Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Suggestions for Commissioner Jennings: Creative Ways to Express Grief (not involving police action)

Excerpt from "Ways of Coping - Creatively Expressing Grief" (click title for link)

Suggested Creative Ways of Expressing Grief

There are no limits to the imagination in finding creative ways or endeavors for expressing grief. Creativity can be expressed by using a variety of media e.g. molding clay, photography, fabric, collage. Several methods of expressing grief have already been mentioned—song, writing, poetry, statues, ceremonies, memorials, and advocacy. The following list is a sampling of suggestions for unique ways of expressing grief.

Write in a journal or diary
Write a letter to the lost loved one
Write the lost loved one’s story
Write a poem
Write lyrics or music
Write a memorial for the local paper


Performance Art
Write a play or an improvisational acting piece
Choreograph a dance
Film a video or a movie
Tape recollections of favorite stories,
old memories, or a conversation one might
have with the lost loved one
Compose music to sing or play
Play an instrument—alone, with others

Creating - Larger Projects

  • Create a collage or decoupage to expresses grief using newspapers, magazine, painting, markers, photography, painting etc.
  • Take photographs to illustrate grief, or encourage hope
  • Make an album, a book of the lost loved one’s life - using photographs, recording family memories, photos, schoolwork, drawings, letters, mementos and favorite sayings.
  • Collect mementos, photos, drawings, letters and other memorabilia and to display in a wall cabinet or glass-topped coffee table
  • Paint emotions on paper- with whatever paints or colors and whatever technique feels right.
  • Create a Memorial e.g. AIDS Quilt, Mural, Sculpture
  • Mold or construct masks with different media to illustrate grief
  • Express emotions using molding clay or in sculpting
  • Sew a memory quilt or make a teddy bear using clothes from the one lost
  • Build an Ofrenda or Altar
  • Decorate a Memory Box and fill it with mementos that remind you of the lost loved one
  • Sew, knit, crochet, quilt, embroider a quilt, wall-hanging, or teddy bear.
  • Built a memorial bench
  • Make special anniversary cards, candles, bookmarks, picture frames to remember the lost loved one