Ways to manage your grief: Writing an unsent letter

Ways to manage your grief: Writing an unsent letter

Many people find writing things down a helpful way to express their feelings. When someone dies you may have things you wish you’d said to them, feelings you want to let out, or you may want to write down things you miss about that person.

One way to do this is to write an unsent letter to the person who has died – you write letter as you usually would but never send that letter.

What should I write in an unsent letter?

It is important to take your time as this can be a difficult thing to do. Some people find that they need to write bits at a time rather than writing it all in one go.

There are no right or wrong things to write in your unsent letter. It’s up to you what you would like to write. Here are some ideas to get your started:

  • Some people write things they would like to have said to the person before they died
  • Some people want to write the things they miss about that person, or how they are feeling
  • Other people have difficult feelings towards the person who died and writing this down in an unsent letter can be a helpful way to let out those feelings.

Read more

Ways to express your feelings when you are grieving

Is it normal to feel guilty after someone dies?


What do I do with my letter?

It’s your decision what to do with your letter once you have written it. You can keep it private, in a place just for you – maybe a drawer or a special box – and get it out to read whenever you like. Or you might want to share it with a person you can trust.

In your letter there might be unanswered questions and might be something that you want to ask someone you trust about. For example, maybe you would like to know more information about how they died or ask about memories they have of that person.

Often, people feel that they would like to do something symbolic with their letter to help them get closure. This might be taking the letter to a special place or putting it on a grave. Maybe you want to tear the letter up or bury it in the garden.

It’s important that you think about what feels right for you to do with your letter.