I often write about the healing power of journaling when it comes to grief recovery. When my grandson died, I found that writing and prayer were the most successful recovery techniques that I practiced. They not only brought me comfort, but they also helped me heal. As I wrote and as I prayed, I could actually feel the healing occur. It was amazing. Although the subject of this article is not prayer, because of its superior healing power, it bears mentioning.
My brother recently lost his wife due to breast cancer. Upon her death, I suggested to my brother that he start keeping a grief journal. My brother is a writer, so I thought a grief journal would be a natural thing for him. In his journal, he could be creative, write his woes and step forwards, write lyrics, and work out his road to recovery.
He didn’t do it. He completely ignored my advice. I would remind him on occasion, yet he resisted my suggestions. Week after week, I would see him sliding into his abyss of loneliness and sadness rather than climbing out and back into the light of living.
My brother is multi-talented. Not only does he write, but he composes, plays multiple musical instruments, acts, and directs, and his list of creative accomplishments continues. Finally, my husband suggested to my brother that he begin recording videos for YouTube for easy guitar playing.
My brother took my husband’s suggestion that very day. He produced and uploaded his first guitar video “Six Days on the Road,” before nightfall. His video can be viewed on his website, www.EZ3ChordCountry.com. He called and told us about his video, so we immediately looked it up on YouTube.
Although for people who do not know my brother, the video seems like a fun video of a man singing a great song; to those of us who know him, we knew immediately that it was a tribute to his recently deceased wife. He begins by talking about some software that his wife purchased for him before her death that he will be using in the making of his video. He also mentions that it is her birthday. A dead giveaway that this is going to be an emotional tribute. Then he begins the song. The video was a hit with all of our family and several viewers.
My brother was encouraged by our reactions to his video and realized that my husband had suggested something fun for him to focus on. He accepted my husband’s suggestion to record and produce easy guitar-playing videos and began recording a video a day for his YouTube channel, “EZ3ChordCountry.”
As my brother labored over his new project, my husband decided to go out and buy my brother a new guitar. My brother was very touched by my husband’s love and concern for him, and he produced a video about retiring his guitar in exchange for his new one. The song is “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” which also can be seen on his website “EZ3ChordCountry.com.”
As the video begins, there is no mistaking that this was a production showcasing the life and loss of his wife. The retiring guitar was a gift from his wife, so as he puts it to rest, he introduces the story of my husband giving him his new guitar. As soon as the video was loaded, my brother had two men (who had also lost their wives) comment on the video and offer him words of comfort. It was very touching and very appreciated. I thought it was wonderful that people were reaching out to my brother to help him.
Then, after we read the comments together, my brother said something to me that I had not thought of before. He said that those two videos had helped him heal immensely and that he felt the healing powers of music lighten his burden and lift his spirits. He was describing the exact experience that I had had with writing and prayer. It took me a moment, but in connecting the dots, I realized that although my brother is a great writer, writing was too laborious for him. Writing dragged things out and made it more difficult for him to cast off his grief, whereas music instantly released his burdens and set him free.
I hope that if you are grieving, or know someone who is, that you will watch and share my brother’s videos so that you and others can benefit from his discovery. Additionally, I hope that you (or others who are grieving) will think of something that will help you experience immediate progress on your grief recovery journey. Music and writing are unique talents of expression and so are art and dance.
I have realized that whatever your mode of creative expression is could mark your pathway to personalized recovery. Please find your healing mode of expression, your place for creativity, joy, and happiness, and use it to heal.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, Podcaster, and founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.
It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, please visit my podcast “Deadline” at https://open.spotify.com/show/7MHPy4ctu9OLvdp2JzQsAA or at https://anchor.fm/tracy874 and follow me on Instagram at @Deadline_TracyLee