I imagine that the process of dying is a terrifying one. The unimaginable fear of suddenly not existing can be mentally taxing. This stress can even be more taxing to those who are left after. After all, it is not easy losing a loved one. The absence they fill in our hearts can never be filled once again.
There are a few “lucky” people who get the chance to know that their death is coming. I say lucky because, at the very least, they have the opportunity to do something at the end of their lives before they go. For others, such knowledge is a curse. Knowing their expiration date does nothing but just adds to their anxiety. Who knows, really? These things often just come from perspective.
No matter their thoughts on the matter, however, there is one thing that actually helps in easing the process. Writing. Whether it’s writing a memoir or writing spiritual journals inspired by cancer, or at least a battle against it, there is something about the process of putting thoughts into paper that is cathartic.
For one, writing helps you realize your thoughts. Somehow, the process of writing brings the thoughts from the abstract recesses of the mind into the physical world. In the process, these thoughts, in a way, become true and not only imagined.
Another thing, the writing process also makes it so that you liberate these thoughts outside your mind. Somehow, it lightens up the load the mind has to bear in the process. It is a process similar to shouting out or just plain talking about what you are thinking. It is therapy.
Writing also solidifies your legacy. This is especially true for those people who are afraid to leave this world. The simple act of writing, whether in the form of a letter, a journal entry, or even doodles, is that you once existed, and the world was once your stomping ground after you’ve passed.
In conjunction with legacy, writing also helps you leave behind things that are not easily tangible. From important thoughts and advice, stories, and memoirs from memorable experiences. Even just simple recipes are things worth writing down. After all, these are proof of your existence. Even your loved ones can hold unto these as keepsakes and mementos of a person who once was.
So how do you start writing? You just start writing! It has become a cliché to writers that the biggest hurdle that they can face is an empty piece of paper. It is actually true. Finding a good angle or even just finding the starting words for your journal can be very difficult. However, once you get off this problem, then words will be like a dam. They will keep flowing and flowing. If your aim is just to write, then just write. Keep your focus on writing.
Especially in journals, grammar will mean little to nothing. What is important is that you let your thoughts out. Should you decide to publish your work, then maybe restrain yourself a bit and try to put your thoughts in a more organized manner. Another option is to hire an editor to help you along the way. Or, you can have somebody else really fix or decipher what you have written.
No matter the purpose, writing is one of the most cathartic and liberating things to do, especially when somebody is at death’s door. Sure, it is unnecessary, and I’m sure it is not for everybody. However, those who choose to write may find doing it worthwhile. Those people who choose to write may even find something in them worth sharing