Art to heal the human heart

September 28, 2016

Art Therapy Weavingby Trisha Lundin, Bereavement Services

Time can be hard to measure. We often measure our lives in the tasks and accomplishments of everyday life — a pace of business, providing us with momentum and a feeling of control. In between the noise of the day, quiet moments remind us of those we love and what we have lost. In grief, life can all at once stand still. It is in this stillness of sorrow we are presented with mixed emotions and the challenge of change. 

 As children, we all are gifted with resilient spirits to overcome, thrive and change. Engaging in creative play, we all have dared to go where words alone cannot; we transformed our sorrows into stories. Through our human senses, we transform sound into music and movement into dance. We use objects and tools to sculpt and draw our story. The creative arts fulfill our lifelong journey of honoring what is meaningful and mysterious. It is in honoring the stories of our lives that we build the compassionate awareness that we all are interconnected.

During the 2016 Dragon Boat Festival, a competitive team rowing event held in Eau Claire, Bereavement Services provided a community weaving project. As individuals chose different colored fibers and wove them into a loom, something uniquely beautiful began to form. Stepping back to gaze at this tapestry, it seemed to hold the metaphor of a greater story — a story that brings people together, both young and old, to share in a quiet moment and to honor the strength in the collective calm. The finished art piece serves as a symbol of healing, hope and community.

As an art therapist, I seek to companion, guide and witness stories yet untold. Without judgment or restraint, the child within us is free to sculpt, draw and dance a story that heals. I hope you will continue to nurture your creative outlet with gratitude and joy.

Families experiencing the loss of a loved one are encouraged to come together at the Family Grief Retreat on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Beaver Creek Reserve, to explore storytelling through the creative arts. Call 715-464-5086 to register.

Trisha Lundin is an art therapist and bereavement counselor in Bereavement Services in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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