It was recently National Grief Awareness Day, and that got me thinking. Being more aware of my grief and working with it instead of ignoring it has changed my life. By creating the Legacy Recorder, I have been able to process my grief, work with, and find ways to acknowledge it by viewing my world in a different way.
The Process of Loss
When we lose someone, our whole world shatters. It changes, morphs, and turns into something we can’t even begin to understand. All of the questions that surround a loss like that can make us completely crazy, aghast at how this could possibly happen to someone we love.
The questions that pop up more than any others are, “Why did this happen to me?” and “Why did my life have to fall apart?”
If you’ve lost someone close to you, you know that you would never wish that kind of pain on anyone. But we also know that, at some point, everyone is going to experience the soul-ripping grief that occurs with the death of someone we love.
Everyone Has a Grief Story
In light of National Grief Awareness Day, I want to start a conversation about your grief story. Everyone has one, whether it’s in your immediate family or a little more removed. Maybe it even happened in your childhood and you don’t really remember, like the passing of a grandparent. Or perhaps you don’t yet have a grief story.
But we know it’s coming.
Remember that everyone around you, even the people you walk by on the street, has their own grief journeys and stories. And each of us deals with grief differently. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help us through the process, including the Good Grief app and taking part in Grief Awareness Day and grief support groups.
I firmly believe that when we create art, groups, and communities based around these massive milestones, it’s out of necessity. We need to deal with the grief, process it, and find a way to keep living. Because the world is going to keep spinning whether or not we figure out how to function in this new world without someone we loved.
My Grief Awareness Story
Being aware of my grief and working with it instead of ignoring it has truly changed my life. The Legacy Recorder is my grief journey. It’s my creative tool that I’ve used to work through my grief, acknowledge it, and process all the things that happened from the time I was 17 until now.
Having grief awareness means that I know I’m still doing the work every day. Some of you might be in the same situation, having grief every day. It doesn’t go away. There is no vacation from these feelings. There isn’t an end in sight. The feelings just get different over time. Grief is a human experience, and days such as National Grief Awareness Day just remind us that it’s okay to live with grief and be aware of it.
Personally, I ignored my grief for a really long time because I didn’t have the time to process it, to deal with it. I was raising children, figuring out a marriage, and working to graduate college; I didn’t have space in my brain and heart to deal with my dad’s passing. Looking back, I don’t think I could have dealt with it then or done anything differently. However, it would have been nice to be able to process those feelings a little earlier. But I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to create this storytelling system to process with my grief.
The Legacy Recorder
I created the Legacy Recorder book as something small that you could fit in your purse or hand to someone. I wanted it to be simple. It has a bit of my grief story and about how the book works, as well as what I’m hoping you’ll get out of it and how it helped me. The rest of the book is the process of working with a loved one to tell their story. You could even work with family members to tell the story of someone who’s passed.
One of the misconceptions people have is that the Legacy Recorder is just for people who are still alive. After all, the writing process is the same, whether you are writing about someone living or someone who is gone. It isn’t linear. It’s something that can be used in a variety of applications and for any stage of life, whether it’s at the beginning, middle, end, or past the end.
Process Your Grief Awareness with the Legacy Recorder
As you write your story, I encourage you to look at what I’ve created. If you’re trying to make a space for your grief awareness, you’ve been trying to ignore it, or you are now ready to address it, the Legacy Recorder might be a solution.
The Legacy Recorder is available on Amazon, either as an ebook or print copy. If you buy a print copy, I’ll sign it and send it you.
Everyone processes grief differently, which means we all need different solutions and methods to go through the process. Each of us learns in our own way how to work with the grief, figuring out how to function, and how to put the pieces of our souls back together after a loved one is gone. Whether or not the Legacy Recorder is the right option for you is okay; just try to make the time to come to peace with the grief being part of you and embrace that awareness.
Personally, I use the Legacy Recorder every day to help me be present with my kids and remind me that there’s stuff there, lingering. I created a live writing workshop to help you work with someone you love to tell their story or begin writing your own. I encourage you to come and write part of your story.
Gael, the Legacy Lady