Shock. Pain. Denial. Anger. Acceptance? While the first four stages of grief are easy to understand, for those who have recently lost someone that they love, the idea of coming to a point of acceptance about their loss may seem like a far-off concept that they may never reach.
While people will bounce in and out of the five stages of grief (some experts assert that there are seven stages of grief) it’s become a generally accepted concept that one does not really heal from grief entirely. It’s completely normal for a person throughout their lifetime to find themselves in the various stages of grief and in no particular order whatsoever.
Regardless, art therapy and other types of counseling are quite beneficial to help someone navigate the treacherous waters of grief. Art therapy, expression, and creativity are powerful ways to help you work through the intense feelings that come with the territory of bereavement.
Art is an expression of individuality and creativity
Art therapy has been proven to help people who are struggling with the grieving process. Why is there a connection between loss and creativity? Both of these are very essential parts of the entire human experience. According to Dr. Shelley Carson, who is a lecturer at Harvard University and the author of “Your Creative Brain, Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life,” creativity might be the best way out of grief.
Dr. Carson explains that everyone has the ability to be creative. “Some of us just express it more robustly,” Carson explains and describes the two different types of creativity:
- Innovative creativity – Carson believes this type of creativity is best suited for problem-solving.
- Expressive creativity – Carson believes this type of creativity can use negative energy and channel it into creative work as a way to deal with loss or trauma.
Another clinical psychologist, Henry Seiden, Ph.D., agrees with the opinion of Carson and he states, “Creativity is the essential response to grief.”
How grief impacts the brain
Carson also goes on to explain that the experience of sadness has been shown to deactivate the left prefrontal areas of the brain relative to the right prefrontal areas. The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for positive emotions such as joy and hope and the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for more negative emotions such as anxiety and worry.
It does not come as a surprise to anyone that the right hemisphere of the brain shows an increase in activity during periods of grief. Therefore, Carson says: “The main problem during grieving seems to be the relative deactivation of the left hemisphere rather than the over-activation of the right hemisphere.” What this boils down to is the fact that even though creativity can help heal and redirect – this doesn’t mean people are necessarily ready to get in touch with their creative side immediately following trauma or a loss.
This exact scenario was true for Monique Malcolm, who is a creative coach and entrepreneur who had a brother who died unexpectedly at 26. She explains that initially following her loss, there was no creative energy. A little while afterward, she said a creative burst came upon her. Malcom explains that she remembers thinking to herself, “There are all these things I want to do creatively, and now’s the time to do it.” Her brother’s death served as a wake-up call for her and a reminder that time is precious and not guaranteed.
Nurturing her creativity quickly became a form of self-care for Malcom. “I had to set my feelings aside so that [my family] could be more OK and more comfortable—and I was angry,” she explains. “It made me feel good to do that craft show or tradeshow or make things because it was something that I fully chose for myself.”
Cremation diamonds help you express creativity
After a loved one has died, it’s only natural for the bereaved to search for ways to celebrate the spirit and memories of a loved one. This provides the perfect opportunity to allow your creativity to come through and promote healing.
One way you can do this is by having some of the cremated ashes of a loved one transformed into a genuine diamond that’s just as unique as the departed. Did they love animals? Was their favorite color blue? Did they have a favorite shape or style of jewelry?
With several different options for the customization of the diamond and more than 600 jewelry settings to choose from, when you order memorial diamond jewelry from Heart in Diamond you can get creative and order a personalized token of your love for the departed.
While their two primary options for cuts include brilliant and princess – if you have a special request, such as a heart-shaped for instance, contact their customer service team and they can help accommodate your desire. You also have a selection of five different colors, including:
- White (clear);
- Deep red;
- Orange-yellow; and
Once you’ve decided on the color and shape of your diamond, next comes the fun part. If you browse the Heart in Diamond website, you will find cremation jewelry in several styles, including:
- Earrings; and
These different types of jewelry are available in a huge range of shapes and designs to choose from. Furthermore, if you simply cannot find the right style that perfectly represents your loved one, you can also order a loose diamond and have it set in the custom jewelry selection of your choice at a local jeweler.
Being able to creatively commemorate the life of a loved one can help you along the way during the grieving process by promoting a sense of comfort and satisfaction.