The one thing you have that nobody else has is your story

Posts from the “grief” Category

Hope Tree Mural

Posted on February 10, 2013

JanFeb13- Amelia Center Hope Tree Article copy

To read the full article that I wrote on grief, click here: Amelia Center Article

During the summer, I frequented the Amelia Center to work on a mural I began in the playroom. Occasionally I’d be painting for several hours, while other times I’d go for a short 45 minutes. Eventually, I completed it and was asked to write up the story about the mural’s development and it’s meaning for me personally. Below are images that show progress from start to finish:

Hope tree stage 1

Hope tree 2

Hope tree 3

IMG_2373

IMG_2375

Finished Hope Tree

Grief Monsters at the Amelia Center

Posted on February 8, 2013

IMG_3743

To make a grief monster, save your cereal boxes! With recycled materials such as boxes, bottle tops, google eyes, pipe-cleaners, feathers, cotton balls, craft sticks, and anything else you can find around the house, you and your child can create a unique grief monster that might just be as unique as the grief you’re experiencing. The message that this activity gives is that we all have  grief and we all grieve differently.

Think about grief. What is it? Is it ugly? Is it good or bad? then ask your child: “what do you think a grief monster is?” There is no wrong answer to this question. This activity will help to externalize grief into a tangible format. Grief can be unpredictable and overwhelming. By turning such a thing that we have little control over into a tangible grief monster, there is room for gaining a sense of control and understanding about the process of personal grief.

I recently created this activity with a group of families at the Amelia Center in mind (Amelia Center is an organization under the umbrella of Childrens of Alabama Hospital for grieving children and families). I encouraged the children and parents alike to make a grief monster (any size, shape and color). The activity opened the door for conversation about how we each experience grief following loss. Many of the monsters had characteristic of the lost family member and during our processing time, the children were able to talk about what those things were. See pictures below:

IMG_3737 IMG_3736
IMG_3733
IMG_3740
IMG_3741

Does grief ever feel like a monster to you?