When I got back from the funeral, I started writing.
I think, were I to read one of the many books on loss, that one of the things that is recommended is journaling and writing down what you feel. I believe that such activities are cathartic and help you analyze your thoughts.
I didn't journal. Being a fiction writer, I wrote the scene.
I wrote about the unreality of the situation beforehand, and the waves of grief that rolled over me during the visitation. I wrote in the third person, and some details changed because even while attempting such a writing activity, my penchant for writing fiction crept through. But I wrote the scene.
And it was cathartic.
I walked away from writing that scene with a better grip on my emotions, a better understanding of what I had gone through.
And a surprisingly good scene.
I could never use that scene as-is. There are too many elements particular to my life that would never meet the particulars of any of my characters, and putting it out there as-is would be too painful. Especially this soon.
But I took this scene, labeled it "funeral vignette" and saved it in my "stories" folder. I took all of the feelings that I experienced this past week, and I wrote them. It helped me to deal with my feelings, and resulted in a scene ripe with emotions that I can now pull from.
So I suggest to all writers that you write what you feel. You never have to use these vignettes. You can keep them to yourself the way people do journals. You can use it as a cathartic activity for sad occasions, but you don't need to write only about sad experiences. Write a vignette about that perfect date you went on last night. Write a vignette about your family reunion where everyone had a little too much to drink.
Write a vignette about a wedding.
Write a vignette about buying your first house.
Write a vignette any time you have a strong emotional experience that can be written as a scene. Save them in a folder. Use them later. Even if by "use" them all you do is read the scene to remind you of what you were feeling that day.
People say to write what you know. I say to write what you feel. Sad or happy or confusing, write the scene. Use your writing to help you understand your thoughts and feelings. Work through them. Relish in the happy, use the activity as catharsis for the sad.
And later, if you want, you can use that vignette in a story.