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Have you ever experienced the death of someone you loved? What do you remember most about him or her?

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Dealing With Death: Get Creative
Child painting

Topics on
Dealing With Death:
So Many Questions
Accepting The Facts
What Is Grief?
Beyond The Sadness
Let It Go, Let It Out
Get Creative
When Someone Is Sick
Funerals And Memorials
Looking Towards
    The Future
When A Friend
    Is Grieving
Pet Loss
What About ME?
From the Mentors
True Tales
Marissa's Story
Daniel's Story
Laura's Story
Maybe you're not a big talker. Maybe you just don't know how to say what you're feeling.

What about drawing it? Painting it? Writing it? Even if we don't consider ourselves an "artist" of any kind, expressing ourselves creatively can be a great way to release trapped emotions, or turn them into something we can better understand. Here are just a few ideas for expressing yourself in creative ways:

Images

Make a collage: Create a "portrait" of the person who died with snapshots, pictures of things she or he enjoyed, and images that represent great times you had together.

Illustrate your time together: Make a painting, drawing, or collage that illustrates a specific memory or experience you shared with the person you lost.

Draw how you feel: Using any art supplies you want, from pencils and markers to paint, make a visual representation of the emotions that the person's death makes you feel.

Words

Keep a journal: There's no right way or wrong way to keep a journal. You just need paper, or a notebook and a comfortable pen or colored markers. You can even use the computer if you like that better! Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Write when you have uninterrupted time.
  • Use a comfortable writing tool.
  • Choose a comfortable place to write.
  • Date your entries.
  • Don't judge your writing. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation or sounding "just right." The point is to write about what's on your mind and in your heart.
  • Accept your writing and write from within. Don't be a critic.
  • Don't try to write a story or a novel.
  • Trust your heart; the words will come.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • As you begin to write, close your eyes and take a moment to get centered.
  • Begin with a deep breath.
  • If you get stuck, begin doodling and see where that takes you.

Don't know what to write first? Try one of these suggestions:

  • Write a letter to your special someone who has died.
  • Write about a special memory you shared.
  • Write about what you wish you'd done or not done.
  • Write about the things you wish you'd said or not said.
  • Write about what you miss most about your special someone.
  • Write about the details you remember about this person: How did he smell? What did her laugh sound like?
  • Write about an altar or memorial you'd like to design for your special someone.

Write a song: You don't have to be a musical genius for this one. Choose one of your favorite songs and write new lyrics to it.

Start a "wondering jar": Whenever you feel overwhelmed with questions about the death of someone you love, write them down on scraps of paper, then put them into an empty bowl or coffee can. Don't let yourself get dragged down by your "wondering"-whenever questions come up, write them down and let them go by tossing them into the jar.

Balloon release: Write everything you want to say, or all about how you feel inside, and "let go" of these feelings by tying the paper to a helium balloon-then set it free.

Remember that creativity and art don't always have to be about expressing your grief. Sometimes it feels good just to do something that you enjoy, like painting, drawing, or writing. In fact, many kids who are grieving find that taking up a new hobby, such as music or art lessons, helps a lot.

Next: How to deal When Someone Is Sick and you know his or her death is coming.

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Which creative outlet for grief would you be most likely to try?
Writing my
        feelings in
        a journal.
Turning my
        feelings into a
         drawing or
         painting.
Turning my
        feelings into a
        poem or song.



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