Another Website Offers a “Memoirs??? Type of Catharsis

Writing your memoirs can be a way to give yourself closure regarding an episode in your life and finally get something “off your chest.??? When you do, are you directing any of that explanation to a specific person?

Yesterday, a column by Barbara Brotman in my hometown’s Chicago Tribune alerted readers to wouldhavesaid.com, a website that invites everyone to post anything they want to put out there, really. Some contributors write to someone who has died, to someone with whom they’ve lost contact or even to themselves or their “younger selves???; others express a thought they cannot bring themselves to say face-to-face to someone; still others write something they wish the world in general to know.

The contributors say that putting their long-held sentiments into words feels cathartic. As you write your memoirs, you may experience a similar catharsis when you picture various people reading your words. Perhaps you’ll express your regret about something you said or did, or you’ll want someone to see how life turned out for you. The writing process itself may bring you all sorts of surprises, relief and, of course, a sense of accomplishment. What I love about setting a goal to write your memoirs is that the benefit comes not only from the wonderful product you’ll have for your friends and relatives, but also from the process of remembering your life and recording it precisely as you want to present it. It just feels so good.