One of the most challenging parts of the grief journey is that the sorrow can become so tightly bottled up inside us that even when we want, need, must let it out, we don’t know how. The danger is that we continue day by day, never letting it release, until we are so, so broken.

Consider that you can use creativity to express your grief – even if you don’t consider yourself “creative.” Just as there are infinite feelings we experience in our grief, there are so many ways that your originality can help express and release your sorrow. And none of them require an art degree. 

Here are four simple ideas requiring no special materials to get you started.

  • Create a word collage by cutting out words or phrases (and even pictures) from magazines and newspapers that resonate with you in that moment. Paste them on paper and display or tuck away.
  • Write your loved one’s name in the middle of the paper. For each letter, write a word or phrase that reminds you of him or her.
  • “Draw” your emotions through color using colors or colored pencils or markers. You may find the simple act of coloring in shapes relaxing.
  • Using a timer set for 30 seconds, write down how you are feeling today. Use one or two word phrases with the goal to write down the first words that come to your mind. When the time is up, take a few deep breathes, and look at your words. Do any of them surprise you? Do the same exercise every couple of days.