Lighting the Way Creative Outlets Such as Music, Writing and Dance Help Dispel Grief's Darkness

By Cary, Stephanie | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), November 15, 2012 | Go to article overview

Lighting the Way Creative Outlets Such as Music, Writing and Dance Help Dispel Grief's Darkness


Cary, Stephanie, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


Shock. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Guilt. Depression. Hope. They're the emotional states that make up the "seven stages of grief."

It's a complicated process, one through which everyone eventually has to navigate. But some psychologists say finding a creative method of expressing one's grief can help move the process along.

"Dealing with grief in a creative way, it can be an escape except it's a productive escape rather than a destructive escape like drugs or alcohol," says Tanya Jacob, a Pacific Palisades psychologist who specializes in grief counseling.

Creative outlets can vary depending on an individual's interests and can include writing poetry, songs or prose. It can be journaling, listening to music, dance and visual arts, among other things.

For 15-year-old Kassidy Jane of Torrance, it was songwriting.

Growing up, Kassidy was surrounded by people trying to cope with loss, as her mother was involved with The Compassionate Friends, a national support group for families who have lost a child.

Kassidy, herself, lost her childhood best friend at age 3. And her uncle, who was a police officer in Oakland, was killed in the line of duty prior to her birth.

"I've always wanted

to write a song about the grieving process, about my uncle and my best friend and I wanted to try and incorporate my grandma who also passed, but I don't know, it just didn't work in there," Kassidy says.

The result of her songwriting is the new single "Just," a touching song about the grief felt by those passings, which she performed at The Compassionate Friends 2012 National Conference.

The song is available on iTunes, with half of the sales proceeds going toward relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy.

For Kassidy and her mother, writing the song was therapeutic even though the losses took place many years ago. Kassidy says even listening to the song helps her get through the rough moments she still encounters when she thinks about never having a chance to meet her uncle.

"It's kind of different, like sometimes I'll think about it and I'm OK and then other times I'll think about it and I'll just keep thinking about it and I just, I'll cry," Kassidy says.

"Whenever I do kind of feel sad about something I seem to play that song. So I think it has helped in the process, but I think it's more when I'm feeling sad about it - it's like when I'm feeling that stuff, I play it and it makes me feel better."

But her goal wasn't just to help herself process grief and put her emotions into a song - it was also to help others.

She wants people who are grieving the loss of a loved one to know they are not alone.

How long the grieving process takes varies for each individual and depends on the relationship with the person who has passed, says psychologist Halle Aten, of The Aten Group psychotherapy practice in Los Angeles. But she says typically the process takes about a year.

For those who choose denial, or to avoid the grief they are feeling, Aten says, the consequences can be detrimental, potentially affecting mood, sleep and interpersonal relations.

"Usually life makes it so we can't really run away from our grief," Aten says. "The best way to begin the grieving process is to talk about it."

According to Jacob, people who don't deal with their grief will often find other methods of filling the void left by their loss including drugs, alcohol or altering their life to mask what's missing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Lighting the Way Creative Outlets Such as Music, Writing and Dance Help Dispel Grief's Darkness
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.