Art and nature can provide a nurturing space for processing grief.
migrates on evolving winds
of oak-filled sorrows
In the last eight months, I’ve been connected, in varying degrees of closeness, to five individuals who have died. Naturally, these deaths have brought about grief, which is a feeling I believe most of us would prefer avoiding and I am no exception.
In the past, I would avoid through a wide variety of unhealthy and reckless behaviors: substance, ending relationships, isolating, avoiding responsibilities. As I’ve become more dedicated to allowing feelings to flow through me rather than weigh me down, art and nature have provided a nurturing space for processing uncomfortable emotions.
And having a nurturing space has provided some guidance around how to best nurture that discomfort. Recently, I took my camera to Rice Lake State Park after noticing feelings of discomfort. During my hike, I felt it all: grief, anger, fear, worry, frustration, hopelessness, freedom, peace, and love.
Upon my return, I was confronted with familiar habit of mine - isolating and pushing people away - and I became aware of how I wanted to change my story of grief to allow for deeper connections. The following questions helped me begin to write a new narrative and navigate through uncharted territory.
Embracing art and nature during grief allowed me to stay connected, speak my truth, be both wildly immature and infinitely wise without self-sabotaging, chose healthier coping mechanisms, forgive, and maintain relationships through this most recent time of grief.
How has nature nurtured you through grief?
© 2019 Kristin Perry