“HeartSpun Talk from the Crucible of Experience”©

From the life of Ken Matthies - Author, Poet, Real Life Storyteller

Welcome to the tenth and final in this series of ten special articles of homespun real-life talk about your grieving process.

In this last of the series of ‘Healing Your Grief’ articles, I’d like to draw your attention towards a final vital component of your healing process; that of ‘Your Story – and Telling It Your Way’.

Most people who have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and endured the grief and grieving that’s accompanied their journey, have a story inside them to tell about their experience.

Admittedly, not everyone may be either capable or indeed willing to share his or her story – and this too is a position for which I have utter respect and understanding.

I’m directing my final comments in this article to those who feel a need and have a desire to express their story, and I’d like to present you with the wonderfully healing benefits of being able to do so.

If you’ve read this entire series, you’ll recall in article five how I spoke about beginning to find a way to record – in writing or in audio format, for instance – the rush of beautiful memories you were sure to receive as you consciously worked at reopening your thoughts towards your lost one.

The article was all about ‘Finding The Light Of Your Love And Memories’ once again – a crucial process I’ve also described as the tipping point between continuing grief, and the gentler path of grieving, which allows for healing to begin.

As the passage of time itself draws you through your stages of grief and grieving, you’re as likely as I was to come to a similar point of reintegration with your life. (You can review article nine to better understand how reintegration will affect your life.)

What are you supposed to do when that happens, and how can you take your renewed energies and enthusiasms about life and turn them into a positive and even greater healing legacy, both for yourself and the one you lost?

The answer for some of you may be as simple as joining any of the myriads of grief and grieving websites available on the Internet, and posting your heartfelt comments, insights, and encouragement online for all to see and share.

Others may choose to volunteer their time, extensive personal experience, and healing knowledge to local or national grief organizations that abound around the world. You’ve been there yourself, so you better understand how important that help may be to others.

For those less inclined to the exposure of the public eye, it might be enough to share the story of your loved one with family and close friends, and others who will understand and support your desire to do so.

If you’re one of those individuals who has made the effort to record your journey through this valley with all of its highs and lows in whatever medium was available to you, then a host of other possibilities open up to create an even greater legacy for your story.

Given the sophistication of technology available to you today, you could decide to create anything from an audio eBook to a hardcopy printed book about your experience, or any of the many variations between them.

Even if the only ones to ever hear or read your story are members of your own family group, you will deem the efforts to have given both value and meaning to the memory of your lost one, and to the experience you yourself have endured.

Still others with greater skills or desires may want to take their creations and present them to the world, in the hope and belief that this record of their experiences of grief and healing will be of help to others still struggling through the process.

I have no hesitation in saying that this has been a key reason and impetus behind my own drive to write the book I did, and to create these kinds of articles as healing aids to those of you in need of them today.

Whatever levels your capabilities and desires may be at, I have no doubt as to your motives for wanting to tell your own story, as I believe each of you who can, should do.

Here’s an historical example, reason and benefit for doing so…

Ancient peoples of many diverse cultures knew what they were doing in honoring a long-standing tradition among themselves – that of storytelling.

This was the medium through which their culture grew and became strong, in the telling and retelling of the important values, legends, rituals and events of their lives.

It was also the medium through which those who had gone before them were honored and held in high esteem by those remaining behind in an earthly existence, as well as a way for them to heal from the pain of their loss. They understood the healing value of doing this.

Never forget, the pain of losing a loved one has been around since Man first drew breath as an emotional species, subject to all the feelings of our kind.

This historical and time honored medium used so effectively in ancient cultures was also a powerful way for them to remember their loved and revered ones, with the knowledge of them passed on from generation to generation.

Somehow through the ages most of us have lost our understanding of the memorial and healing value inherent in the ancient and powerful medium of storytelling.

We tend more today towards simply thinking of the events contained within our lives as mere experiences, hardly worth the noting, other than as a passing desire to not have to repeat too many of them.

Which fact simply goes to prove that we have forgotten and lost much in our scramble to civilize as a species, intent only on ourselves and the pursuit of an existence too often filled with an emptiness of meaning, let alone with the vital knowledge of those time honored mechanisms by which we can find ever greater healing in a time of grief.

Yet the truth is that the opportunity to exercise this tradition remains today, still an equally powerful medium to remember your own lost loved ones by, in whatever culture you may personally inhabit around the globe, and in whichever way you choose to express your story.

The healing lies in the telling of the story itself.

There is no question; the experience of losing my daughter has given me a new appreciation of the healing value within this ancient tradition of storytelling.

It was my daughter who pointed it out to me while she still lived, but I wasn’t listening at the time – let alone understanding the truth within her pleas that my stories should live on beyond both of our lives.

She had placed enormous value upon them, and told me often that there were no lengths she wouldn’t go to in order to encourage my recording of them. I had to lose her before the memories of those pleas blasted through my own indifference and culturally ingrained fear of telling them.

In a sense, you could almost say that she gave up her life in order that her dad would finally see the light, and come to understand the value in storytelling.

Her death became the mechanism of that understanding and a father’s story of love, loss, and healing became the first traditional storytelling I would do. But it’s also been through the telling of this story that I’ve found my healing, just as the ancients have known would happen for thousands of years before me.

The simple truth is that it’s in the individual telling of your stories – in whatever way and medium you’re able - that you honor and show your esteem for the ones you’ve lost.

And it’s in the telling of your story that you are blessed to find even greater healing than you had ever thought possible. Because then there are others within the tribe of humanity who share the knowledge of your life altering experience, and all are made stronger from the telling of it.

That’s the profound benefit of telling your story your way. It continues to heal you more and more in the telling, just as it did for the ancients.

There is much to be learned from their example.

(If you haven’t already purchased it and want to learn the full story behind the truth of these articles, be sure to visit my website and download a copy of my book entitled “How to Survive the Death of a Child - A Father's Story of Healing Light” available on Amazon Kindle at )

Author's Bio: 

For almost forty years of his life Ken Matthies has been a writer and chronicler of life expressed in poetic form, following the family tradition laid down by his grandfather before him.

Faced with the dramatically life altering experience of his helicopter pilot daughter’s sudden death in 2002 he has grown to also become a literary author of true events based on his own life. Though grief opened his literary doors it is the Light of Love and Memories supplying the fuel of inspiration to write through them.

As a second-chance dad given the opportunity to verbally share his life stories with his newly rediscovered daughter it was she who told him that she believed him to be a ‘worthy man’ after having heard them, and who encouraged him that they should be shared in written form beyond her own life – not yet knowing as she said it that she was soon to leave him behind. As a bereaved father and writer learning how to live life again in the Light of his own Love and Memories of his daughter, he writes those stories now as a testament to her belief and faith in their value.

His full length book entitled "How to Survive the Death of a Child - A Father's Story of Healing Light" was the first of these stories which he wrote in the Light of those Love and Memories.

He lives in the solitude and grandeur of a tiny southern Yukon village with his Tlingit native wife Skoehoeteen and the successor to their venerable old Tahltan bear dog Clancy Underfoot, who now happily awaits them at the Rainbow Bridge in Doggy Heaven. She’s a new female puppy named Hlinukts Seew which means ‘Sweet Rain’ in the Tlingit language, a wonderful phonetic variation in memory of Clancy’s name who was also called C.U. for short. It’s a good place to tell those stories from.

You can read more of Ken's writings and find his Amazon Kindle book at