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Finding the words

A mother and her teenaged daughter sat next to each other in a recent workshop, writing letters to the family member who had died and left both of them heartbroken. The loss was devastating for them, but they had a hard time talking to each other about it. The mother came to the workshop hoping it would help. The daughter came because she told her mom she would.

The writing prompt followed a quiet meditation. Everyone in the room poured their hearts out onto the page for nearly 30 minutes. One by one, they put their pencils down and stared off into space. Then one by one they began to share what they had written.

When the mother read a passage from her letter, the daughter’s teenaged boredom turned to guarded interest. When the daughter agreed to read from her letter, the mother’s eyes widened and began to tear up. When they looked at each other after sharing their words, the warmth between them was palpable. They stayed long after the session ended to continue talking to each other; not wanting to break the spell of this much-needed opening.

The power of the pen(cil) to bring families together when they need each other most is a beautiful thing. And grieving the loss of a loved one is one such time.

If your family needs help feeling more connected after the loss of a loved one, let me know. A single writing session might be all it takes to create the opening you need.

© 2017 Kathy Curtis

Image credit: Kathy Wegman

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