Friday, April 18, 2008

Art and Craft as therapy

"When our son, Zachary, died in 1979, I felt compelled to craft something — palpable but symbolic of his existence." This is from the Wiisp website, Wisconsin Stillbirth Service Program. I have found this website to be very helpful for me, as a grandma of a stillborn baby. In those first shocking days after our loss of Julia, I found this website through the information packet they gave out at the hospital. The first thing I found and read was "When Your Baby Is Stillborn". It contains just enough facts to calm down all the questions that pounded at my brain and my heart incessantly - Why, How, Why, How, Why? It helped me to get a handle on the confusion so I could function somewhat.

In the section on "Coping With Your Loss" I found this gem:

"Express yourself. Talk about your baby, your feelings, your fears, your grief. Or keep a diary, write a journal, create, start a flower garden. This may help you to see things more clearly."

In creating the bookmarks, sharing them in every way I can, and in making this blog as my offering to the world of some tiny bit of comfort and brightness, I am seeing things somewhat more clearly. I am seeing other people's stories of feeling crushed by sadness, as well as other stories of the ways of overcoming it. I am seeing that even though I don't have a lot of money or a lot of time or a Really Big Idea to put out there and revolutionize anything, I do have something small and simple and bright to share. Sometimes something small is all you need, to acknowledge that yes, you can be feeling a crushing sadness or just be having a crappy day, and also to remind you that even if you don't see the sun behind the clouds right now, even if you don't see any blooming flowers around you, they are still there. The sun will come back, there will be new life and beauty around you, and if you can't get the real thing right now, here is a scrap of paper with some color on it to remind you... and this brings me to another item from the Wiisp website on Coping With Your Loss:

"Above all, give yourself time. Be patient. You will never forget your baby, but you will heal. Healing is an ongoing process; it does not happen overnight. But it will happen."

And that's where I'm at right now. Just trying to remember to breathe, and knowing that time is passing.

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