If you have lost a loved one, you have likely longed for the opportunity to share just one more day with them — one more opportunity for a hug or a conversation. Of course, one more day would never be enough, but we imagine what that encounter might look like. After reading Dominic Murgido’s book, “Miss You FOREVER,” a collection of his thoughts about the sudden unexpected death of his wife, he suggests writing letters to heaven.
In the book he says: “I’ve been writing letters to Heaven for a long time. My basic method is through journaling. It’s communication from you to whomever you’ve lost that you are addressing your feelings to.”
Dominic never expected to be a writer or even share his writings. On Jan. 16, 2006, he became a widower when his wife’s life was tragically taken in an auto accident in Berks County. On that day, his whole world changed and he needed an outlet for his thoughts. He turned to writing.
He says that “within days of my wife’s passing, I found myself jotting down thoughts, fears, emotions, anger, regret and confusion. I found journaling to be a great release of my sadness. Sometimes I would write a single word…other times complete sentences.”
The concept of letters to heaven is to express yourself. The writings can simply be a diary of your daily events or more intimate thoughts about the crossroads of life you are encountering alone. Writings can include something you want to share about the present or something you never got to say. It does not necessarily have to be in a journal or on full size sheets of paper.
In Dominic’s case, he began jotting down his thoughts on 3-by-5 cards until one day he realized he had completed 250 cards, which ultimately became the basis for his book about his journey through the grief of losing his wife and his process of healing.
Dominic is insistent that anyone can do this because it does not need to be perfect and it can remain completely confidential.
He says: “There is no pressure, no deadline, no rules, when you pen a letter to Heaven. You can do this on your own time, in your own space.”
What becomes of that letter is a personal decision. While his writings eventually became a book, he shares that the letters could just as easily be stored in a box or a drawer. He also mentioned that on a special day, like a birthday or anniversary, the letters could be burned in a fireplace or fire-pit as a tribute.
Depending on your comfort level, you could revisit a place you have been with your loved one and read the writings silently or out loud on-site. The writings could also be kept private for personal re-reading and used as a parameter of your grief process. Shredding is always an option too.
“There are no rules to this," Dominic says. "Just be open to it and believe in it. When things seem out of your control, letters to Heaven in any format, can be the one thing you have control over.”
Dominic will be sharing his “Letters to Heaven” journaling insights during a free workshop, presented by the Circle of Life Coalition, on July 1 at 8:15 a.m. via ZOOM. A ZOOM link will be shared on the Circle of Life Coalition Facebook page and a recording will be accessible on the site afterwards. For more information, contact Dominic Murgido directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.