art helps me grieve…

art helps me grieve - susie carranza studio

Friday, October 20th, was the fourth anniversary of my sister Patty’s unexpected death.

Four years. Since then, every subsequent October 20th always start out terribly, sadly, sometimes angrily for me. I wake up in the early morning hours and relive what happened the morning of October 20, 2013.

This year was no different.

Most of the rest of the day, Lawrence and I spent with my parents, doing some yard work they can’t do themselves, visiting, talking. Every year on this date I spend time with my parents…I need to.

Later that evening, back home, I got the need to journal. Seriously – a need. I pulled out my black paper pad and my gelly roll pens and got to it.

art journaling: grief - susie carranza studio

(excuse the bad lighting, I started this kinda late in the day…)

I got so involved that I drew late into the night, then the next day – again – needed to journal. So I kept at it, filling up the page with color, symbols, and scrawled messy words and phrases about Patty…


art journaling helps me grieve - susie carranza studio

Her favorite color was purple. 💜

art journaling: grief - susie carranza studio

art journaling: grief - susie carranza studio

And you know what? I felt better when I was done. Memories of my sister flooded my mind as I drew and wrote. There’s something to the physical act of drawing (or painting, or writing) that is therapeutic. Luckily my husband was home so I wasn’t on caregiving duties. I was able to focus and do what I felt I needed to do.

And that’s okay. It’s okay to do what you need to do to take care of yourself in moments of pain and grief. For me, it’s art. Especially journaling, since it combines various creative outlets.

I miss my sister. Terribly. This helped me deal with my sadness, if only for a couple of days, and feel close to her all at the same time.


What are your creatve outlets for dealing with emotions? Let me know in the comments.

’til next time…


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