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how I self treated my grief

having no one near that knew my dad I immediately wrote down everything I could :think of ,remember, project ,etc about him his life and our relationship ...

All my memories have been transcribed and I still am in the process should I get down anytime re his passing out of my life....

Somehow when I went to make notes to read at his celebration of Life party-.. He wanted no funeral just friends listening to his favorite jazz records as though he was on his way to join in.... I ended up being seized with an inspiration to write a long poem describing him-

He always encouraged and loved my writing so I ended up reading the poem as my contribution to the ceremonies..I got to include so much allusion and humour- detail abounded in the 2 page poem..it seemed he was coaching me through the writing of it and the idea of doing it instead....

But I have a little book from the Dollar Store which is dedicated to his memory.

Have done the same with my beloved pets and the grief gets to do something besides wring you dry- It is posterity I guess....

So it is not mere journalling but it is totally absorbing and it gives you its own type of feedback so I find the writing down of all of the loved one's impressions on me is really soothing and positive coping behaviour.

Hope some of you try it and find some easing of strong sad feelings..

Be well and practice smiling even if you don't feel it- even laugh it makes you feel different/better...your Buddy in this difficult passage...Jen X

6 Replies

Hello Ifergren

Thank you for such an inspirational post Jen, I'm so very pleased to read that this has worked for you, I am an advocate of writing myself, it's a release and very therapeutic.



It is pleasing to hear that 'journalling' and documenting memories of your dad's life has helped with your grief Jen. I hope they bring you comfort and make you smile too.

I also find recording memories and writing therapeutic.

Wishing you well,



I think that is a wonderful idea and I hope it helps you explore your thoughts and feelings.


I also studied Art Therapy under Dr Fisher who had actually been a student of Freud in his university days !! Not to say he was a Freudian - more Jungian if schools must be chosen...

Making spontaneous paintings using intuitive color and shape decisions- i. e., not thinking nor designing it beforehand and not having the expectation to show it to anyone or hang on the wall- really a color /form-wordless form of expression...really helps you get in touch with your feelings and decide how you are feeling/ healing-coming along...

i.e., color choices-bright pink and yellow are expansive and outgoing optimistic and healing-red =anger-(not love passion as a lot think) ...black =depression blankness morbidity....-brown= receding ,comfort in hiding.....to name a few- oh white =peace and detente/truce.....

and any forms reminding of growth flowers and growth things trees etc=positive growth and uplifted feelings..sharp forms= prickly sometimes aggressive or self protection ............. the arrangement of things on the page-lots of space=feelings of remoteness/aloneness things are not on the ground or do not have a base=space cadet feelings too-unconnected if things envelope or surround other elements=nurturing.....elements have certain closeness=too close suffocates-too far alienates-you will know when you assess-have fun learning about your psyche and healing it...

I am older and forgot that there is probably something on the net to help self diagnosis of the painting

if you look up this well documented /respected form of psychotherapy..it is a satisfying activity too-

The theory is that we edit the words we use whereas art making is less easy to do glossing over with

Even when you know the meanings of the colors you can't change your attraction to themwhen you choose spontaneously

there is an easy to find and inexpensive paperback book called The Luscher Color Test and it comes with color cards you chose and arrange by preference and it has psychological explanations of your layout of the cards in order of preference-it changes daily sometimes...

Hope you have some growth with your healing process..and I wish you all to find warmth in your environment today...Love and Power ,XXX Jen


Sorry I introduced that -the writing and esp the painting all wrong

doing the painting is distracting as you are concentrating whilst you are dong it

It is freeing too as it is productive and completely your choices-soothing in that it is an emotional outlet

I intro'd it like it was a trip to the shrink.....

The actual doing of it is empowering and calming-a wonderful escape from the mundane

The choices you make are not difficult but having made them is satisfying in itself...

you need not be 'talented' or 'special' to do it anyone and everyone can paint

even the most talented artists feel humble about their work

Get over your shyness with the materials by doing simple strokes of color that you love on paper..try the different types of lines you can make with the brush...the dilutions of watercolor so it is almost clear -and so it is saturated or solid color...

tablets of watercolor paint in a palette is easiest to use -if you want to invest more $ get tubes of professional watercolors they are costly compared to kids style palettes though-and quick to clean up-put- some newspaper underneath-or a plastic covering for the table...get a big jar of water

you can employ your make up brushes if you have none for painting- it washes out completely.....

Go for it with Freedom in mind and enjoy the experience it is liberating and takes your mind off your woes even if you are painting about them-seems contradictory-but you will see

Good luck and enjoy the indulgence in you -and your loved one will be proud and happy that you are doing something new-XXX Jen

PS I wrote about this backwards -first letter should be second...JL


I did a picture to demonstrate...hope it ends up in this thread...I did analysis of it...and it...as always...revealed much.

My tech limitation made me have to send it differently cuz of the picture aspect

Hope you can find ,if interested...Jen x


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