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I found I could say
The song lyric “We’re all just taller children” pings around my head often as I work with bereaved people. People who love. People who stoop in despair for their losses. Accompanying them in their grief journeys I have learned that the more playful - or childish- we can be, the more powerful we are. “Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
Incorporating play and art into grief work opens us to opportunities to honor our grief: to owning our losses and love. Tapping our imaginations moves our minds from defensive to possibility. We more easily make meaning of our feelings when we can name them, color them, and place them within dimensions which represent the ripple effects of our changed selves. Grief is insidious yet when we play with it we glean insights as we start to untangle. As in when we spill ink onto a canvas, we can see that we can’t really control it- but maybe just a bit- and more as we practice- as it runs here and there and dries fast. Grief comes from deep within us and shreds us mind, body and spirit. The work of grief coaching is to empower us to wholehearted growth. Mindful mindwork for response-able grief.
I’m inspired by Cath Duncan who I share rapport with virtually as we work to untangle our griefs and the griefs of those we serve. Cath has just published "Untangle Your Grief" which is comprised of Artful Questions+Creativity - sparking art-making prompts for making meaning, belonging, and hope after loss. She weaves quotes as above with questions big and little: “questions that are hard to talk about because of hard truths, pain, fear, or shame.” Cath explains “when I set out to write the books in this series, I had a vision of books that are filled with art and laid out to feel beautiful, inspiring, simple, spacious, and calming. Much like a therapy session, I wanted the books(s) to be slim on information and other people’s advice, and to focus instead on a guided process of active reflection and embodied creativity for exploring YOUR unique grief stories and creating YOUR WAY of making meaning and living wholeheartedly after loss.”
There really is no wrong way to grieve but neither is there a right way. With art and play we have resources to make meaning of that which is grossly painful and anything but easy. If you dare to think outside the box you will come to understand that there is no box.
I’m using Untangle Your Grief in my practice and offering it to all who pass through our office. If you are interested in learning more about the book or would like to purchase a copy visit Cath's website here. Untangle Your Grief is currently available for a $10 special launch price through April 30th.