Welcome to this special edition Letters to Grief link-up!

I’m so glad you’re here!

Writing about grief can be awkward on many levels. For one, it is a deep, multifaceted emotion, and sharing about it can leave one feeling vulnerable and exposed. Secondly, while I want people to be able to relate to my words, I also feel a deep sadness within when they actually can relate, because it means they have also been acquainted with grief.

So, I want you to be able to relate, and I don’t. I want you to find comfort here, but I also wish you had know idea what I’m talking about when I write about grief.

There is something about writing a letter to someone that just brings a sense of release and satisfaction — which is why I’m inviting you to write your own letter to grief as well.

Your letter can be as long or as short as you’d like it to be.

If you decide to participate and you’re willing to share your words, you can do so either by linking up your own blog post via the blue inLinkz button at the bottom of this post, or by cutting and pasting your letter into the comments section.

Thank you in advance for opening up and sharing what you have to say to our mutual friend, Grief.

 

Here’s an excerpt from my e-book, Letters to Grief:

Dear Grief,

Having a relationship with you is a lot like being a parent.

For some, awareness of you begins early, with several months to bear before you’re officially born. You’re there, but largely unseen; expected, waited for, anticipated with a complex fear of the unknown.

Our abdomens swell in your presence, skin stretched and pulled tight in discomfort. You make it hard to move, and we’re eager to be delivered of you. Sleep is elusive in your presence, and we shift with great effort from side to side and feel you squirm and twist awake inside of us. You bring aches and pains that we’ve never known, and we labor hard and breathless when you suddenly contract in sharp pangs.

For others, you come suddenly, uninvited, like an abandoned baby left on a doorstep in the middle of the night. We wake up to the responsibility of you, and take you in without a choice.

Either way, whether expected or not, you arrive, and we have no idea what to do with you. Like parents of a newborn baby, we fumble around through sleepless nights like zombies living an out-of-body experience. You cry out to us in the midnight hour with your longing to be fed. Just when we think we’ve figured out your routine, you change your patterns, throw a tantrum, learn a new trick. You grow into new phases, develop and change with the pages on the calendar. You clamber underfoot, tugging on pant legs until we trip over you, scold you, and apologize.

 

Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie

Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie

 

Unlike the blessing of children, you hold no joy. And until we enter glory, you never move out. We’re stuck with you, bound to you as a lifelong guardian well beyond the point when you reach maturity.

We wish you would grow up and leave the house, and we long to cling to you and embrace you at the same time. We grow impatient with you one minute, and hold you close in the next. We don’t want you to leave, for that would mean that you’ve moved on. That we’ve moved on. That the cause of you has been forgotten. We don’t want to forget the birth, yet we dread feeling the intense pain of labor.

We wish only for the good and not the bad. The easy, not the hard. But you teach us that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3b-4) So we “rejoice in our sufferings,” for “hope does not disappoint us” (Romans 5:3, 5).

Though you may disappoint us like a wayward, disobedient child, hope never will. So we cling to “this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Heb. 6:19).

And we wait.

Though rest escapes us now, a day is coming when we’ll enter our forever rest, without your incessant interruptions. You may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

***

This post is in conjunction with the launch of my e-book, Letters to Grief, which is now available on Amazon.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Share your own letter to grief either by adding your post to the inLinkz linkup, or in the comments below.

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22 thoughts on “letters to grief link up :: share your story

  1. Kate-
    I am humbled and honored to join you here and spill my thoughts out on the page of my blog. Writing from the deepest place of my heart and sharing it with others is cleansing, scary and healing. Since the loss of my mom has been weighing heavily on my entire being the last month, this is the perfect way to reflect, remember and give grief a little kick in the bottom!

    I appreciate your words on grief and look forward to having more time to read and rest in them. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. Kate, I linked up. Not a letter per se but a piece I wrote 18 months after my mom went home. It was a Mother’s Day post – read it and you’ll see why I linked up! Bless you, sister and friend. xoxo

  3. This was an interesting exercise, and I found that I really didn’t KNOW what I would say to grief.

    Part of it tracks with your letter above, and I found that connection interesting (I have “Letters to Grief”, but no Kindle, and my PC does not want to let me read it with the “app”).

    I guess that in summary, I see grief as the place where part of us doesn;t accept God’s promises, and doesn’t want to live in God’s land, because we want to be a part of something that’s grandly tragic. We want to be thespians, at the center of our own private gyre (If this sounds familiar, C.S. Lewis used this image in “The Great Divorce”.)

    Thanks for setting up this linkup, I’ll be interested to see what others say.

    • Andrew, I’m always glad to read your comments. If you’d like, you can send me an e-mail at motaungs{at}gmail{dot}com, and I will gladly send you a pdf version of the ebook so you can access it on your computer. Thanks for your interest and involvement in this linkup!

      • Kate, thank you so much! An email will be on the way shortly.

        I’m looking forward to reading the book – thinking about the “letter’ has really opened my mind to the depth of what the question’s really about.

        God bless!

  4. Kate, I am sorry that I didn’t comment here yet 🙁 I wrote a lovely comment in the midst of a busy day & it was lost 🙁 It was something? of a heart encouragement about this unwanted reality of your grief, and how God is forming you into something totally new & giving you a unique, poignant, beautiful heart message…so, so needed in our world. (pretty close…not quite as lovely) Thank you for being you…for being courageous, embracing the hard, and creating beauty there. I still love Dostoevsky’s from the Idiot…’Beauty will save the world.’ Somehow, it seems so fitting to call your, and now our, letters to grief, ‘beautiful’. Blessed Christmas sister 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I began writing my own letter back in December, but found I couldn’t quite finish it yet. Today I felt it drawing me in, and decided to go back and finish it. It was a very healing, though difficult process, and I am glad I did it. I also downloaded your book, and have been making my way through it bit by bit. I find grief more manageable in bite-sized pieces.

    http://missingmikaylasophie.blogspot.com/2015/01/my-letter-to-grief.html

  6. t’s been almost six months without Mom and the loss I feel in her absence is not any less than it was in the beginning. If anything, there seems to be a greater void now than there was in those first few critical days, weeks and months because it’s been longer since I’ve seen her. Having a previous interest in grief counseling (read some of my work here), I know that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, just as there is no time limit to the grief. I dismiss E.K. Ross’ individualistic idea of working through stages with the goal of “getting over it” or “moving on” with a life separate from the one person who has always been the closest to me. Why on earth would I do that? Instead, I seek anything that helps me feel close to Mom and keeps her a part of my daily life. I talk about her, and I like it when people ask me about her. http://megandewitt.blogspot.com/2015/03/calls-to-heaven.html

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