Writing on Grief & Hard Things

January 22, 2019

The other day a friend text me and jokingly said: “Are you trying to depress everyone or get a book deal?” I laughed at my sarcastic and witty friend. My friends have jokes. But the truth is, his statement got me thinking about the content of my writing. Often times, I write about the grief I’ve encountered since losing my mother. Nearly all of my friends still have both of their parents and most still have their grandparents. The reality is: I lost my mother and that fact IS depressing, and it just so happens that sometimes I write about it.

I didn’t plan or intend to be a grief writer, but here I sit, yet again, writing about grief. This is my journey. I didn’t choose it, and I’d give anything to have found my passion through a happier situation, but this is my reality. It’s real. It’s authentic. It’s raw. Because of all of those things, it’s probably a little uncomfortable for those who haven’t experienced a huge loss yet.

So, why do I write? Why do I choose to write about heartbreaking moments in my life? (For the record, I write about the hopeful and happy times too.) Why do I write during times where I feel like a piece of my heart has been ripped out? Am I trying to depress people? Absolutely not.

I write because my mom asked me to. I write to honor her.

I write because in my deepest sadness, I know someone out there is feeling the exact same pain, and just maybe they need to read my words and the sorrow in my soul.

I write, saddened by the reality that others share my pain, but hopeful that my experience and words will inspire them and help them somehow, someway.

I write because when I’m in my darkest place, releasing my thoughts and feelings onto a computer screen becomes therapeutic. Writing becomes the best therapist, and even better, it’s one that I never had to pay for.

I write because I want to help others. I want to offer hope. I want to offer support and encouragement. I want to offer a smile, even if it’s through some tears first.

I write to offer words for those that might not have their own. I write to offer words for people who are speechless in emotion, but need and want to be heard.

I will continue to write in the hopeful times, the happy times, and also the harsh times. Even when it is hard. Even when it is depressing. I will continue to be real, to be raw, and to be vulnerable. Because, sometimes a reader doesn’t want to hear about my amazing kid and her honor roll report card (True Story). Sometimes, they need to hear that I lost my mother, and I’m still able to breathe. They need to hear that I lost my mother, but I’m still able to find joy in my day. They need to hear that I lost my mother, and it changed me. It rocked me to my core and it broke me. But then, it inspired me.

My grief inspired me to write. If you sit in your grief long enough, it can inspire you too. Wait for it, one day your grief will spark something inside your soul. When it does, listen.  

I’m not looking to depress you. I’m not looking for a book deal, although that would be amazing. I’m looking for the person who will read my work and think, “She just put into words what my heart is feeling.”

You see, life is messy, and beautiful, and heartbreaking, and filled with so much joy…and I will write about it all.

xox, Chels

5 comments so far.

5 responses to “Writing on Grief & Hard Things”

  1. Nancy Watters says:

    Keep right on writing! Truth is sometimes hard to hear but it truly is healing! God bless you my sweet friend as you honor your Momma.

  2. Sonja Jackson says:

    Thank you for writing. I am right there in the same pain, the same brokenness. My Mom passed 11/15/18 so it’s moving onto almost a year for me, and reading your words makes it easier for me to share with my friends what I’m feeling, as they have no idea the complete devastation I’ve been living this year. The truth is hard to hear, but it needs to be shared. Thank you & God bless you

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you so much for reading my work and taking the time to comment with such a kind message. I appreciate it more than you know! I hate that we share this heartbreak but I am glad you are here! <3, Chels

  3. Shenise K. says:

    Keep writing especially in your brokenness…Remember sooner or later the world breaks everyone. I’m trying to get back to me because when I’m gone, all that will be left is the “Dash” between my birth and my death date…I wasn t my dash to have meaning and for folks to remember me fondly as “the girl who smiled even when her heart was broken; striving to brighten your day even when she couldn’t brighten her own”. There is purpose in your pain.

  4. Kim Curgenven says:

    Thank you. Please keep writing. I lost my Mum just a few days ago. Much, much sooner than expected, I just wasn’t ready. Are you ever ‘ready’?! I stumbled on your blog and it’s helped verbalise those feelings I just don’t have the words for yet. Even showing my husband how he can help me. I’m checking in here every day and finding something new that is helping. Thank you, truly, I’m so grateful for your words right now xxx

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A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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