When I look at those numbers, it feels so surreal.

Day 583.

How did that happen? When will this countdown end? What am I even counting down towards?

After my brother passed away, I found this brand new Moleskine Batman journal among his things. I remember running my hands over the plastic cover, feeling so sad that he would never get to write in it. The pages would be left blank and untouched. He would never get to write in what was a combination of 2 things he loved – Batman and notebooks.

I took the notebook home with me and left it untouched for a while. I actually felt guilty having it. This was not mine. It did not belong to me. At the same time, I felt like it would be a shame to just let it sit there. So I decided to open the notebook and start writing. It was June 28th – 23 days after he had passed away.

the first page

Over the days, weeks, and months that followed, I kept writing. Sometimes I wrote to him. Sometimes I wrote about him. Sometimes I didn’t mention him at all.

This journal became my escape. It was a place for me to release my thoughts and emotions, my worries and anguish, my fears and sorrow.

I took it with me everywhere. It was like a security blanket – something to have with me to protect me from an outburst of emotion or complete collapse. It was a place for release.

journaling at a yoga retreat
journaling on my yoga mat (before class)
journaling in a café
journaling at the beach
journaling in the meditation garden at my yoga studio

Today I wrote on the last page of the journal. It felt bittersweet. At the same time, I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I found this safe, healthy outlet for my emotions.

The grief is still intense and oppressive, but I am learning to acknowledge and accept what I am feeling as I work to keep living.