There is so much uncertainty and change right now because of the COVID 19 pandemic. We have more illness, more death, the losses of work, travel, social connection, and many changes of circumstance. There is just more current grief for sure, but many of us also have old griefs resurfacing, sometimes quite intensely.
The universal experience of grief brings challenging feelings that may include fear, anxiety, confusion, sadness, and others, sometimes many at once. We want to know how to cope and feel better. We want to know there is hope and help out there.
Author Valerie Moore-Altavilla writes to encourage you. As she will tell you, Valerie has been there with death and other losses. She became an art therapist because art expression helped her with her own profound passages through grief. She assures you that anyone can do the exercises she has shared in this book. Indeed, as the title says, “All You Need Is What You Have…” You already have your memories, your feelings, your intuition, and your senses. You can probably have somewhere around your home some crayons, pencils, paper, scissors and glue. You have what you need to be the expert of your story.
As if she were sitting down with you at your kitchen table, Valerie explains and illustrates these simple exercises and makes clear that the goal is the expression of your important feelings, not artistic perfection. These exercises utilize the five senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell). The way forward is to spend some time checking in with your body. Your body is where you can find and be with the memories and nonverbal feelings that are always so central to deep grief.
Start with this short, simple book’s encouragement. Find your own way forward to express your feelings. Move intuitively, at your own pace, gently and fully through your deepest grieving.