When you have a cut, one thing you can do is cover it with a band aid. This may stop the bleeding, on merely keep the blood from staining your clothes. What you probably need is an antiseptic, something that does more than cover up your wound. The deeper the cut, the deeper your wound, the more care and attention it needs. It usually needs to be exposed to the air; cleaned out often; more healing salve or ointment, and needs a new dressing.
When the wound goes deep, inside your heart, you need a different kind of salve. Stories can be the balm that helps the healing process, even if it is just for the moment. Grief is a deep wound. So deep that often, the pain persists for a very long time. Grief is different for every person. Each person's way of dealing with grief needs to be different; personal; there is no, "on-size-fits-all." And the old adage, "time heals all wounds" is not necessarily true. Time may help, but the grief may never be fully healed...and that's okay.
My mother passed away last week. She had been in a nursing home for three years. In many ways, the person she had been, vibrant; aware; dynamic was lost years ago. I know that her internal struggles and pain are now gone, and for that I am thankful. We were always very close, so the finality of her death has wounded me, severely.
Here is where stories can help. Stories about someone who has died, remembering their actions, words, triumphs and foibles help to keep the good parts of them inside us, always. Stories of similar people or situations can help us as we relate with the characters (real or fictional). And philosophical stories, stories with a "message" can help us to put things in perspective in relation to our whole world. Stories help us to make sense of the world we live in, which often does not make sense.
For those of you, like myself, who have been wounded by the loss of a loved one, I offer a balm of stories that may aid in your healing. My dear friend and storytelling colleague, Laura Packer, lost her sweet husband, Kevin, three years ago. Part of her healing process (and it IS a PROCESS) was to write and tell more stories, both in oral and written form. Her pieces are heartfelt, deep, revealing and quite poignant. Even before my mother passed away, her stories of Kevin helped me to begin to make some sense regarding my mother's impending loss of physical life.
For anyone who may be dealing with deep wounds of any kind, I offer Stories from Laura's blog, called True Stories, Honest Lies, and hope that her posts may help you, even in some small ways.
And here's another source, National Storytelling Network's Healing Story Alliance special interest group. It is the web page of many storytellers who have been using story to heal in many different ways and situations.
And one more piece...yes, writing this tip has also helped me in my healing process.