This November, Invisible Ink: Writing Through Your Grief, returns. The workshop will explore the therapeutic practice of writing about traumatic experiences to heal your pain. In this active approach to moving through grief, you will write letters to your loved one each week to express different aspects of your loss. Brief guided meditations will help you relax and write about the ways in which your loved oneâ€™s death has affected you.
Beginning November 1, the program will meet on Thursdays from 6:30 â€“ 8:00PM at the Healing Arts Center at Cancer Services and is open to nine participants in support of each other.
The workshop will be lead by Kathy Curtis, an artist, author and facilitator who has spent 20 years teaching adults and children to tap into the healing power of creative expression. When her mother died three months after being diagnosed with cancer, Kathy wrote letters to relieve her feelings of loss. Her book, Invisible Ink: The Journey Beyond Words, and the companion workshop share the power of this approach with others who may feel stuck in their grief.
This course is also available online for anyone who would prefer to experience it in the privacy of their own home. For more information, please visit Kathyâ€™s website.
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 â€” she was a combination surrogate mother and a best friend.
Iâ€™ve experienced losses before. My mother and father are both gone. Friends gave me books about grief. I didnâ€™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, â€œInvisible Ink,â€ that was to be held at Cancer Services. It was free, and so I thought Iâ€™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.
by Gail Hamm, program director
Invisible Inkâ€¦.a catchy and intriguing name. What a name for a bereavement group! Having already completed more than half the lessons, I can say joining this course has been a wonderful experience. It is not for the faint of heart, however. Iâ€™ve been working hard on my grief. I write to my daughter. I dig deep to unearth my feelings and put them on paper. My head and heart seek to find meaning in my experience.
Each session starts with a meditation/guided imagery. A topic is introduced and I write in the privacy of my space. If I want to share what I have written, then I do so. Otherwise, what is written remains in my notebook for only me to see. No more than 9 people are ever in the group. This keeps it small and intimate; I feel safe.
Even though I have expressed that the work at times is difficult (who likes to swim around in pain-filled feelings?), I would not want that to dissuade anyone from joining this course. You need to know ahead of time that this is for those who are ready to move on through their grief. The healthiest way to grieve is to acknowledge the loss, feel the feelings, and move through the feelings so you donâ€™t get stuck or stay stuck. Writing is a great way to pull out feelings and give them up or give them over. We donâ€™t forget our loved one. We transform the relationship through the catharsis of writing.
Writing helps both start, and, at times, finish conversations. Writing can help us see what has been hidden because our grief. Writing may help us find a depth to the relationship, which we were not previously aware of. I am finding that since I started my work in Invisible Ink, I am different. I am not sure I have words to explain that difference. I only know that it is so.
Join Kathy Curtis as she starts the next 9 week series of Invisible Ink on March 15, at 6:30PM. You will not regret the experience. Please call your reservation to 260-484-9560. Iâ€™d be happy to answer your questions.