There is an established field of art therapy that is used as a healing practice by many therapists and medical facilities and I highly recommend it to anyone as a form of support and help, since everyone works through their own grieving and healing process differently.
My approach to art healing me was entirely intuitive. I didn’t have a standard; who sets one for grief?! My state of mind was not on beauty or perfection, it was on keeping me from bursting inside out.
At first, I painted pages and pages of paper in colors that were gloomy and dark. I literally just made a mess. It gave me something to do in the alone time. That time, when talking to someone or listening to someone was not an option. I craved mindlessness and a ritual at the same time. I don’t know know how many pages I painted. Those pages represented the gloomy and ugliness of grief I was feeling and there was a lot of it! During and after all the gloomy painting, I was numb. Here was tangible proof of what I was feeling right in front of me; a massive mound of grief, sitting outside of me.
Understand that healing takes time! It may be weeks, months or years for you to get back to your “old” self. I don’t want you to think that this was a quick process, it was not, actually, it still is not.
As time went on, I tore some of the pieces of painted paper up, I threw some away and I burned some of it! Finally, what was left became a journal. I never started the process with sharing in mind, it was just for me.
I felt once it became a journal, I had a tangible piece that contained the colors, textures and words of my healing process. A healing art journal combines the powerful healing properties of art and writing in a private and meaningful way.
Healing art may not be something you want to share or keep. But, as a process it can help you through a difficult time.