The word “express” come from the Latin “expressus,” which means squeezed out. Expression is about letting out and letting go. Once you have passed the initial impact or shock of your loss and acknowledged that life is changed, it is vital you find outlets for expressing grief. Expression is the process known as grief work. You have feelings and memories that need to be squeezed out for what was. You need to look at what may or cannot happen as a consequence. Whether your loved one died suddenly or after a long illness, grief needs witness and validation.
Expression is the discovery process so you can:
- Create consciousness and awareness of how your grief and loss affects your life.
- Learn what you need and what you value about yourself and your loved one.
- Recognize patterns of thought that may be in the way of healing and hope.
- Release the body’s energy that holds you in pain from loss.
Ways to express yourself:
- Talking allows you to hear your self. Telling and retelling stories of both life and loss can soften the sting as you internalize your memories.
- Writing is a very powerful tool. Journal, free write, poetry or use bereavement writing prompts. Ask of yourself and answer your own questions. Make bold observations. Describe feelings. Envision a better self.
- Images are the pictures that tell a thousand words. If you are a visual person, unleash your creativity through photography, video, paints, collages, and scrapbooking. Images capture and preserve feelings.
- Sound has a way to change a mood. Listen or create with your own music or turn on the old favorites.
- Movement and physical activities re-energize your body and soul. From baby steps to dancing – exercise, walk, take a class, yoga and meditation, even stomping around can be cathartic release of your grief.