How to Get a Piece of Peace in Your Life

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Writing Letters to Those Who Are Gone

Fall and winter tend to be times to reflect and reminisce, as the daylight diminishes. It's also a time for holidays, which can be mixed with positive and negative reminders of what we do now, and what we used to do. In general, this is a time to revisit with ourselves.

Many times we continue to think about and miss the people we loved who are no longer with us. We even carry unresolved feelings that sometimes filter through the rest of our lives. While it takes time to do this, writing a letter can actually be a huge release. Even if you are at peace with the loss and the person, a letter gives you a chance to stay connected. In this way, you still maintain the relationship on your end. If you used to get support from someone, you can continue to write about your feelings.

You may even want to write a letter to someone from your past whom you no longer can get in touch with.

Quite some time after I lost both of my grandmothers and a high school friend, I was having some struggles in my personal life and my career. One of the things that a counselor highly recommended was that I write to these three people. I didn't see at all how that was related to my issues, but I took an evening to write the letters.

Somehow, it really did help. If nothing else, it kept me clearer about what was really a current issue, and what was in my past that I had been struggling with alone.

Even if you have written a letter before, there is no limit to how often you can write. If you regularly journal, this can be one of your entries. You might not know how necessary it was until after you've done it.