While I am interested in the research about the benefits of writing, my path with writing as a healing tool began way before I knew about the science. My lived experience tells me that writing is a powerful healing tool. What I have become increasingly interested in recently is how other people incorporate writing into their life for healing purposes. I interviewed Marie Alessi, Founder of Loving Life after Loss™ about the healing process of writing her book and the grief movement she’s started. Here’s what Marie shared.
How has writing your book, Loving Life after Loss, helped you in your own healing journey?
It was important for me to write down our story – to share my own perspective and vastly different approach to grief with others. I felt I was in such a flow state when writing; after all, it was our story, I knew it so well and I deeply felt I wanted to share it. A tiny part of me probably felt that if others would understand my perspective, there might be less judgement. Yet the biggest part in me simply wanted to spread HOPE, happiness and healing. We often give to others what we need the most ourselves. Sharing is always a kind of release and release is well needed when you’re grieving.
Note: Marie’s book is about her experience of moving to Australia, meeting, marrying, and losing her late husband Rob, and how she coped and found empowerment throughout her journey.
What made you want to write your book? What changes did you notice within yourself as you wrote the book?
Firstly, I noticed what grief meant to me. I realised that grief meant empowerment – never in my life had I felt such strength before. It is incredibly mind blowing, seeing what powers you are able to tap into in extreme situations, let alone feel them within, be carried and driven by them. I knew I needed to share this with others.
Shortly after Loving Life after Loss was published, I learned that our story ranked in the top 100 in Australia. This is what made me realise I had something the world needed. It was the starting point of our movement, Loving Life after Loss™. I stepped into leadership from thereon in, which was an incredible way to heal; you hurt, you heal, you grow, you teach.
Do you have a daily writing practice? If so, what does that look like?
No, I don’t. I write when my heart is overflowing at a speed that my brain can’t catch up with – or the other way around (laughs). When that happens, I either journal or more often than not create new content. I share my healing journey very authentically, yet always from a perspective of helping others heal.
What is the Loving Life after Loss movement?
A very different approach to grief. When Rob passed very suddenly, I could not find the support I needed. Every ‘support’ group I found felt devastating to me – like there was more pain poured over everything I was already dealing with. I needed real support, support in healing. Trust me, nobody needs support in grief—we all know how to hurt—we rarely know how to heal. This is the vast difference in our movement: we focus on love and support, not the pain. The pain is the pick up point for me: I’ll meet you at the edge of the rabbit hole to pull you out, not to climb down there. We will shower you with love, hold space for you and offer you tools that have proven a hundred times over to help people heal. Our retreats are my most favourite time of the year, where I can spoil my guests and make a difference of a lifetime for them.
How have you incorporated writing to heal into your life? Feel free to reach out and share your story.
Love the idea of having a regular writing practice but have no idea where to start?
Storytelling for the Soul’s Write Your Way to Healing Quick Start Guide is designed to teach busy people like you how to use embodied writing as a healing tool. In just 5 easy-to-follow steps, this PDF arms you with the basics for writing your way to healing and includes writing prompts to get you started. Set aside 10 minutes a day (or whatever you can manage) to write. Download the free PDF.