Holidays, Grief, Creativity and The Breath of Life
Are you feeling alone?
Grieving the loss of a loved one?
Holidays in all of the seasons can usher in intensity, the joy of the season. Or the struggle to find joy.
Connection to family and community, or disconnection and loneliness. Feeling festive or feeling like you want this season over. You may feel full and surrounded with love. Or feeling lack or lonely of the love you had in your loved one.
Grief is during special holidays from winter to summer is often intensified as well. It can pull us in so deep we can feel like we can’t breathe. Grief of loss of a loved one, family dysfunction, not being in the relationship you desire. Grief comes in so many forms. Holidays, filled with expectations, memories, and dreams yet to come true magnify our feelings. And can be pain filled and joy filled.
There are many ways to experience grief and many ways to travel through it. As a lifelong artist who had a 35-year-case of “creative constipation” and loss in many forms I have discovered that creativity is the breath of life, an avenue of allowing, a way to move emotion, blocks and the energy of grief. And to open, explore, remember and to connect with the loved ones we are grieving.
Creating art with intention allows that breath of life to literally nudge grief to move though our bodies, from our head to our heart to our hands and on to paper, where it can rest and potentially create a meaningful artwork. How the artwork looks is not important. An open mind and open heart to try something new are the only requirements.
I recently worked with a bereaved Mom of a 22-year-old daughter who was brutally murdered while at her university. Using art with purpose, Intentional Creativity®, together we each created one-of-a-kind no-art-experience-needed meaningful and empowering symbolic paintings.
During our session she was freely able to talk about death and murder. Topics she has had to hold inside along with her grief as she discovered these are subjects not many are willing or comfortable talking about. And very importantly, to share stories about her own life and her daughter’s life. Along the way of sharing story, we painted and moved those stories from painful memories to a symbolic image of her daughter and her daughter’s love of sunflowers and peacocks. She wrote simple sentences that she wanted to remember and honor her daughter with, and could continue to do so as thoughts came in.
I gave her the painting I used to demonstrate the process as a place to write the difficult parts of grief and how it has affected her. A lightbulb went off in this moment as she realized she would now be able to write the Impact Statement the courts had been asking for, for two years. It had been impossible to write the impact of losing her daughter, with a full life ahead of her in a paragraph or a page. She realized she could use the painting to note the impact as she felt them over time. She turned the artwork into the courts as her Impact Statement.
“How do I recommend Kerry Lee's "Love Is Eternal" private healing sessions highly enough?! Kerry Lee created a special session for a dear friend of mine, Lisa, whose daughter was murdered by an ex-boyfriend. Something no mother or family should ever have to experience and certainly doesn't know how to deal with. The session was in one word....AMAZING!
Any reservations or fears dissipated quickly as I sat there in awe of Kerry Lee and the way she "paused" and just allowed Lisa to process things as she was creating with paint and pen. It was a privilege and a gift to share this important healing process with my friend.
Many days later, Lisa and I were still wearing our red threads as a reminder of our precious time together filled with so much love. It was such an honor to experience what a true warrior my friend is and thankful to Kerry Lee for her Love is Eternal process to help Lisa's grieving process and journey."
Mary Danko Williams
Owner, The Little Art Shop /Artist
As I write this, I am working with a young man who is in hospice to create a keepsake painting for his family. His handwriting and his touch will be embedded on to a canvas as he writes a special message for each family member. His energy will then be a part of the painting that I paint for him, as a forever connection to those he loves. A vibrant reminder of his love.
If you are struggling with grief and ready to try a different way of healing? If so, why not invest in you this holiday season? Your loved wouldn’t want you to hold on to this pain. And likely would do all they could to relieve it as well.
I invite you to join me for a soul nourishing and healing private workshop session to help transform that grief into an artful expression of love, for your loved one.
Much love, Kerry Lee