When someone you love passes away, accepting the loss is never easy. How can you make the journey through sadness, anger, and emptiness to get to the point where you can accept your loss and move on? It helps if you have something practical to focus on. Crafting projects, such as making dreamcatchers, are activities that can serve multiple purposes in helping you get through this difficult time.
Learning about Grief
Grief can feel bewildering, so it’s often helpful to learn more about what grief is and how it usually proceeds. Most people go through similar stages of grief, including denial, guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It’s never an easy road, and you may go through the stages more than once, and not always in the same order. And if you have complicated grief, you may have trouble ever reaching a state of peaceful acceptance without getting mental health help.
Ways Crafting Helps with Grief
Whether you seek help for your grief or not, crafting can provide an outlet for emotions and keep you focused on the here and now during the time you’re working on it. Here are a few ways crafting can help.
Capture Your Memories
Often, people who have lost someone close to them complain that their memories of that person fade too fast. Others assume that the way to get over the loss is to put the memories out of their thoughts. However, it’s healthy to remember the good times you spent with them. There are many crafting projects you can do to make a memorial of someone. You do decoupage their photo on a mason jar, for instance. Or, you could sew a quilt made of squares with important dates and their favorite sayings embroidered on them.
Ground Yourself in the Here and Now
When you’re deep in the process of grief, it’s easy to get stuck thinking about the past too much. While memories are important, you also need to stay grounded in the here and now. Crafting helps you do that. You need to think about what craft to do, gather supplies, and use your hands to create a DIY craft you can enjoy.
Have Some Family Time
Losing a loved one is often a family affair. If you lost your spouse and you have children, they lost someone important to them, too. Getting the family together to do a kid-friendly craft is a good way for everyone to work on healing together. And even if your loss doesn’t directly affect anyone else in your family, crafting with them is a good way to feel their support. What’s more, crafting with young kids can bring you joy. If you don’t have children, then consider leading a crafting project at your church or community center to enjoy the company of little ones.
Enhance Your Environment
The place you call home may seem empty without your loved one. But your environment can affect your mood in profound ways. Adding interesting crafts can brighten up your space. You can also make candles to create a more soothing environment. Make a centerpiece for your table, craft a new lamp to light up a dim corner, or challenge yourself even more by building a new piece of furniture. When you finish, your home will be uniquely yours.
Getting involved in crafting can help you face the loss of a loved one in all these ways. Yet, perhaps the best thing about crafting is that it’s something positive to be engaged in and enjoy. Even better, when the hardest times are behind you, you will still have all the skills you developed along the way.