Words by Elena Lorente Guerrero

As part of our #JournallingThroughGrief campaign, writer and Cruse Scotland Volunteer Elena shares a powerful message about the written word, and how it helps us reflect on grief and loss.

May 16, 2024


Words are powerful. Words not only have meaning and connotation, but words have their own energy and resonance.

It is through the words that we create our world. By giving words to our thoughts and feelings through thinking, saying them out loud or writing them down, we are sewing our reality word by word as if it were a beautiful patchwork or a mandala.

Word by word, we connect to people and the world. However, when life brings a time of grief and loss, we may feel lonely and disconnected from other people and the world. We may feel being in a bubble of sadness and pain. Is there any word able to fully describe the emptiness in our hearts when we grieve? Is there any word that could even touch how much we miss our loved ones? Where could we start to find the words to express such an intimate and unique experience?

There are times when our bereavement journey might feel like we have been falling for a long time into a deep, dark, bottomless pit with nowhere to grab and hold. We only wish to reconnect with our family members or friends we dearly miss and keep the bond of love alive.

Words can be our anchor at that time. Words can help us to feel a little bit grounded again. Being in touch with ourselves with self-compassion and kindness is how we gently reconnect with our higher self. Connecting with ourselves first will open the door of connection with our dearly loved ones.

A gentle way to do that is by giving voice through writing to the unspoken thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The secret words we have not even dared to say to ourselves. Those words will be the first stitch to creating a thread of light, love, and connection with us and with our loved one. Words can be the cord to hold on to.

When we consciously take some time for ourselves, sit down quietly, and write for the first time:

“I am giving myself this time to connect with myself. I am giving myself this time to connect with you". We are sewing our first words of hope.

Those first words you have been brave to write are the most difficult to let go of. However, they may be the key that opens the floodgates of your heart. You are giving you the gift of freeing yourself.

The exercise of writing, even just one word, helps to create mental space. Giving voice to our inner world brings us self-awareness. Writing becomes part of our self-care.

It can be a simple practice with a beautiful starting point: choosing a nice notebook that is meaningful to you. You are going to meet up with yourself and with your loved one. Look after that precious time together. As a suggestion, reserve the same time of the day every day. That is your unique and intimate moment and deserves care and attention. For some people, that means having a ritual such as lighting a candle, having a photo on the desk, or listening to their favourite music before they start writing.

Then it is about sitting down and perhaps dating the page. Close your eyes if that helps, feel the ground under your feet, take some deep breaths and let your words go freely without thinking, without judging, just as they flow. If nothing seems to come up, you may want to start a normal, natural conversation with them as you used to have, the kind of catch-up talking about everything and nothing. That day[1]to-day conversation you miss.

I trust that word by word, page by page, even just sitting down with your notebook open and a pen in front of you and only writing "Hello, I am here with you" will transform that profound pit where you were into an endless well of love and warmth.

The cord of light you hold on to now has always been there waiting patiently for you. The one holding the other end of the cord is no one else than your loved one. As if it were an umbilical cord, you both are and have always been connected soul to soul. That is timeless, certain, indestructible, and eternal.

The eternity is made of present by present. Word by word, we connect with ourselves and with the loved ones who live in the conscious state of unconditional love.

Giving yourself the gift of writing will make you aware of another gift eventually. Without noticing, you have been journaling. Because what is journaling but walking your journey? Your journey from loss to connection. Your journey of light, love, and hope sewed word by word.

Elena Lorente Guerrero

May 2024

Elena is a Writer and Volunteer with Cruse Scotland, you can find more of their work here. 

Words by Elena Lorente Guerrero