Grieving Children

Arts Do Reach the Hearts

by Lorraine LeMon

Just like no two people are alike …no two people express grief the same ways. However, the one thing that they all share is the fact that “grieving is a process” and we all process it differently.

Lorraine LeMon

Arts as a Tool… process over project
How does it work? Imagery and the arts — the first forms of healing — are being retrieved today by the creative arts therapies. On the rise now are many approaches to the use of Art Therapy which is being used to identify and help heal pain and illness in the body. One of the most significant things that I have found with the Arts is that they truly have a way of reaching the heart and helping the individual slowly and safely uncover and discover things within.

Using the Arts to reach the Hearts
For the past eight years, we at Art2heart have stood firm on the fact that the Fine and Performing Arts can be a great tool in helping young people acquire self esteem, self worth. During those eight years, we have watched that very thing take place in the lives of many children in our program. One of the ways this happens is that the arts have an uncanny but unique way of helping young people look deep inside their hearts and balance out the good with the bad. Once kids see that they do have gifts and talents, this realization gives them strength to deal with the negative circumstances in life. Studies have shown that trauma caused by injury, abuse, or grief can sometimes leave the person in a sort of altered state, seemingly living normal lives while storing up the painful memories keeping them tucked away. But the Arts can slowly help them discover a safe way to let these memories out and begin a journey to process through them.

Arts Allow you safety through the Journey of Grief
The Arts allow the person to take the Journey of Grief through the process of grief in a safe way. By getting the feelings out through imagery and the creative arts, the person can express themselves while feeling better about themselves. This is what’s makes the “Bridging the Gap” program so unique, because they understand the importance of allowing each child to take their own journey through grief. The way the sessions and classes are set up , “open and not coerced”, lets the child know that they lets the child know that they can take their time and that they are not alone. The variety of creative art modalities used in the sessions and the camps are designed to give each child that sense of self-paced healing. For me personally, I feel blessed to watch loads and loads of kids experience this wonderful “time in space”, to let them know its OK to grieve. As I watch children come in with uncertainty and leave with smiles, I can say without a doubt that Bridging the Gap falls in line with our philosophy at Art2Heart, using the “arts to reach the hearts…we change lives”…because “it’s not about the project …but the process”. The Art2Heart mantra is “I must never forget that I was born for this specific time in history to do something great. Arts and talents to complete my purpose in life.”

About the Author: Lorraine LeMon is the Founder and Executive Director of Art2Heart, a non -profit organization dedicated to helping young people. She is married and is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Sociology. She is a Pilates Instructor and Dancer. Her dream is to help women and orphans in foreign lands. She has participated with Bridging the Gap and Camp Rays of Hope as a Volunteer for the past two years. You may contact Lorraine at 830-459-4590 or Art2Heart