During the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Cindy Kort, who recently lost her mother and discovered that writing was one of her best ways to heal. Ellen Kort was a famous poet laureate for Wisconsin who worked closely in the grief and loss field. Cindy also lost her brother years ago, and Ellen commemorated him by writing about him often. She left a fantastic legacy, and something Cindy will treasure forever. Some of the topics the Korts discuss in their writing include how much support is necessary for the bereaved.

Telling your story is also critical, which Cindy learned from her mother. She feels like she has a lot to write now, even though she doesn’t consider herself a writer. “I am a writer,” she says, after attending a writing workshop during the conference. You don’t need to be a poet laureate or a professional writer in order to use writing as a healing tool. You simply need the desire to pick up a pen (or keyboard!).

Writing from the Greats

Using art therapy or creative therapy has helped many people in their grief journey. Whether it’s writing poetry, reading it, making crafts, painting, or sketching, finding the creative outlet that attracts you is important. You can undertake art therapy on your own or in a group setting. Sometimes the bereaved choose to share their work, while others keep it to themselves. You’re in full control of your artistic therapy.

Kort recommends that anyone try writing to heal, and know that you can simply “free write” if you don’t know what to say. This isn’t meant to be a finished piece. However, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper is a fantastic way to process. Writing has long been a friend of the bereaved.



Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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