It may seem like a burden to write down memories (especially now) but in the face of loss and devastation, it can be a comforting and healthy thing to do.
Here’s some ideas to get started. Reach out if you’d like more. Note: if you are writing about a loved one you have lost, and would like more detailed directions, a printable pdf is available here.
- Make lists. Just that. Complete sentences are not needed. Just words in whatever order feels right. Grammar doesn’t matter.
- Make a list of titles. What will you call your stories when you get a chance to write them? A good title is like a frame for a picture. You can fill in the empty spaces later.
- Talk to someone else, not a formal interview — just ask them how they’re feeling, and ask about who and what and where they’ve lost. Write it all down. It’s powerful to know you’re being listened to. Maybe post the story on this site together.
- Write just one thought or memory a day. Keep it all together and by the end of a week, you’ll have a story.
- Consider the source: you are the only expert of your experiences. It feels empowering to write and know you own the story you’re sharing.
- No story is too small. Consider writing about one guitar you lost, or one photo, or a beloved chair that belonged to your grandma. There is enormous power in descriptions of treasured objects.
- When writing about a person, the same idea works. Keep it focused and small — tell a shared joke, a song, a recipe, a game, a saying, a treasured time and place, or a long-ago memory that has stayed with you and always will.