Today's topic is not an easy one but I think it merits discussion. Life is never all giggles and joy. Nearly everyone experiences sad times as they make a lifteime journey on this earth. Some people must deal with true tragedies as well. It is my belief that writing about the difficult times can be beneficial in several ways.
1. Bottling the hurt inside doesn't help healing. Talking to others about a sad or tragic time in your life is a form of emotional release. It doesn't matter whether you tell your story to a licensed therapist or a trusted friend. We need someone to listen. It's a part of the healing process. Writing about the situation can act as the same kind of release. If you never show what you've written to another soul, it's OK. Write it for yourself or for others. That's your choice.
2. Your experience can be of great help to others going through a similar situation. If we are having a rough time and we read that someone else has gone through the same thing and is able to talk about it, we can feel like a weight has been lifted. Oh certainly not completely but even if it's little by little, it helps. We don't feel so alone.
3. Reading what someone else has written about a terrible happening can motivate you to do the same. If they can do it, so can I might be the way you feel when you've learned about someone else's troubles. That motivation to write your own story might help begin the healing process.
Very few people can write this kind of memory piece while they are living the trauma. It takes some time to reach the point where you can do so. I don't think you can write about it once and claim victory. It takes multiple writings with each one helping you progress a little more.
I've written numerous times about the two children we lost long ago as infants. It took many years before I was able to do so, but with each memory piece I wrote about those two very sad times in my life, the raw wound began to ease into a dull ache. It also helped me to know that perhaps my story would ease the pain of another mother who had lost a child. Those stories are a part of my Memory Book. Definitely included as a family story.
Too often, writers turn away from writing about the tragedies in their past life. To overcome we must face it head on. One word of caution--if the only thing you write about is your trials and tribulations and do it constantly, readers will turn elsewhere. Moderation is key here. Find the middle of the road and stay on it but do write about sad times. You'll know when the time is right.