by Beth Heironimus
In May of 2011, my sister-in-law died. She was much more to me than a sister-in-law, or even a sister — she was a combination surrogate mother and a best friend.
I’ve experienced losses before. My mother and father are both gone. Friends gave me books about grief. I didn’t want books about grief. I wanted my sister-in-law. Our relationship was complicated, and I was struggling to find my way without her.
A friend suggested a workshop, “Invisible Ink,” that was to be held at Cancer Services. It was free, and so I thought I’d give it a try. It involved writing a series of letters to the person lost. That sounds simple, but it is challenging, enlightening, cathartic, painful and freeing all at the same time. You are guided through the process by a caring and skilled facilitator and each session involves a meditation followed by writing and discussion.
Not only have I found it to be a freeing experience for me, it has been powerful to watch other members of the group come to grips with their own losses. We come to grief from differing perspectives. Losing someone dear is never easy. Some deaths are long and arduous, others sudden and shocking. All are painful.
What a gift this workshop has been to me. I would recommend it to anyone regardless of where they are on their own grief journey. It has helped me not only to grieve, but also to grow.
Invisible Ink will be offered again in the fall. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a notification when dates are available.