September 16, 2020
Dear Grieving Heart
It’s okay to cry as being showered by the rain.
It’s okay if your fractured heart is overflowing with pain.
It’s okay if kind condolences aren’t a remedy.
It’s okay to remember and laugh at a funny memory.
It’s okay to wander, lonely as the moon at night.
It’s okay if death feels like the thief of light.
It’s okay if anger drifts in and out like a tide
It’s okay to wish your smiles would just collide.
It’s okay to want to turn back the hands of time.
It’s okay if regret is used to redefine.
It’s okay if letting go is too great a cost.
It’s okay to celebrate what is now lost.
To Grieve is to be Human. To Grieve is to Love.
One thing that is inevitable in this life is loss. We all experience loss on some level. At this very moment, we find ourselves grieving the loss of loved ones, changes in our health, loss of jobs, or interruptions in the “normal” rhythms of life. Allowing ourselves to feel and process our grief can be one of the hardest things to do, especially in a culture that is known to circumvent grief.
When grief goes unaddressed, it has prolonged effects on our physical, mental, and spiritual health. In light of this knowledge, the best thing we can do with grief is to express it. One of the most conventional ways to communicate grief is through verbalizing grief with a loved one and/or mental health professional. However, more often than not, spoken words do not adequately convey the pain felt when experiencing grief.
How to Cope with Grief and Loss?
Visual arts are notably one of the most captivating and thought-provoking forms of art. Engaging in painting, drawing, and sculpting are ways to personify grief and bring internalized emotions and feelings to the surface.
Martha Graham once stated that, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” No wonder the utilization of dance in processing grief has been on the rise in most recent years. Dancing through grief gives you the opportunity to put physical movements and language to the emotions, sensations, moods, and thoughts that are weighing on your soul.
Some produce music that forces them to be present in their feelings of sadness, anger or frustration. Others create playlists of sweet melodies to wash over their heavy hearts. Whether you are listening to or creating music, music can serve as a safe place to process and express emotions.
Poetry, journaling, and writing a letter to a lost/deceased loved one are a few ways to put to paper the hidden emotions that accompany grief. I must warn you that writing about grief and loss can be triggering and may ignite strong emotions — you may weep or feel deep resentment. However, many find writing to be therapeutic and life giving.
Art is limitless, without boundaries, and can only be ascribed value by its creator. The liberating nature of art makes room for the unpredictable nature of grief. It gives permission for each person to process grief uniquely, authentically, and freely without fear of judgement.
An Invitation to Grieve
If you are reading this article and are experiencing grief and loss, know that though it can be explored alone, it is never to be experienced in isolation. Dealing with grief in the safety of community can make the process less overwhelming. To talk to someone about how to cope with grief and loss, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.
Written by therapist Treshana Lewis
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