Thursday, August 7, 2014

Writing and bereavement 

I have been writing for many years  and during my public speaking and press interview, I am often asked why I write.

Writing is an  incredible vehicle for exploring our passions and finding our voices. It is also a powerful tools for healing in the face of trauma;  It is a cathartic one. It gives a form of psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions.

I remember 2 days after I was told that my baby Andrew was going to die, I spent the whole evening and night writing, and writing and writing. I wrote a whole 12 Foolscap pages of notes, my history of my pregnancy, my fear of the future, and what would happen when Andrew died. I did not sleep, and the nurses left me alone.

At that time, I wrote this notes to share with my family living abroad,  writing a record for my two surviving  daughters aged 4 and 2. As days went on, Andrew had not died, I sat at the corner of his cubicle by his corner in NICU. I felt the only thing I could do to keep me sane was to write.

I wrote to tell my painful truths to help myself heal in my bereavement and to keep the memories of Andrew alive.

It was only when Andrew was turning 21 did I decide to turn these notes to a book to help other grieving mothers and fathers. Since the book had been published, numerous grieving mothers have come to tell me that I have helped them. They have found in my writing empathy. They were not alone in their crushed helplessness and bewildered after the death of their child.

Writing the book brought me to a TV  documentary. I was asked about my grieving and how I coped. The theme of the documentary was it is OK to cry, which has since my opening line when I "meet" another grieving mum. I encourage them to cry, and to write their experience.

My book was exhibited in England and is used as a reference book in a university hospital in Canada.

Writing has become a passion to me. I have since published 3 other books, and I blog daily.  Indeed it is cathartic.

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