Writing Letters As A Form Of Grieving
Writing letters to the deceased is a good way to go through the grieving process. Even thought it may seem strange to others to write letters to the deceased or even to the family of the deceased, that’s okay. Everyone grieves differently and finding a way to cope with the grief on an individual basis is important in order to begin to move forward.
If you’re putting on the memorial service, have the attendees and family members bring a single letter to the deceased. It has been discovered that writing thoughts out will help not only help document your feelings but it will help contribute to the service as well. Letters can be placed in the casket of the deceased, or if the deceased was cremated, the letters could be placed within the urn itself.
What Can You Write In The Letter To The Deceased?
There are a lot of things that could theoretically go in a letter to the deceased. The only person reading it will be the author because it will be placed in the casket before it is lowered into the ground. Or if you are comfortable with others reading it the letter can be placed in the casket with the deceased at any point in time. Sealing the envelope in an envelope also prohibits others from reading your thoughts.
If your letter is private, be certain about your timing of placing the letter with the deceased and speak with the family about leaving your letter in the casket. Often times family is understanding and will do their best to abide by the wishes of those that are close to the loved one that passed. In the event that you do not wish for anyone to read your thoughts wait until the last possible moment to place your letter.
You can include anything you’d like in the letter to the deceased. Think about updating the deceased on events that have transpired since the deceased died. It can be a great way of getting those emotional feelings out and serves as a way to honor their life and the role that they played. In a sense, it keeps your loved one with you in death as they were in life.
Take a memory that they would’ve loved to have been a part of and write it down. A magic moment, an instance, something you shared, something that was special that you can leave with the deceased. The day you met, an experience you shared - anything that holds special meaning can be written down and shared with the deceased as a way to bond you together.
Some Other Ideas When Writing A Letter To Those That Have Passed:
- Remember, since this letter is about you and not about the deceased, you can include just about anything you want. The deceased won’t actually read it, obviously, but it is a good way for you to cope with the grieving process, and deal with the loss of your friend, or family member, and to help work through some of the pain and hardship of not ever being able to communicate with them once more.
- You can include notes of thanks for the things the person has offered you in life, updates about your own life, questions that you always wanted answers for from the deceased, notes of anger, notes of compliments. The list is really up to you because it is all about including the kinds of things that will help you work through the grieving process. Whatever is on your mind, you can include in the letter.
- Speak from the heart. Whether it's a favorite poem, a quote, a story, whatever you choose - if it feels right in your heart than write it down.
Venting And Letting Go In Your Letter
If you have a lot to get off your chest you can also vent in a letter. You can write down a list of all the items that the person did to you that were upsetting or hurtful or things that lingered between you unresolved. You can even tell the person that you forgive them in the letter. This is a way of cleansing everything from your heart that was maybe not so positive about your relationship. It is your last and final way of expressing the things that you never got a chance to tell them in person, or that it was not appropriate or possible to tell them in person, and you can have the chance to let go of all that has left you with a heavy heart.
Venting in a letter to the deceased serves many purposes. It releases the anger and frustration and allows you to forgive them. Sometimes when the interaction doesn’t take place face to face it makes it easier to forgive and move forward. End the letter with thoughts of forgiveness and love and let go of all the hurt and this will help with the grief.
This is a way of forgiving yourself as well. Forgiveness is an important part of the grieving process and is essential for you to move forward. Forgiving all parties, giving life to the situation by writing it down and then letting it go can help your heart heal.
A Helpful Part of the Grieving Process
Typing the letter to the deceased is a great idea. It allows you to get your feelings out and on paper and then you can go back and revisit what you wrote. Most often are initial thoughts are ones of hurt and resentment and once you get it out and then revisit, often times your feelings change. Not only should your letter be cleansing it should also leave you with a good feeling in your heart that you did the right thing.
You may forget all those feelings you had for the deceased if you don’t write the letter in such a way that you can document and archive it. You would be wise to type the letter for back-up that you write to the deceased because it will give you a way to document what you were feeling at the time. You don’t want to bottle up or forget those feelings. It is a great way to remember a part of your loved one, your feelings at the time and work through them when you feel down or sad.
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