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Grief in six words: How would you express it?

'Miss you' typed on typewriter

Legend holds that it was Ernest Hemingway who pioneered the art of the six-word story in the 1920s, with the poignant: '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 come to support people and be supported through grief.

After they posted a six-word grief-journaling exercise on their website, they were overwhelmed with the number of responses they received. This inspired them to launch a new website, griefinsixwords.com, which is completely dedicated to sharing succinct and deeply moving stories about life after bereavement..

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 appreciation 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”

grief in six words - love Picture: Michael Fenton on Unsplash

Cynthia: “15 years were not enough”

grief-in-six-words - calendar Picture: Estee Janssens on Unsplash

N: “Wish my love could’ve saved you”

grief-in-six-words - heart gesturePicture: Cerys Lowe on Unsplash

April: “Still can’t find the light switch”

grief-in-six-words - dark roomPicture: Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Becky: “Our world spins without its sun” Picture: Bryan Minear on Unsplash

Paula: “Your birthday presents sit here unopened”

grief-in-six-words - unopened giftPicture: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Maureen: “Her name absent from the card”

grief-in-six-words - blank cardPicture: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Kathleen: “Your story has the wrong ending” grief-in-six-words -bookPicture: Brandi Redd on Unsplash

Heidi: “Couldn’t walk me down the aisle”

grief-in-six-words - bride alonePicture: Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

Sophia: “‘We’ll speak later.’ We didn’t.”

grief-in-six-words - waiting for callPicture: George Morgan on Unsplash

  • Self expression: Discover five grief blogs that may be a support or inspire you to write about your own bereavement journey.