Feel Better in the Mourning™ : Sample Activities


You deserve a better taste in your mouth.
Even if recording the raw details of your loss feels like swallowing a bitter pill, be assured that most pills do make us feel better. Remember that creative self-expression needs to have no other purpose than to provide an opportunity to listen to yourself. Make every effort to approach any of these suggestions without perfectionism. Try to eliminate the censor as much as possible.

Activity #1: After someone dies, most of us need to tell the story of what happened, as seen through our eyes. If writing a long, drawn-out story feels overwhelming or intimidating, try writing a poem that is simply an accumulation of the headlines, specific to what happened when your beloved died. Here is a generic example:

The horrible news.
Disbelief. Denial.
Waiting.
Relief. Maybe.
More bad news.
Even more bad news.
Hope diminishes.
Drastic last-ditch efforts.
Holding our breath.
Last breath.
Gone.
Aftermath.

Activity #2: What words or pronouns now have new meaning? Make two lists that illustrate the changes in status … as well as feelings. You can make this into a collage if you want, with images that portray all of the changes you are weathering. Here is an example:

  Then   Now
       
 

Husband
Breadwinner
Diner
Competent
Devoted
Cocky
Father
Married
Our
We

 

Widower
Housekeeper
Chef
Bumbling
Lost
Humble
Single Parent
Single
My
Me

       

Activity #3: Practice asking for what you want. Pick two or three people you could ask for support this week. Write down your request first if needed. Work toward being as clear and concrete as possible. Here are some examples of fuzzy versus clear requests.

Fuzzy: "Oh, just knowing you're there for me is so helpful."
Clear: "My most difficult time is between 4 and 7pm. Would you give me a call during that time?"

Fuzzy: "Everyone's telling me to remember to eat."
Clear: "Would you come over and fix me a bowl of soup for lunch?"

Fuzzy: "My head is dizzy from all of the different suggestions people have given me."
Clear: "I don't need more suggestions. I just need to hear myself talk; can you listen?"


Activity #4: It's hard to get past despair or feeling stuck in the mire of grief. Sometimes this interferes with our will to keep on living. Design your own "Don't Quit" plaque. Use photographs that will instantly remind you of why you don't want to quit. Add a list with at least ten "Reasons to Carry On" if you want.

 




Martha Clark Scala, MFT • 721 Colorado Ave., Suite 201, Palo Alto, CA 94303 •

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