I own a lot of them and these are just the ones I found in my studio!
Each one is about a different moment in my life. Dating my now husband, planning our wedding and trying to conceive our first child.
The ones that had the most impact on my life were Yasminah's pregnancy journal and Aisha and Aaliyah's journals through NICU.
Yasminah's journal is still something that I only occasionally open up to read. There is raw emotion, memories and pain sprawled across the pages. The days following her death, were very dark filled with questions, anger, tears, and feelings of loneliness, depression and helplessness. But writing my way through my grief, three things were very clear. The profound love I have for my child, hope for the future and support from those around me.
Writing is often used in grief counselling, particurly refelective writing. Studies show that reflective writing after the loss of a loved one, can positvely impact on reducing emotional abuse and self harm.
Reflective Writing is a practice in which the writer describes a real or imaginal scene, event, interaction, passing thought, memory, or observation in either essay or poetic form, adding a personal reflection on the meaning of the item or incident, thought, feeling, emotion, or situation in his or her life. Many reflective writers keep in mind guiding questions,
such as "What did I notice?" "How has this changed me?" or "What might I have done differently?"
Thus, the focus is on writing that is not merely descriptive. The writer doesn’t just hit the replay button; rather, he or she revisits the scene to note details and emotions, reflect on meaning, examine what went well or revealed a need for additional learning, and relate what transpired to the rest of life
So whilst our journals are pretty to look at, they also have a pratical meaning, they are a Gift Of Hope. A way to help families heal through reflective writing. Most importantly it provides families with a place to record the memories of their precious child.
The first custom made journal I made was sent to a family who just lost their second child, a little boy who lost his life in NICU.
It was Wednesday the 26th May 2010, exactly 1 year and 2 months after we lost Yasminah.