How I Used Screaming to Release Negative Emotions

And Now I Don’t Have to Avoid a Trigger

Danell teNyenhuis Black
Widowed Words


Today, I was sitting with my mom at a book signing, and she asked me why I left the story about screaming out of my book. I told her it wasn’t intentional; I just forgot about it. Eventually, I got overwhelmed with the sheer number of words I had written and quit looking for more material. So, this is an updated version of that story, written in honor of my mom.

I wouldn’t say I like to draw attention to myself. I am not a screamer. But I have discovered screaming is a powerful way to release pent-up feelings. I recommend it to my clients and will tell you why it helps. But first, I want to tell you how I used screaming to help me through my grief.

When I first lost my husband, Patrick, I tried to avoid crying. I have always been a people pleaser, and I unconsciously knew crying would make other people sad. Initially, I worried about crying in front of my daughters until I realized that I needed to allow them to see my grief.

Patrick was hit and killed while riding his bike on Shaw Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in my hometown of Clovis, California. I asked to be driven to the site a day or two after it happened. I took a stuffed animal and a letter I wrote to Patrick. I thought there would be a memorial by the…