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Legend holds that it was Ernest Hemingway who pioneered the art of the six-word story in the 1920s, in a single poignant line: ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’
Known today as flash fiction or sudden fiction, grief experts Eleanor Haley and Litsa Williams wondered whether breviloquent home truths about grief could be just as compelling as famous fictional six-word stories.
Haley and Williams are the behind of What’s Your Grief?, a multi-faceted online resource providing a place where people can support others and be supported, through grief.
After they posted a six-word story grief journaling exercise on their website, they were overwhelmed with the number of responses they received. This inspired them to launch a new space online, griefinsixwords.com, which is completely dedicated to sharing succinct and deeply moving stories about life after bereavement.
Picture: What’s Your Grief?
Each six-word story that’s been posted is a deeply personal narrative about grief and loss, revealing nuanced and complex thoughts and feelings.
The idea of the website is to share your own six-word story, read other people’s stories and show appreciations for those that most resonate with you.
“The six-word story asks both writer and reader to forget context and to rely on our common threads to communicate, comprehend, and connect,” say Eleanor and Litsa.
“If nothing else, we hope that the stories help people to see that they are not the only one and they are not alone.”
Grief in six words:
Misty: “I still bask in your love”
Picture: Michael Fenton on Unsplash
Cynthia: “15 years were not enough”
Picture: Estee Janssens on Unsplash
N: “Wish my love could’ve saved you”
Picture: Cerys Lowe on Unsplash
April: “Still can’t find the light switch”
Picture: Tom Barrett on Unsplash
Becky: “Our world spins without its sun” Picture: Bryan Minear on Unsplash
Paula: “Your birthday presents sit here unopened”
Picture: Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Maureen: “Her name absent from the card”
Picture: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Kathleen: “Your story has the wrong ending” Picture: Brandi Redd on Unsplash
Heidi: “Couldn’t walk me down the aisle”
Picture: Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash
Sophia: “‘We’ll speak later.’ We didn’t.”
Picture: George Morgan on Unsplash
- How are you coping? Five unfamiliar feelings that may be symptoms of grief.