal every day, and am not a facebook member, but I love this idea and hope that you will share some of your insights and healing here as you go through what I know will be a positive and helpful healing exercise. How wonderful that we have these resources available.

Marty, thank you for the links.



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Great post, Jan. My e-course doesn't begin until March 24th. I guess I was hours late for the one that started on the 10th. Sounds and looks good. I do journal and I think I'll like the discipline because my journaling is SO unperdictable!

There are many ideas for journaling on the Internet. Here's one about the benefits of journaling:


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3/11/2014 – my journal writing

My Reflection of a Lotus Flower

Keeping my mind free from attachments as I remain rooted in the mud I come from I rise above the challenges that I’m faced with in my daily life. Willing to face what is to come without any preconceived notions of what will be.

Since this flower begins in the muddy waters that is how I saw the beginning of my journey after Jim died. Everything was dark and without hope and I was alone and scared. Slowly, very slowly that began to change.

Emerging from the darkness, closed and tight and unsure of myself, I started out knowing nothing about my ‘new’ self since Jim died and slowly opened up to self-awareness that lead me to an acceptance of myself as I began to release the fear and sadness. I pushed on by reading about grief and breathing and meditating and doing whatever I needed to do to rise above the mud I found myself in. My goal was to get to a better place and that meant I had to work on this grief that I so hated. Oh, those roller coaster rides and the rides on the waves and the time spent in my own deep hole have all taught me just how fragile I am. Nothing like the lotus flower whose very strength comes from the mud.

I like all colors of the lotus flower because they allow me to appreciate their beauty as they move in the waters. My own thought about some of the colors: to me the red lotus reminds me of my deep love of Jim. Our hearts were/are one and we shared a deep devotion to one another. We had compassion for each other and allowed one another to develop our own uniqueness. The white flower reminds me that I started out with an open mind about this grief journey. I didn’t care if I cried or stayed in bed or didn’t take a shower or closed myself off to the outside world. I didn’t know that it would help me if I opened myself to the pain by talking about it. Some knew that I eventually would need to accept whatever feelings came and assured me that I would not take this journey alone. I had no idea what to expect so I allowed the feelings that came to just BE. The light blue lotus signifies to me that I began to see a little more clearly what I was about to experience on my journey. Things are still not clear and I will continue to have work to do for a long time. “Knowledge is Power” and I have much to learn. I love the color purple. It gives me a sense of peace and I feel calm about my continuing on my grief journey.

I am not there yet and I think I’ll always move in and out of being ok and not being ok! I sometimes feel like I am on a quest only it will not be about ‘an impossible dream’ rather it will be about becoming more aware of who I am now. I will always be reaching and it will not be without pain.

As I make my journey in this ‘new’ life I have been dwelt I begin to unfold and open myself to what is in my future. My goal is to be the best I can be. I think I’d be happy if I knew I made a difference – at least to myself.





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Anne, that is so beautiful, and full of wisdom. You make me feel inadequate because I couldn't write like that. Your soul shines out. Your Jim was a lucky man to have you alongside him. It inspires me to use something like a flower to start my thoughts. I get regular meditation postings from Susan Piver and her latest one used music to focus on. I think I need these prompts and I will try to do this. The writing course may help too. Thanks Anne. It's morning here and I'm feeling my usual low spirits as the waking is the hardest part of my day. But reading your words has helped me get ready to face a new day. We have to do this. You and I are coming up to two years since our beloved ones died. I can't believe it is so long and yet it seems forever since I touched him. I think I am a different person though I think he would love the new Jan just the same (he does love the new Jan just the same).

Our journey is shared, Anne.

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Thank you for your kind words, Jan. We all write from our hearts and those of us who have lost loved ones can put words to paper that would bring others to tears. I am not a good writer but I do like to think of either a nature picture or a song to start me off. My personal writings to Jim will remain that - personal.

