On Writing Grief (part 1): Introduction
Updated: Jan 2, 2021
Welcome to my first writing advice post, and the first post in my On Writing Grief series! Let's dive right in.
Grief is different for everyone. No one will ever experience grief in the same way as another, even if they may have similar personalities or situations. It is a completely individual experience. While it is a poetic and beautiful way of life, it can make grief difficult to write. After all, how can you know how someone will react in a traumatic situation, especially if their personality and experiences are different from what you have experienced?
I think it is important to speak of grief as we experience it—as a piece of life. Grief doesn't come to us in bulletin points, or 5 different stages. It comes to us mixed with the smell of a hospital, the taste of a certain food, the softness of the blanket we hid under, or the cold hard floor we laid on while we cried.
Everything we see or experience in our lives prior to and after the traumatic incident affects how we perceive loss and experience grief.
As authors (and anyone seeking the gift of true empathy) we must walk the way of the sufferer in order to truly understand grief. So, when you read my story, read it as you would out of a book, as if I were a character, and learn from it. Every nuance is important. Every detail shaped my perception of loss and reality, and every detail is one you can use in your own writing.
In Part 2, I will begin the story of my dog's battle with cancer and how the events and loss affected me as I grieved.
Again, the following post will be an account of only my personal experience. Then, after I have told my story, I will break it down into comprehensible, textbook points to use for reference.
Someone may disagree entirely with any of the following content, and that's okay. This is only what I personally know to be true in some circumstances.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoy and learn from the following posts in this series! If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to fill out a contact form on my website or leave a comment!
May the smile upon your presence.
-Effie J. Stock