Write Your Way Through Separation and Divorce
A journal exercise for processing grief and letting go
When they hear about your split, the first thing some well-meaning friends will suggest is to “write your way through it.” While some people can fill reams of paper with their inner-most thoughts, others have a hard time just getting started. I was recently went to an amazing grief and gratitude workshop through UNtied with Jenny Douglas, founder of the Brooklyn Cottage. She offered this easy instruction to get the thoughts, words, and, yes, tears, flowing.
Set a timer for ten minutes and begin. Start every sentence with the words “I mourn” or “I surrender.” Keep your pen moving on the paper and if nothing comes, simply write “I mourn" . . . "I mourn” . . . "I mourn" (or “I surrender”) until it does. Eventually thoughts and feelings will surface. You will learn what these two words mean to you.
Here are some of mine:
- I mourn the home that I wanted for my son that he won’t have.
- I mourn the vacations we’ll never take together.
- I mourn my romantic idealism.
- I surrender to the unknown.
- I surrender to infinite possibilities.
Another woman who attended the workshop is an artist who is divorcing after 37 years of marriage. Her words moved me so much that I asked if I could include a few of them here:
- I surrender domesticity.
- I surrender comfort.
- I surrender seeing the world through your eyes.
- I surrender the dream we had together.
- I surrender the nice, boring married life we shared.
What do you mourn? What do you surrender? Share your writing by submitting to our Showcase section.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Annette Powers is a Solo Mom who lives in Brooklyn, New York. A communications professional, she writes about divorce, coparenting, and culture in her spare time. You can follow her on Twitter @annettepowers
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