Monday, October 12, 2009

Room for Change:Expressing Yourself

There is no formula for expressing yourself in grief just as there is no timetable or perfect way to transverse the process. The paramount theme is however expression.

Expression may be simply telling your family members you really want to be alone today or that their advise is welcome but only when you ask for it. Expression may be trying to understand why your late wife's sister demands that the closet be cleaned and finding the words to express your need to put things on hold for a while. Expressing your needs, in your surroundings, is crucial to a flowing grief process. You may have to negotiate with family members on how things are to be handled but allow your desires to be known.

Expression may take the form of artwork. It may be something you never did before. Losing oneself into a new activity is really not losing oneself, rather it is expanding oneself. Perhaps knitting, pottery or woodworking or jewerly making could stir an emotion. Creating something for someone else and then gifting it , is remarkably healing.

Expression through the written word is also helpful. Simply putting emotion or expression in a journal or on paper can release the words that may be flitting and bombarding your brain. No need to go back to them, just get them out. Poetry or even a list of feelings you are feeling can help you see what you are truly feeling and recognize that feelings do and can change.

I never wrote before my husband died. I was afraid to write in a journal because I was fearful of my own feelings being discovered by myself or someone else.. At the suggestion of a counselor I wrote before I went to bed during the first few months. It helped me to get some of the cobwebs out of my head in the often long nights. I have revisited the writings recently but only to observe the progress I have made in healing .In the grief process I have learned to express myself in another way, through writing. Without the loss I may have never discovered it.

Expression may take the form of dancing or singing in the local community choir. Expression may be creating a community garden. Expression may be talking to strangers in a bereavement group.

Expression is not good or bad. Expression just is. Allow new venues and activities to fill your space and support you on your journey in and through grief. Express your unique and growing self!

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