I know you have trouble in the mornings. My worst time is at night when it is so quiet and I don't have Jim to talk with as we did for so many years. We always talked about our day. It was so comforting to have that special someone to share the days happenings. Now it is only in my heart that I talk with him. Oh, how I wish I had gone with him. But it was not to be.

Yes, I cannot believe that we have almost made it to the two year mark!! I am having difficulty now because I am more aware of the loss. How silly of me to think that I had come to terms with my loss. I am only awakening to the reality of how final it is and it hurts. At times I think it would be good to be back in the 'fog' of our grief but then I'd not be where I am today. This journey is long and tough enough and I don't think I'd want to be back at the beginning!

The fact that I do not have my Benji with me has set me back. I'm struggling with the deep silence as I move from room to room. Sleep is again disturbed as I usually go to bed too early and then am up during the early morning. I have to believe that this will smooth out again as it had while Benji was with me.

Enjoy your family again these few weeks as you visit. I am getting very excited to see my family in IL I need this time with them.

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Some Journal Ideas for Grieving

On Being Grateful – what am I grateful for

*****That unexpected e-mail, a visit from a friend, my support group, a hand-written note from a friend

Express your hurt, disappointment, unhappiness, anger

*****How could you, I felt hurt when you, if only you

Write about your fears, sadness, insecurities, hopes, and love

*****I felt scared when I, I am sorry that I, I thought we would, what I loved most about you, thank you for, I loved it when

Write about your memories of your loved one

*****I loved how you showed love for our daughter, I loved how for years we sent the same cards to each other on B/days & holidays, I loved how we held hands when we were out in public

Your thoughts on honoring the one you lost

*****Remember important dates, keep pictures out where you can look at them, tell stories about him/her, make craft things out of clothes, ties, etc., or other things that belonged to your loved one, plant a tree or bush, share some personal things with the family, create a time-line of the important events in your loved one’s life

Let these ideas be on-going. Add new ones on important dates or just when the spirit moves you. I am sure none of these ideas are original but something just might get you to writing if you are having a difficult time.

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This seemed to be a good way to start a writing in my journal. When I think of all those who love me and all those I love the list can be quite long.

Pass it on to someone today who may need to hear this! I'm passing it on to all of you.

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Hi Anne. I've just got back from our daughter's and so I'm a little late with catching up wit the course which began yesterday. I see that some people are posting what they write in the private FB group, I'm not sure about that. I'm wondering. I'm thinking that just writing my own thoughts might be intense sometimes and if I read those of others I might feel I have to involve myself and I'm not sure that would be good. On the other hand I don't want to write in total isolation. What are you thinking about this?

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Well, first of all, Jan, welcome back to your home.

I have not gone on the FB site for the private group. I do not think I will. I have a journal folder on my desktop for the e-course and I am going to use that to do my writing. I agree with you about our writing that it may be too personal to post and I want to be as open as I can be without any concern that someone might be critiquing it. I don't have the feeling of isolation but I welcome any discussion you might have on a particular post.

I liked her introduction and first prompt - "Who was the person I used to be?" We certainly are not the people we used to be, are we?

Today is 22 months that Jim has been dead. I miss him.

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I have joined it (the FB group) and there is some powerful stuff there. But I'm like you. I don't feel right about sharing on there. Funny really when I'm happy to share here, but we have all got to know each other bit by bit here and making the acquaintance of too many people at once isn't comfortable for me. I shall write mine like you, in a journal folder. I'm starting on the first prompt right now. Oh Anne, 22 months. It will be 23 months for me on April 4th. How can this be?

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I am doing fine. I really like the prompts so far. I like today's prompt using personification - giving grief a voice. I might post it here but I won't use FB. It is too public for me.

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I am struggling with my writing. The prompts are coming too fast for me. I will write more today and tomorrow. Twice a week is about good for me.


