Guest Blogger: How Music and Art Helped Heal My Grief

Grief is a normal and healthy reaction to loss, and so is resilience. We all have the capacity to learn how to live with our losses and to apply our own style of grieving to the healing process. In my new book, Resilience Art: A Grief Coloring Book Using Ritual and Music to Help You Grow, due to be released in in early 2018 through Mascot Books, I share many personal stories and professional experiences to illustrate aspects of grief and grieving that I have known firsthand. In addition, the book has 24 pages of beautiful designs that were created specifically for coloring. The creative arts offer wonderfully effective ways to express sorrow and other emotions of grief, and the combination of music and art encourages our natural resilience to emerge, and helps us regain our emotional footing. I experienced this path to healing after my second husband acted on his desire to end his life, disappeared from all contact with family and friends, and, seven years later, was legally declared to be “presumed dead.” I actively grieved for him over the first year by turning to friends and spiritual teachings to help ground myself. I compartmentalized the hours I spent working as a counselor. It was a saving grace because, for eight hours a day, I could lose myself in helping others and escape the inner turmoil I felt. I also instinctively turned to music and to sketching, and this became one of the major ways I comforted myself. I crafted a simple ritual by setting up my dining room table as sacred space where I drew creative images while listening to selected pieces of beautiful music. This process gave me a concrete way to acknowledge my emotional pain while it also served as a life-giving respite from my sorrow. I found a capacity for meaning and the strength to go on with my life. The net effect was to recharge my emotional batteries, to remove some of the daily tension and tiredness of life, and affirm for me that there is a special magic in music and the creative arts that was able to change my inner state of being. Slowly, my grief lifted and some days were better than others; gradually, I noticed that I was becoming happy again, and more able to engage in the social aspects of life. Just as I was able to help myself integrate my loss, I believe that you can learn how to help yourself in the same way.  My book can serve as a guide and a companion for you on your grief journey. I will be offering a two-hour workshop based on the book in my local area, and more information will be available soon on my website, www.elainevoci.com Resilience Art: A Grief Coloring Book Using Ritual and Music to Help You Grow is now available for a 20% pre-order discount. Simply go to my listing here and enter the code “coloringbook” at checkout.

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