After losing three close family members in five years, I remember feeling overwhelmed as waves of unanticipated emotions would roll in like a storm. How long would this intense sorrow last? Would life ever feel normal again? What if I forget about the people I’m missing? And why do well-intentioned people say crazy things when they’re trying to be helpful?

I searched volumes of grief-related books, envisioning a clear, concise manual to lead me down the well-lit path to healing. As you might imagine, there was no such book available. Nothing on the market was touching the deep sadness in my heart. One morning, I finally found a comforting place to go with my pain. In the spiral notebook I used as a journal, I began to write through my grief.

You may be thinking right now: I’m not a writer. I don’t like to write. Writing feels like school.

Hold on. Please don’t stop reading.

In Grief Survivor you’ll find real-life tips for:

  • knowing what you might expect
  • navigating holidays and other special days
  • taking care of yourself first, so you’ll be able to help others
  • knowing when to call for help
  • gaining confidence that your loved one will not be forgotten.

Writing when life hurts is one of the healthiest ways to begin to heal. Whether you write on every page or simply read and reflect, I invite you to take the first step toward hope and healing with Grief Survivor.

Excerpted from Grief Survivor, by Beth Marshall.

Learn more about Beth at

Read more by Beth on Open to Hope: Writing Mother’s Stories Helps Daughter Handle Loss – Open to Hope


Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall is a freelance journalist, speaker and author of two grief-related books. Grief Survivor, 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing; and A Time to Heal, a grief journal. After losing three close people in her life, Beth felt crushed and overwhelmed by the intense emotions of grief. As she began to write about her "uniquely awesome" family members, Marshall eventually began to smile again- and even laugh. Her hope is to help others discover joy-filled life after loss.

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