At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; A wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity.
~ Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen
Using music to process grief is a powerful tool, and sometimes you just need to hear, play or see it to feel it. Maybe you need to sing it or play it out on an instrument. Even now, many years after the loss of my Mother, I still hear songs that bring back memories of her. In the days after her passing, I would intentionally listen to her music to feel closer to her. Feeling the emotions of grief is a necessary step to grief recovery healing from the pain of loss.
Friends and family may suggest that you avoid doing things that make you feel the emotions of grief. “Why are you listening to this music if it is causing you pain and suffering?” Our society is uncomfortable with the idea of grief, and we have been encouraged to push the feelings aside. Avoidance and distraction only prolong our journey through loss.
Indigenous peoples embraced the emotions of grief through rituals that could last from days to weeks. Music, dance, and art were encouraged to celebrate the life of the lost one. Crying and screaming were acceptable behaviors. A true expression of emotion.
Imagine instead, a funeral nowadays. If someone were to express their grief with loud cries and screams, bystanders would feel deeply uncomfortable. Instead, we stand quietly, stifling our tears in public. Compartmentalizing the pain to be expressed only in certain environments. Medical professionals prescribe sedatives and antidepressants to numb the pain and sadly it gets trapped inside to manifest in physical form in our bodies.
Grief is a normal part of life, and everyone will experience it. We were not meant to repress it. The use of expressive art has been proven to improve the emotional and physical symptoms of grief. Like a kettle that starts to boil, steam is allowed to escape through a spout, decreasing the pressure inside.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of grief and would like to explore ways to get past the pain and reclaim your life, I invite you to book a free discovery session with me: Book with Karen
Karen Rolls, Registered Nurse, Certified Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist