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I used to be rather creative ... cross-stitch and crafts and such ... but somewhere along my busy life I lost that. During the caregiving years, I tried to pick it back up but just did not have the energy.  Luckily, I found it again post-loss and it has helped me immensely to heal.  

I've taken many online classes, belong to several online groups, attended art-related retreats, met a lot of new people (both in person and on-line) and get great comfort from it.  Most all of these things include important life lessons with the art. I'm no artist and I will never be selling my stuff on Etsy. I rarely ever share my work in my online groups. It's just for me.

Have you found any creative outlets that have been helpful to you?  Here's a spot we can share how art/creating has helped us heal.

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Years ago I used to do counted cross-stitch.  Then when we bought our house I became the home handyman and embarked on an ultimately futile quest to do as many home improvements as possible myself, going to far as to start refacing our kitchen cabinets.  I did a pretty fine job of that too before realizing that there were things about our old 1950s knotty pine cabinets that were just not viable anymore and I was putting lipstick on a pig.  I did online movie reviews and ran a film buff site for about eight years.  Then I did a political/rant blog for a decade -- all of this while my husband was alive.  

Now I'm in my new home and all I want to do is hire people to do the stuff around the house.  I just bought window shades for the house and have to shlep them all back to the store because they don't fit.  I have a dresser and a dining room table to refinish and I can't seem to get up the energy to do it.  I bought coloring books and do that sometimes while I watch TV, but I'm not finding it particularly satisfying just yet.  Part of it is that my life has settled down for the first time since my husband died 2-1/2 years ago.  I work from home now so I don't have a commute anymore.  I'm working a human 40 hour week instead of 80.  So I have time to breathe, really for the first time since 2008 when I got my current job.  And I think my body and psyche are only starting the grieving process now.

BergenJC - I think sometimes being in a new home, without our life partners and the home we shared, can do this.  The lack of motivation I mean.  I think for me at least, the move can trigger grief.  I know that I miss Don and being in the place we made so many memories together was a trigger when I moved here.  And it took me a while to get back to doing the things I love - the art and even quilting (which I don't do so much anymore).  As for home improvement, now I, too, hire people to do the things I used to do around the house, but I think that's more an issue of aging and having arthritis, and fibromyalgia which makes it hard to do those projects myself!  

Haven't seen any posts here for a while but I have an update on my activities - 

I am an all out crafter - show me a craft and I will try it :)  Most of the things I do on my own are more along the line of "scrap crafts' as opposed to fine art. I have been going to the senior center with some other ladies in my area. It has been great for us. Wed started as an open coloring sessions. Then they added rock painting. On other days there are bingo, cards and exercise groups.  here are also some professional crafters and artists that come in and teach classes. There is also a drawing group on Wed -sorry but no matter how hard the instructor tries to get me to join the group -I know it is not me.  We have talked about other craft things and one day she came to me and asked if I would like to "co-host" a once a month craft group with her. Sounded like like fun so I agreed and we got permission from the director and started making plans - then the next thing I knew she dropped out and I was left on my own.

 I saw it as an opportunity to do something I love and be around other people so I went ahead.  It has been several months and the ladies in the group seem to be having a good time and want to continue - even when we have snow days - they still want a make up session. 

 Who would have thought a scrapper would become a teacher :)  This month we are doing dollar bill folding - a cute way to give money gifts, Other sessions I did were pine cone swags. - fabric covered Christmas ball. Stenciled coaster -where I showed them how to make their own stencils. We also did a folded paper strip heart which became a real learning session on my part because I under estimated how much difficulty they would have - but they stuck with it and did learn -we made it fun and laughed at each others mistakes.

 Just wanted to share what has  become a healing activity for me - part of what I missed was being needed and now I feel I have a time and place to be and it also takes time to make up the "kits" so that fills a few more hours of my week.

  Hope you didn't mind my sharing --just surprised me the little twists and turns a life can also take

   To those that posted before - are you still doing your crafts or have you found something new?  and those we haven't heard from -- tell us about what you have found to occupy a few hours of your day.

  HUGS to all, C

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