This is a little bit of a different blog post from my usual but I thought it was important to share this. Sometimes writing a letter can be cathartic and can help you heal from a blow to your heart.
I have never really been a journaler. It's funny how the things that happen to us in childhood can have such a life altering impact on us through our lives.
Writing down personal thoughts has been something difficult for me most of my life. I can trace the reason for this back to an incident in the 4th grade. I had a diary then, one that I wrote in religiously. Writing my thoughts and feelings down in a sacred place was very freeing. One day a girl whom I considered my best friend stole my diary, made photocopies of it, and passed it around my entire classroom one morning before school. I have never been the same.
As I think back now I can see that this was when I became more guarded, less trusting. I put up a wall and haven’t let very many people past it let, alone stay inside. It has taken me a very long time to write down personal feelings, and even now I get an uncomfortable feeling in my spine when I think about writing things down.
My failure to push past this has been very detrimental in ways I wasn't initially aware of. I don’t have the best memory. I can’t remember most of my childhood, and sometimes I wonder if I had written more it would come back to me easier. At the very least I could of gone back to reread old entries to learn a little bit about myself and who I was while I was growing up. There are big time periods of my life that I just don’t remember and that makes me very sad. My feelings about writing have also been the reason I have started and stalled my blog over and over again these last few years of starting my business.
This week something clicked and changed.
My grandmother passed away last October. This Saturday is the unveiling of her headstone and my father asked if I could share a few words. At first I hesitated, thinking my Nana will never hear these words, best not to write my feelings down. Best not to feel uncomfortable sharing my personal words in public.
Plus, I didn’t know what I would say. What did I remember of her? I wanted to honor her and my father so I sat down and I started to think–I started to write. The words just flowed.
I wrote a long personal letter to my Nana. I didn’t worry if someone would find it. I didn’t worry someone would exploit my feelings. It wasn’t a negative experience at all and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to start tearing down my walls.
I remembered more than I thought I did, and writing these words brought her image back to me. I felt that freedom of sharing my memories and feelings again without judgement and I felt closer to my Nana too.
I ended up writing nearly 1,000 words in my letter to her. She will never get this letter but that’s not what’s important.
What is important is that I get the letter.
I have created a lasting memory of my Nana that I can go back and reread whenever I want. And when I read it at her unveiling this weekend, I will be moving past my fear of sharing my feelings in public. What a gift! I finally feel free of that self imposed torture my 9 year old self has been living a lifetime with.
I hope my sharing this with you will help you to find the courage to do something you have been holding back on.
This week I wrote a letter to my Nana and I can’t wait to share it with her.