Writing as Healing

Submitted by Know the Signs

Survivors of loved ones who died by suicide suffer great loss. One of the paths to their healing can be the power of writing. Written word can be a form of meaningful communication, a chance to connect and convey feelings that are difficult to say out-loud. It can also be a lifeline to keep from drifting away, as well as be a way to note what is happening emotionally with the survivor. Writing can be a place of respite and reflection, simply noticing what ‘is.’”

Carla Fine lost her husband, Harry Reiss, M.D., to suicide in 1989. She is the author of the books No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One  and Touched By Suicide: Hope and Healing After Loss. Carla recently facilitated a writing workshop called “Creative Paths to Healing” with Michael Myers, M.D. at the 48th Annual American Association of Suicidology Conference. She shared her thoughts on the topic of writing as healing:

“Writing helps us bear witness to the special pain and grief that follows losing a loved one to suicide. Writing offers us a sense of order and structure in the chaos following a death by suicide. We can create a safe place where we can continue our healing as well as honor and remember our loved one’s life.”


Although writing as healing is an important tool, it also should be noted digital storytelling is an important path to healing from suicide as well as a way to reduce mental health stigma.

Click here to watch digital stories submitted to Each Mind Matters http://www.eachmindmatters.org/stories

The Know the Signs suicide prevention campaign staff would like to thank Carla Fine for her contribution to this blog. For more information on writing as healing visit www.carlafine.com

Know The Signs would also like to give thanks to Kristen Spexarth for some of the content in this blog. Her writing can be found at http://www.suicidefindinghope.com.

After the traumatic death of Kristen’s eldest son, the foundations of her life were torn away and writing was all that was left. Events following Colby’s suicide taught her that she needed to reach out to others who were grieving. Kristen continues to write, tracking her life’s journey through dream diaries and journaling.

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