March 16, 2010

Express Yourself

After losing a little one, it takes time to start enjoying the little things in life again. Unfortunately there is no set time frame, nor is there a secret we can share to make it happen any sooner. Oftentimes the grief grabs hold of you so tightly that the thought of doing something for yourself for enjoyment is no longer desirable, if not impossible all together. Things you used to do that brought you joy might not bring you that same joy any more. Please don't be discouraged. It will take time, and sometimes finding ways to express yourself through creative mediums can help the heart on its journey of healing.

Country Mom:
I used to be big on doing at least one project each week... After Lila died- I could not force myself to even think about it... until about two weeks in when I'd rec'd my 200th sympathy card. I was so angry-staring at that pile- wishing there wasn't a reason for people to send me those cards. That's when I realized I could do something productive with that pile of cards. I started cutting them up, scrapbooking them, and branching off into other projects.

I also had over 45 flower arrangements from her funeral, that drove me crazy. Our kitchen was a JUNGLE.. Picture that, 45 massive arrangements. I set to work and tore them all apart- nicely I mean, sorted all the flowers by type and photographed them. My husband, at first, wondered why i was "ruining" the arrangements- but really it turned out so much nicer for her memory albums- see what i mean here:
After grouping and photographing them, I hung them upside down to dry- then gave little dried arrangements to those who were close to her. It was one more way to remember my sweet girl.
I had these little books made up at and was very pleased with them, I started with all the pictures from her birth up through her memorial service. They are all encompassing.

The sympathy cards I scrapbooked after Lila's passing.

I've always been a huge fan of making my own versions of shabby-chic- so i made this shadowbox for our family from an old printing press box. I have slowly been adding little things that symbolize our family. The most recent edition was a little Lila Angel made by Wendi. This is a project that is moving slowly- mostly because I'm trying to put things that mean something to us, and they don't all just appear at once- it takes years to save things. For now it's home is one my dresser, eventually I hope to have it in the livingroom when it's complete. I eventually got back to my love of photography and let Lila and her nicknames inspire me. Lila was our Lila Bird so I found ways to express my longing for her through my work.
City Mom:

I enjoyed tiny craft projects and painting little things before Ethan died. After his passing, I just couldn't find the desire to do anything of the sort. Only months later did I feel inspired to do something creative again, and Ethan was that inspiration. I started by painting little things that made me think of him, and with time was able to branch out to things that were more for my own enjoyment. Believe me, I am no professional by any means, but it felt good to get back in touch with my creative side again... a part of me that I missed greatly.
I painted this to put out at his spot in the spring.

What are some things you've done to help express yourself or to find some enjoyment again? Do you paint, or perhaps you scrapbook? Feel free to share here!

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