writing to process grief

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” ― Robert Frost

Robert Frost is right; if you want your readers to feel something, you have to feel it first.

Often the poems that touch my readers the most are those that I wrote simply to process my own feelings. The poem I wrote after my friend Lindsey passed away in a freak accident, for example, became the most-read poem on the blog I shared it on. I wrote it to pour out my grief, and then shared it as a tribute to the wonderful woman she is. I never expected that it would touch others so deeply, but the tears I shed in writing it became tears in my readers.

The poems that come from a deep place inside of me consistently touch a deep place in my readers. The energy and flow that helped me to process life as I wrote help my readers process life as they read. It used to be something I feared, but I’m learning to embrace it.

{today’s exercise}

What makes you cry? Take that emotion and pour it into a poem.

{my process and my poem}

Not only did writing this poem help me to work through my own grief, it also helped Lindsey’s family and other friends process their own grief.

I used to wonder what it would be like to know someone like Enoch

A man
who walked so closely with God
that one day
while they were walking
God just took him Home

There is a woman I know named Lindsey

The other day
she was walking with God
in the beauty of His creation
and while they were walking
God took her home

My memories
of being with Lindsey
involve walking with her
and as she was always walking with God
God always walked with us

I distinctly remember
talking with her of being thankful
for the many gifts we take for granted
as we walked in the mountains of the Sonoran Desert
and I remember being so thankful I could walk at all

She is one of the most peace-filled people I know
Joy-filled too
I wanted to know her secret
and it was simple:
Walk with God