Some years back, when Bret was very much alive and trying very hard to find peace, we attended a conference by Hay House publishing called “I Can Do It!”

It was magical – that’s how I honestly feel about it even to this day.

We got to hear (and meet) some very well-known speakers and authors and truly walked away from the several-day event feeling like entirely new people.

One such speaker was an author by the name of Nancy Levin, who spoke about how writing saved her life. Her message was very moving, very inspiring to me.

Years later I would have the opportunity to meet Nancy again, and hear even more from her – to the point that when I was recounting her talk to Bret, I had a hard time holding back tears.

Something about the way she spoke and wrote just resonated with me, and still does.

While I was doing some mundane tasks just recently, it dawned on me that I could now, more than ever, relate to the title of Nancy’s first book, “Writing For My Life,” because not long after Bret left us, I began writing about what I was going through.

There was quite a bit of “rapid” healing that came along with writing. (Not that there’s any quick fix to grief – but there are things that can help with our own personal journeys. It just so happens that writing is one of those things, for me.)

I have gone back and reread my blogs – not just here, but on as well – and it is truly obvious that grief is a bunch of loop-de-loops and squiggles. It’s not linear, just like we’ve been told, but I’m not sure what shape, if any, it is.

More than that though, it’s reassuring to see just how far I’ve come.

Even when I’ve experienced more setbacks in the last year or so than I did in the first year.

Even when I’ve dealt with things I never expected to have to deal with alone.

The loop-de-loops continue on, but so do I.

One bit of advice I would give a person who is lost in grief, would be to start writing.

It doesn’t have to be for anyone else’s eyes – it can just be for you only.

OR it can be for anyone and everyone.

Start a blog.

Write a book.

Or just start a simple journal.

I know writing isn’t for everyone, but getting your thoughts out of your head and onto a piece of paper that you can look at and hold in your hands is a very healing thing.

Creating in other ways can do the same as well.

There is music, art, photography, sewing, fitness, you name it.

Just doing something to get those emotions out is helpful; turning them into something beautiful is helpful multiplied.

Maybe in another six years, when I have twelve years of writing about my widowhood journey, I will be even more amazed about how I’ve grown and changed and maneuvered through.

And for those who start doing the same or similar now, you will be able to see just how far you’ve come as well.

Drench yourself in words unspokenLive your life with arms wide openToday is where your book beginsThe rest is still unwritten…
~ Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield

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Layla Beth Munk is a blogger & author who was thrust into this widowhood journey abruptly and tragically on February 11, 2018. Her husband of 12 years had ended his pain once and for all. She soon made the decision that she would not let his final decision define the rest of her life or their daughter’s life, so with her sense of humor at the helm, she started writing about her newfound station in life. Grief waves still get to her, and probably always will, but with the help of her fellow widows as well as friends and family, she has been able to realize her dream of becoming a published author! Layla is so grateful to Hope For Widows Foundation for providing this level of support to her, and so many others! Layla has two amazing children, one who is grown and one who is almost grown. She lives in eastern Oregon and has a wellness & beauty background. Layla enjoys writing poetry, watching anime, and homeschooling her daughter.

Her blog can be found at and her debut novella, 24 Hours in Vegas, is available on Amazon.