Friday, January 16, 2015

Visiting Grief

Naturally, we  grieve when someone passes away. Yet, we hope to, of course, move forward after our mourning period. Rather than be debilitated by the the loss, we want to find happiness again and appreciate the life we still have.

That's all very important, but I've also learned that we need to revisit grief from time to time. We heal, but we still have a missing piece to our heart. And so, we need to take time to grief on the anniversary of our lost loved one's death. We need to wake up 5 years and some months later on a sunny day and wish for a moment that they could enjoy it with us. We need to let the tear run down our cheek when 27 year later when we're alone and a quiet memory enters our head.

I believe it's healthy. I really do. Every once in a while we need to take the time and grieve however we need to grieve.

As for me? I need to write. Her name was Vicky. She died when I was nine. And sometimes I still need to work through her death. I'm no poet (meter. I can't do meter.), but I've written countless poems and short stories about her and to her. Death leaves us with a thousand feelings, and we can't understand them or explain them all, so I write and write and write. And sometimes big events happen like high school plays and graduation and college and marriage and babies, and she's not there, so I write and write and write. And then I'm finally dedicating time to writing a novel like I've always wanted to, and I know she'll be proud.

So I write and write and write.

Sisters, Vicky and Valerie, after switching their clothes (including the oxygen tank)

Other spiritual-literary experiences for me:
  • The time my dad  (my non-creative writing, mathematician/pilot dad) took the time to write a private, sweet tribute to my sister
  • When I read Jane Eyre for the first time, having no previous knowledge about it and no need to read it critically
  • The time my father read aloud The Bronze Bow to my family because the book affected him so much
  • The time my mom and I found an essay from Vicky and we read about her heartaches
  • Reading a personal essay by Tessa Santiago echoing my feelings about childbirth that I couldn't verbalize
  • Hearing stories from my ancestor's and connecting with their trials
  • Writing a personal essay about my emotionally abusive boss and trying to have compassion
  • Taking a novel writing class from the amazing Carol Lynch William, and feeling that I could achieve my dream of being a novelist


  1. Thank you for sharing a little bit about your sister. I understand how it feels to mourn and how writing can help us through the mourning process. It's amazing to see the power of words both for those who read them and those who write them.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. There is something about words and sharing experiences that can really connect people, especially when those people aren't around to vocalize their thoughts anymore. This really inspires me to want to write more and to search out my family's stories so that I can connect with them better.