New Year, New Experiences: The Stages of Grief

Into The West

The ships have come to carry you home.

So far, 2016 really sucks. I’m calling it Twenty Sux-teen. Such an onslaught of loss is new to me. We have all experienced tragedy, whether global or personal, but, most of the time, that tragedy is all at once. The loss of a loved one is rarely coupled with another. (Rarely, but it does sadly happen.) Global horrors strike, usually with one cataclysmic event, and we band together and face the aftermath as one.

But this? Losing two influential artists in the same week, just days apart? Both at age 69? Both from cancer?

It’s difficult for a fan of a celebrity/actor/musician to voice something like grief and be taken seriously. No, I didn’t know David Bowie or Alan Rickman. No, I’ve never even met either of them–but we as fans still feel the loss. The loss of great talent. The loss of what they still had left in them to share with the masses. The loss of their wisdom, humor, art, style, words–all of it.

As the song “Into the West” states, “all souls pass.” Everyone dies. So sayeth Gandalf: “Death is just another path, one that we all must take.”

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suck. That doesn’t mean we won’t miss influential artists who were catalysts and inspirers for both young and old.

We at TLN love you both, Bowie and Rickman. You both have carved out a huge path to follow in music and film. No one will ever take your places.

And our hearts are with their families and loved ones who did know them, who loved them, who spent their lives with them. JK Rowling tweeted it best:

 

Writing About Grief: The Catharsis

These thoughts about grief and loss made me think about ways that people express themselves when they’ve lost a loved one. The artistic sort usually use their art to guide their feelings toward some semblance of acceptance. But what about those who don’t know of a way to express grief?

In keeping with the theme for this month, I’m taking my grieving process to the page. As much as we writers do our utmost to keep our personal feelings from conflicting with the heart of the story (when it is not relevant, I mean), there are times when inserting your heartsong of mourning onto the page is unavoidable. (Author’s Note: I have a feeling that an unplanned tragedy is going to strike one of my characters so that I can achieve catharsis in a productive, satisfying way.)

But at least we writers have that outlet. Others who don’t normally put pen-to-page during times of such emotional crisis and loss may not think to pursue writing as a channel for their feelings. Grief is evidence of love, of admiration. Someone who had an impact on your life, someone you admired and appreciated, affected you so greatly that upon their death, you felt that loss. Grief is profound, as is love, and should be given a chance to be expressed.

So here are some resources to help you (and me) voice our grief through our characters and stories, through our journals and notebooks, and through our minds and hearts.

Writing Playlist: Right in the Feels

Internet Resources

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