Writing Through The Wreckage | Sarah Philpott

Writing Through The Wreckage

Writing Through the Wreckage, Miscarriage, grief, pregnancy loss, Sarah Philpott, mourning

Mourning is an expression of sorrow. And sometimes our sorrows are so sacred that we don’t necessarily want to speak our inner thoughts.

And our sorrows stay put.  Simmering in our minds.

Simmering can be good.   A steaming pot of soup perched atop the stove.   Chopped carrots circling the diced potatoes.  Basil releasing its aromatic magic.


But simmering can also be bad.  Especially if words of negativity or sadness bubble within our souls.  Brewing.  Fermenting.

Do you ever let thoughts brew in your mind for too long?    Thoughts of shame or anger.  Thoughts of fear and disappointment.  Thoughts of sadness and longing.

Dear Soul, can I encourage you to do something?  To help release your pain.

Write through the wreckage.  Admit your pain.

Why write about grief?

Writing forces us to acknowledge truth. Even if that truth is painful. Writing gives us a place to process our internal dialogue. To make sense of the madness.  To grieve.

If you keep a closed pot simmering on the stove it eventually boils over.   The same is true for our thoughts.   If we repress our internal dialogue long enough we eventually erupt.

Can I tell you something?  Writing my stories of pregnancy loss was emotionally taxing.  It forced me to revisit painful memories that I would rather numb.  But writing my story- and owning my emotions- helped me move forward.

It gave me comfort to relocate my thoughts from my head to the paper.

It’s not just my miscarriages that I’ve written about, but tragic deaths of loved ones as well.  The paper was a safe place I could be vulnerable.  To speak the unspeakable.
This mere act of expressive writing is healthy for our souls.

The American Psychological Association has published research chronicling the healing power of writing.  In fact, expressive writing has been correlated with strengthening the immune system and mind.

So I am going to challenge you.  To help you mourn.  To help strengthen your mind.

I invite you to write through the wreckage. 

Unpack you mind and put the words down on paper.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.  It’s not a pretty story, is it?

So be raw.  Be honest.

But, your story also includes glimmers of humanity.  Remember the goodness that other people displayed.

The sorrow they showed.  The hugs they gave.  The  fact that you cradled a loved baby within your womb.

Write about the hope you have for a new day.  The day that you will greet your baby in Heaven.

Keep your words private or make them as public as you desire.  Share them with a confidant or tuck the papers into a secret place.

Don’t worry about grammar or spelling.  This is just your truth.

I warn you…you will write about things that are tough to admit.  Anger.  Jealousy. Bitterness. Fear. But you must acknowledge those emotions so that they don’t spew forth in an avalanche of rage or depression.

It might take you a few hours, a week, or even a year to finish writing your story.  You might not ever even finish.  Your paper will be tear-soaked.

Expect this challenge to be painful, but also expect it to help ease your mind.

If you want to discuss or share what you’ve written with other women, I urge you to join the private, online support group  Loved Baby: Christian Miscarriage & Pregnancy Loss Support for Women.

In this sisterhood, you can share with women who’ve walked and are walking the very same journey you have been forced to trod.  It’s helpful to connect with women in a safe community.

Would you like to read the stories of others?  Visit Don’t Talk About the Baby.

How can you write about your story? 

Use these prompts to get your mind focused.  You don’t have to write it all at one time.  Just write a bit at a time.  Perhaps, you are reading this and have faced a type of grief other than pregnancy loss.  Write through that trauma.  You won’t find the answer of why, but you will find out more about yourself and how you can find strength.

Prompts:

  • The day I found out I was pregnant I was so (happy, scared, surprised, angry) ______________.
  • I told _____________________.
  • The day my womb baby perished I felt so _________________.  I was ___________________.
  • Physically I felt ____________________.
  • Emotionally I felt ___________________.
  • I never expected pregnancy loss to be so __________________________.
  • My greatest internal struggle has been_______________________.
  • ____________________(person, activity, a book, a scripture) has helped me throughout this time of grief.

 

I know this is challenging Dear Soul, but writing will help you release some of the steam from the closed pot.  Suzie Eller writes a prayer in The Mended Heart that will help you work toward releasing the negative inner dialogue:

Dear Jesus, I have spent hours in my thoughts where I am angry, or I am the hero, or I tell someone what I should have said, or I put them in their place.  Today I recognize all of that as a trap of the enemy.  Today, with Your help, I shut the gate to the playground of unhealthy thoughts.  I put them down; when I start to pick them up again, remind me that they are a burden, and that You have more for me than this. 


Has writing ever helped you mend your heart?

Blessed are those who mourn; For they shall be comforted.  Mathew 5:4

Love,

Sarah

Live Free Thursday

About Sarah

Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D lives in the south on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children (and one little baby!) and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. It's quite the chaotic household, but she adores the blessings God has provided. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency. Her book, Loved Baby: 31 Devotions for Helping you Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss, will be published in October '17 by Broadstreet Publishing. You can go ahead an pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and at Christian Book. Sarah is a lover of coffee (black), rocking chairs, the outdoors, and Hemingway. Visit with Sarah at her All-American Mom blog where she writes about life on the farm and cherishing life in joy & in sorrow.

13 thoughts on “Writing Through The Wreckage

  1. Most often we want to stuff our traumas and ignore them, but that approach just buries the pain right along with them and never allows healing. As much as we don’t want to think about those aches, confronting them is the first step in deep healing. And I agree with you, journaling and writing is a safe way to be honest and open about your feelings and letting them come to the surface for God to heal.

  2. This is so true! I have been journaling since I was 8, but after I had my first child I didn’t write for 8 years. I just recently picked it up, and I’m so glad I did! It helps me to release my emotions without doing it in a damaging way to myself or someone else.

  3. I’ve notice that when I write my blogs and am transparent it is not only healing for me but I connect with the readers better. Thanks for reminding me to not let the negative thoughts brew.

  4. Beautiful writing and such a gracious, loving and needed ministry to those who are grieving. Writing through the wreckage, whatever the loss, is such good advice. Keep writing, sister! Stopping by from #LiveFreeThursday

  5. when my mother was battling with cancer and then passed away I had a complete journal dedicated just to that journey. It was so healing to know I could write anything with checking for proper comma usage or spelling but just spilling out words and processing through!
    this is a great encouragement! Thank you for your thoughts and words!
    (Your neighbor at #LiveFreeThursday)

  6. I have years of journals, mostly scripture studies and some prayers and then those aha moments where God reveals Himself. I love the thought of “writing through the wreckage.” What a great way to be able to go back and see how God has healed and encouraged and walked through the hard places with you.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Suzie! I bet you are like me (and all writers)…you love being gifted or purchasing new journals. It is amazing to read back and look how far we have grown.

  7. Sarah,

    What great advice for hurting people. We all have hurts to heal from. Our battles may be different, but pain is universal.

    We would love for you to share this on #TheocentricThursdays blog hop. The link will be open all weekend and you can find it on the Thursday share thread on Christian Women Bloggers on fb.

    Have a blessed weekend!

    Carrie Ann

  8. Thanks for this article. Writing is very cathartic! I love the analogy of simmering soup with a closed lid. This is an accurate description of what happens when we let the motions brew. I have often found writing to help me get it out. Exercise – a really good long run or a tough session – really seems to help me as well!

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