Creative Grief heARTwork


Creative grief can help you express your emotions that are often too difficult to put into words.  Creative heARTwork, as some may call it, is the expression in an art form that comes from the inner most feelings of your heart. This beauty can come in different forms, so don't be worried if you aren't a sculptor or an expert artist. It is important for anyone struggling with grief to free the feelings that are bottling up in a safe manner, and creative grief is perfect for that. Art can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.  Some may even find that the art is a form of calming meditation that brings peace and a soothing result.

Forms of creative grief

Drawing, sketching, doodling and painting are great ways to express your creativity. If you are not creative in visual art, you can form artistic words instead. You can start a journal to release feelings. Start with segments of time that you are comfortable with and build from there. Some start with 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted time to journal, write phrases, quotes, poetry or short stories. You can find things that inspire you if you feel writer's block setting in. For example, try sitting outside and finding inspiration: "In the breeze of an Autumn afternoon, I sit in the bright green grass watching a bee fly around my garden. I watch as it lands on petals of crimson red..." Writing what you see can help open the door for more thoughts to come through. Performing arts can be amazing for your it gets your blood flowing. You can dance to your favorite song or even play a musical instrument.  Creative grief can be expressed through photography, scrapbooking, sculpting and even cooking. The possibilities truly are endless!!


Creatively Grieving on Easter

Easter can be difficult to deal with when you are missing a special little angel. Here is an idea that may help. When you are making an Easter basket for your Earthside babes, make a special garden basket for your angel. Plant flowers and watch them grow during Spring!


Creative Flower Art

One way that I have found to be helpful to my heart is creating beautiful art with flowers. Nature is so generous with things we can find in parks, forest preserves or even our own back yards that can be used to form unique heARTwork. Flowers can be used in centerpieces, flower mandalas, dried and used for wreaths, and so much more! 



I make flower arrangements almost on a weekly basis. It is very therapeutic as I buy flowers during times I am feeling exceptionally down.  I go home and clear a workspace, usually my kitchen island. I find a vase or two to use, depending on how may flowers I have purchased. I lay each grouping out and start to slowly put together my centerpiece. I found that floral foam works great if you like a base to stick the stems into. Have fun and be creative with your florals, then display them around the house. I made the featured bouquet from flowers in Avery's Garden. 


Flower Mandalas

As flowers and bouquets start to wilt and die, there is no reason why you can't take some time to make one final piece of art from the petals and leaves. Start by placing one single flower in the center of your design. Then, start to slowly work outwards. Add petals, leaves, stems, berries and more. Alternate the textures to go around and around until the design is finished. You can spend some time doing this exercise. I personally find it a lot like meditation as the breath needs to be very controlled to not blow the petals around on your work surface. Have fun with the bold beautiful colors. 

Prayer Flags

Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. 


Before Vs. After Grief

One mindful activity that can be done is to sit down in a quiet space and trace your hands. Start with the left side. Write, draw or color in things that were important to you before your grief. It can be things you enjoyed. how you liked to spent your time, etc. Really think about your life. Then, start on the right side. This is the "after grief" of your current life. What is important now? Have things changed. What holds value...and are you satisfied with this new way of living? This prompt may make you realize some things that have come from your journey. Reflect in your creation.

Leaves of Love

During the Fall months, one of my favorite activities is creating Leaves of Love. Start my collecting leaves that have fallen. I go to local walking paths, parks and botanical gardens to get a range of colors and sizes. Using Sharpie paint pens, write your angel's name. For my leaves, I displayed them on a Manzanita branch.