Let me preface this by saying, although I love Frozen and “Let It Go”, I promise you that this post will not be Frozen-themed…
Letting go is one of the hardest things to get through in life and in therapy. Sometimes we feel like the pain will never go away. People say that time heals all wounds, and while time helps, processing thoughts and emotions will also help.
A couple of years ago, my colleagues and I wrote and published a paper on letting go and transitioning into a new journey in life, entitled “Commemorating the Past and Embracing the Future.” The paper was about an intervention that we created to allow people to make an easier and smoother transition into the next stage of life, whatever that may be. The activity is writing an obituary/eulogy, and then writing a birth announcement.
This also allows us to be the author of our own stories. We allow ourselves to have self-trust that we can get through tough situations, accept them, fix what we can, leave what we cannot, and move on to better things ahead. It also allows us to plan our goals, discovering that we know ourselves better than anyone else, and journeys are unique to every person.
As the article states, this activity is for: 1) gaining closure; 2) putting behind negative aspects of your story; and 3) acknowledging positive aspects of your story and using those to propel forward.
Some ideas on what to write both an Obituary/Eulogy and Birth Announcement for include: graduation, wedding, divorce, end of a friendship, moving away to a new place, kids moving out, leaving an old job, starting a new job, retirement, having children, and so much more.
I made an easy Fill-in-the-Blank sheet for both the obituary/eulogy and the birth announcement. It’s like Therapy Mad Libs! Try it out! (See Template links below).
Your journey is your own, and it is what you make of it. It takes everyone different amounts of time and effort to let go, move on, and start again. Good luck, you can do it!
You can see the full abstract (or article) here:
Gianna Russo-Mitma, M.S., Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern
(702) 706-1811 - Practicing in Portland, OR