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  • Writer's pictureEllen Krohne

Write for Your Life

Anna Quindlen published Write For Your Life last year. The short book is a plea for us to write. To write our stories, write our heritage down, write with pen and paper or on a computer, just to write. She makes an excellent case for why we should do this. Mostly to be remembered. To leave some mark behind for future generations, for when we are no longer on this earth.

The author goes in to depth about Anne Frank’s diary and how the act of a young girl simply writing her days in a journal has influenced understanding of the impacts of World War II and the persecution of the Jewish people.

As an author, this treatise to write makes sense. I have journaled for decades and find it helps me to work through difficult feelings and problems. Anna Quindlen suggests leaving our journals for the next generations to help in understanding their ancestors. I’d have to sanitize mine some for that to happen – I’ve written them just for me!

I started writing a journal when my mother died traumatically when I was 14. Putting my thoughts down on paper seemed to help me get them out of my head. The scientific word for the therapeutic writing process is scriptotherapy, and there is an abundance of scientific evidence that suggests it’s helpfulness in managing traumatic grief.

It wasn’t until I retired several years ago, though, that I was finally able to have the time to really write about those feelings. I was amazed at how those memories came flooding back, 46 years later. Putting my feelings into her book, We Lost Her, (cover of the book below,) allowed me to see that time from other angles as I interviewed my six siblings and told their stories, too. I was finally able to gain some understanding of how they coped during those sad years, each so differently. My father’s actions during that time became more rational, too. My testimony would be that scriptotherapy is powerful!

If you are traveling a grief journey, give writing a try. Write for no one but yourself. Just put down those feelings. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling, this is just for you. It may help a little in your journey.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

o write a letter to your loved one detailing the things you miss about them.

o write a letter of introduction to someone in heaven about the person you are grieving.

o take a quote or story you connect with about your loved one, and write all your feelings about it.

Writing in this way may help to focus on your loved one’s life, rather than their death.

Anna Quindlen pleads with us to write for our life. Writing can also help us in navigating a grief journey, to help us heal from a loss. Start today, dear reader!

Heartlinks Grief Center provides grief support to all ages, regardless of ability to pay. If you are grieving or know someone who could use assistance on their grief journey, please contact Heartlinks Grief Center at 618-277-1800 or email

Proceeds from the sale of my books are donated to help support Heartlinks Grief Center, a program of Family Hospice of Belleville, IL.

Be blessed,


“We Grow Stronger Together”

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