The new notebook conundrum

Hi, friends.

I hope this post finds you well. Of all the posts I’ve made here so far, it may be the most mundane and stupid, but on the other hand, it seems to express the ways in which grief can catch us unawares.

Last night, I was looking through my notebook shelf (heck, yes – I’m a writer, after all!) for a new book to use during a poetry workshop I’m attending on Monday. I’m rather looking forward to it, if only as an opportunity to learn to separate poetry and grief work. The two seem to go together quite well for me, as you no doubt know.

Much to my surprise, I looked through my notebooks, and rediscovered two old journals which were full of my early writings about this journey. That is to say, before I started this blog, I used to journal about this experience every night. It became a case of ‘You write, you sleep. You don’t write, you don’t sleep.’

Now, there may be no problem with that, but what made last night difficult was this. I realised that I had used a number of notebooks which I would consider ‘best’ notebooks to document this. What a waste.

The difficulty lies in the fact that I have filled all those pages with thoughts I don’t want to keep. I recognise that I wasn’t thinking straight at the time, but it seems so incredibly wasteful to use those notebooks for something that I will never look back on fondly. I have unwittingly created a monument to my grief experience.

Part of me wants to explore the idea of whiting out some of those pages, and beginning anew. On the other hand, because of the content, they’ve almost become sacred. I find it quite irritating, but such is grief, I suppose. I will work out a way through it, and I will accept that it may take time to do so. (But, it may take time to accept that.)

I’d be interested to know whether I’m the only one who has created ‘souvenirs’ of my grief experience in this way. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments. 

Wishing you peace and strength on your journeys, 



About Casey Bottono

I am in love with language. I write poetry and fiction in a wide variety of genres. Most recently, I have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities' Pen2Paper contest.
This entry was posted in Grief Loss and Bereavement and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The new notebook conundrum

  1. That can be a precarious predicament really…Finding relics of your past grief and wondering what to do with them. I was cleaning out a closet recently and found some poems that I had written from a dark time I had been experiencing awhile back. They weren’t that good-none I would really publish or share, and reading them again made me start to drift back to that dark place. I figured the best thing I could do is let them go…let those lingering remnants of a past that likes to rise to the surface now and then go so that I could move on. Every case is different though.And everyone finds different ways of working through things depending on their personality. I have found that in letting go there is much healing and a kind of release. You might find a different conclusion. I hope that no matter what, whatever course you take, bring peace. 🙂

    • Casey B says:

      Thank you so much for visiting, Jessica. I very much appreciate your considered response. I’m not quite sure what to do with them yet. I will think about it again next month, when I have a chance to talk with the counsellor about it.

      Take care,


  2. t says:

    I don’t know if this counts, but I still have dad’s happy pill (which I wrote of previously), and I allow the kids we’re watching to squeeze it once daily.

    • Casey B says:

      Anything counts, T. 🙂 I was just making the point that these things exist, and we can add importance to them without even realising. (I remember your post about your Dad’s ‘happy pill’.) Thanks for sharing again.

      Take care,


      On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 12:41 AM, Navigating Cyberloss: a place to share

  3. I, too, have found journals that I wrote during impossibly awful times (I don’t even know how to label them, they were so bad). I was astonished to find them because I thought I had thrown them away … but each one was tucked away. I wondered, “why find them now? I’ve been through this box several times.” I don’t think I will ever understand why the journals “appeared” when they did. It goes beyond realizing how far I’ve come since I wrote them. After reading only a little bit here and there in the journals, I worried for awhile that I was negatively tarnishing myself by keeping them but then I realized “it’s ok. it’s over. I won’t live that experience again because I learned”.

    I marveled, “how could I possibly have forgotten them?” I recognized that it was a phenomenal sign of positive growth to forget about them. I had moved on. That moment of praise for myself made me put the books back in the box. Why, I don’t know.

    What you say about the journals being “souvenirs” is true. That is very insightful. As I read your post, I thought “they are also monuments”.

    • Casey B says:

      Thank you, dear friend. I am sorry to have been remiss in replying to your comment until now. I had to step back for a bit to get myself back on track.

      Take care.

      With much love,


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