How Writing about Loss Can Help You and Others

Did you lose your mom or dad at an early age? Did your best friend die suddenly in a car accident? Writing about loss can be therapeutic. You’ll purge and release your feelings from your mind, body, and spirit. Keeping all of that emotion inside isn’t good for your health. Your book could create a healing circle which is what people need when they experience a loss.

Although it may be painful to relive your loss, it will do you a world of good to get it totally out of your system. The person or people you lost wouldn’t want you to wallow in sorrow. They’d want you to live a fulfilling life. You can’t do that if you’re mourning for years and years. If you keep the loss locked inside of you, it can wreak havoc on your health. You may become depressed and feel like you have no reason to live. This isn’t true. Life isn’t ‘fun and games’ all of the time. Sometimes it throws us into situations that aren’t fair. Learn from them and move forward with your life. Telling your story will help you and others heal from your loss.

Steps for writing about loss

Did you keep journals? Perhaps your loved had a terminal illness. If you kept a journal throughout that period, use it as a basis to write your book. Even if you can’t read your writing (you may have been wrought with grief), you can still use the entries if you can get a ‘sense’ of what you were experiencing at that time.

Create an outline. Think about what you’d like to hi-light in your book. Start with an introduction and go from there. Think about the time line of events that lead up to your loss. What happened? How did it happen? Who was involved? Where were you in your life at the time? What were you feeling? How did you react? Conduct a brainstorming session to narrow down the chapters.

Interview family and friends. Tell close family and friends about your book. Only tell people who will understand and support you. Ask them to be apart of your book by interviewing them. It will be a good way for them to release emotion around the loss as well.

Use medical information. If your loss involves someone losing their life to a serious illness like cancer, use the medical information you received to help you write the book. Some people may not be familiar with medical terminology. You may consider adding a ‘Glossary’ at the end of your book.

Write. Start writing your book! Don’t think about grammar, punctuation, and writing. If you do, you’ll never finish your book. Set aside a few hours a day and write. When your book is complete, you’ll go back and ‘clean up’ the writing errors. Ask someone else to read your work, preferably an editor, to ensure it’s ready for publishing.

Once you complete your book, know that it wasn’t written in vain. Suffering loss is apart of life, it doesn’t matter how tragic it was, loss is loss. Put your book aside for a month or two and then revisit it. Ask someone to read it and get feedback. Make any suggested changes (makes sure they resonate with you) and self-publish it or shop it around to publishers. It takes courage to write about loss because it forces you to revisit a painful experience in your life. However, it will be good for you in the end and will be of service to others.


Do you have a painful story that may help others? What’s stopping you from writing your book? Share.

One Comment

  1. Welcome! I’m sorry for your loss. Writing about loss can be painful yet healing at the same time. That’s great that you had the courage to write about your loss. Your stories will help others.

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