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Ladies I have enjoyed following this particular conversation. Since last evening I have been reading under the different topics on this site. This is the first time I have ever shared in "social media" I have read a few over the years yet this is the first time I am compelled to joined. With out a doubt I feel as since of belonging, bonding and hope to not only be heard but to share.

Thank you for your post it has inspired to comfort some misconceptions and truths about my grief. I hope to be accepted into this intimate setting as I struggle to find my voice in the chaos of my current life. So please bare with me. I have to learn all the ins and outs of posting. I am not a FB member either. I very much need and want any and all comments anyone is willing to share. With each word that is shared I will be comforted and affirmed I am not alone, validated and inspired to move forward and to heal.

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I am so glad that you are getting familiar with the different threads and posts on this grief discussion site. Welcome, Hollowbone. You touched on something that this site is all about: “I feel a since of belonging, bonding…” From the days that I first came here that is exactly how I felt. There are loving, caring people here who allow you to express yourself as long as it does not harm anyone here. No one is going to try and “fix” you for we all know that when grieving we do not need to be fixed rather we need to have a safe place to share with others.

Share with us what you feel comfortable in sharing. There is an opportunity to begin your own thread or join in any of the threads already started.

I love this “Tools for Healing” thread because the posts are so helpful to me at this time in my grief.

I lost my husband, Jim, of forty years to Alzheimer’s disease in May of 2012. I thought my life was over but over the almost 23 months now I am slowly learning to blend my grief into my new life. I am not the same person I was when my soulmate was alive. Many times the people here have carried me through some very difficult times. I adopted the most precious dog, Benji, last January only to lose him to multiple seizures one year later. The loving concern from those here again helped me through this painful loss.

There are many websites right here that will give you reading material. Knowledge is one of the best ways that I have learned that will bring you to an understanding of just what grief is and what it is not.

Our two moderators, Marty Tousley and MaryFriedelhunt, are the glue that keeps this group on track. You can read about their backgrounds and also find material to begin your understanding of what grief is all about.

Again, welcome and I hope we see you here again.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Since I have been working on writing prompts from the e-course some of us are taking with Megan Devine I thought I'd digress a bit and write, for the first time, a letter to my own Mother as we approach another Mother's Day.

A letter to my Mother

If You Were Here

So many things I have to tell you…

It is hard to know where to begin.

So I shall start by saying how

very grateful I am that you,

Dear Mother, were/are my Mom.

It seems very strange talking to you

in this way.

This is the first for me, but it feels right

so I’ll catch you up with what has been

happening in my life since you’ve left

this earthly place.

I retired after forty plus years as a teacher ~ thank you for being my mentor.

I am thankful that you had a deep faith for I draw on my own faith today because of your example.

I was devastated when you were diagnosed with cancer and died too early.

However, I was honored that I was at your bedside caring for you during your last days as you always cared for me. I hope I gave you the same loving care.

You now know that three of your five children are with you. I miss my siblings.

I married a wonderful man and you are a grandmother and great-grandmother twice. You would have loved Jim and your granddaughter.

Thank you for giving me the lessons in life to pass on to my daughter.

She is a beautiful soul and such a good Mom.

I lost my dear, sweet husband of forty plus years only a few short years ago ~ I needed you to be here to help me through this crushing pain.

I have looked above hoping that you knew and I ached for your loving arms

to enfold me and assure me that I would be all right.

As the tears flow from my eyes I just want you to know that I am going to be all right. I have loving people around me who understand that I am now faced with finding a ‘new’ life until my time comes to see you again.

Your Loving Daughter,

Anna Maria Margarette (Anne)

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Dear Anne,

What a beautiful tribute to your Mother and the love that was share between you. I love how you have woven so much of your life into your letter, how your sense of family, heritage, and continuity bring the richness of love and warmth, respect and longing, to your letter.

Thank you so very much for sharing it with us. I am crying as I read it a second time, because it is a wonderful, heart-felt and heart-sprung record of a loving mother and daughter who are still very much in touch in spirit.



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