When you have a loved one, the first thing you want to do is to talk to them about their death.
But as the weeks go by, it’s hard to know where to start.
As the process of writing your obituary gets underway, it becomes increasingly difficult to make sense of the death, and the death becomes a burden for the family, and it becomes difficult to be the one who remembers the person.
“The main thing I try to remind myself is, ‘I don’t want to be in that position again,'” says Rachel Seidel, who is writing her husband’s obit.
And the best way to keep the memory of your loved one alive, Seidel says, is to write a journal entry.
It’s a simple process that can help you remember what’s important about a loved person, and make it easier to remember them as they pass.
“What I try not to do, though, is put any pressure on myself to keep it up,” Seidel tells Newsweek.
“It’s not a task I want to have to do.”
In fact, she says, she doesn’t even know if it’s something she should do.
She admits that she has trouble thinking of things to write down when her husband is gone, and that’s when her journal entries start coming in.
When her husband was in his 30s, she had an accident, Seel says.
“I think I could have died a long time ago,” she says.
It took her three weeks to write her first journal entry, about what she had done to her husband.
“He was a great person, he was an amazing father, he had a great sense of humor.
He had a wonderful wife, a wonderful husband, and a great job.”
She wrote it in the morning, then in the afternoon, and then in late afternoon, when she realized it was time to get up and go to work.
The next morning, she checked the time on her phone.
It was 4 p.m., and she’d missed the first five or six minutes.
She checked again later, and realized she had missed the second or third.
But she hadn’t.
“Then it was 2:15,” she remembers thinking.
“But I still missed it.”
She had written a book about her husband, The Life of a Husband, about his work as a physician.
“And I had a friend who was a lawyer, and he said, ‘Oh, you’re writing a book.’
And I said, [expletive], ‘Yeah, I’m writing a novel,'” Seidel recalls.
She was also writing a memoir.
“My husband had been writing a lot of stories,” she adds.
“So I just thought, Well, that’s it, I need to write one.”
“I didn’t think about how many people are going to read this,” she continues.
“In my head, I thought, ‘It’s my job to write it.
And that’s why I’m going to have fun with it.’
And that was enough for me to go out and write it.”
It took seven months, but she wrote the book, and now, when her mother and other family members read it, she feels a little better about her writing.
“That was such a hard thing for me, writing a manuscript that I never thought I’d get through,” Seel recalls.
“Even when I got it out of the envelope, it felt like a million miles away from what I actually wrote.”
Her book is called, “My Husband Was a Doctor,” and it is published by HarperCollins in February.
“To write a book that you love and write about someone who you love is the hardest thing you’ve ever done, and I never imagined that it would be like that,” she explains.
But now that she’s done it, Seiden says she is a better writer, and she’s feeling much more confident about what to write about.
“When you’re going through a really rough time and you want something to do to help you through it, it can be incredibly rewarding,” she tells Newsweek, adding that she is starting to write things that she never thought would be possible.
“People always tell me, ‘Don’t try to write this, because you’re not going to get it right,'” she says of her book.
“Because I have the ability to say, ‘This is what I thought would happen, and here’s what I got.’
So I’m finding that I’ve actually been able to write that.”
It’s something Seidel is very proud of.
“We didn’t get a lot out of it,” she laughs.
“There was no point.
But I feel like I’ve written a really good book.”