Good Grief Scrapbooking for the Artistically Challenged

Coping with Grief / Coping with Grief : Litsa Williams


Valentine’s Day is not at the top of our favorite holiday list around here, grief or no grief. If facing the holiday has you wanting to crawl under the covers and hide for the day, we totally support you. We are all for sulking spent holidays every now and again.

If you are looking for some practical tricks and tips to “celebrate” the holiday, read our advice here. It may just inspire you to actually change out of your pajamas on the 14th… No pressure though.

In considering today’s post, I was strongly leaning toward ignoring the holiday altogether… but figured some of you may be here actually seeking something helpful, you grief-overachievers. With the impending snowpocalypse here on the East Coast, it only seems appropriate to suggest you grab your journal to keep from going totally stir crazy.  It has been quite a while since we have done a journaling post around here, so the timing couldn’t be better.

Let me back up for this one. A few years ago, I was an avid follower of the “Good Grief Blog: A Scrapbooking Journey Through Grief and Healing”. The irony is staggering, in that I am decidedly not crafty and have never scrapbooked. Ever. But the prompts on this blog were great and I was inspired by the incredible scrapbooking work of others. I mean, not inspired enough to actually try scrapbooking, but inspired none the less. Conveniently for me, a lot of the Good Grief Blog prompts translate well into journaling, allowing me to use the prompts for all their wonderful, therapeutic value—without the shame and embarrassment of trying to scrapbook.

There is one prompt there that has stuck with me and crosses my mind often on days of wallowing. Let me start by saying this: If you are looking for a prompt like “Write about they ways your love for the person you lost lives on” or “Write about your gratitude for the love you shared with the person you lost”, this ain’t it. Those are great prompts to take for a spin if you are looking for some positivity this Valentine’s Day. If you are looking to wallow under the covers with your journal, take this prompt for a spin: The “Photos You Wish You Had” Prompt. This one is bittersweet. Those photos we wish we had are often fond memories, things we wish we could see just one more time. So many times when I think of my favorite memories of those I’ve lost, I realize they fall into the “photos I wish I had” category—my grandmother cooking in her little row house kitchen, me and my dad on the metro in D.C., etc.—the simple little moments that never would have seemed worth a photo until they were gone. Here is the challenge as it was original featured on the Good Grief blog:

This challenge is one that’s dear to my heart. List the photos you wish you had. As scrapbookers and family documenteers, photos are like gold to us. Not having specific ones cuts us to the core. I know you understand what I’m talking about. So. Rather than just dwell on what we don’t have, I find that just saying what it is that we want is often therapeutic. Try it. 😉 

This Valentine’s Day, write about the photos you wish you had. Maybe they’re photos you wish you had of Valentine’s Days in years past, or maybe they’re photos you wish you had of the everyday moments. Whatever they are, spend some time listing them, writing about them, and remembering them. Though the photographs may not exist, it is amazing the sights, smells, and sounds we carry with us.

What are you waiting for? Download our journal page below and journal away:

If you are feeling really inspired, leave us a comment with some of the photographs you wish you had this Valentine’s Day. And, while you’re at it, subscribe!

You can also check out some of our other posts about grieving on Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s Day Grief, in Six Words and Valentine’s Day, You Make Me Feel Like a Box of Old Love Letters.

Let’s be grief friends.

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4 Comments on "Good Grief Scrapbooking for the Artistically Challenged"

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  1. Jolene Thibedeau Boyd  February 16, 2014 at 1:41 pm Reply

    Yep, here we go again. First, thanks for this post. I already jotted down three resources (books, blogs, etc.) I want to explore more and checked out numerous links in your post…it’s mildly amusing (and maybe a little disconcerting) how easy it is to get lost in a web of linked pages, linked to other pages, and then realize several hours have passed and I haven’t even started the work (yeah, the real kind that ostensibly I get paid for, although I have already put in way more than the number of hours that I am expected to clock…) that is the reason I logged on in the first place.

    Anyway, “photos I wish I had” was a really powerful prompt for me. I have thought about that a lot lately. My brother took 2–just 2–photos of me and my dad in the hospital on his last morning with us (11/5/13), as he struggled to breathe, but still seemed to know we were there… It’s amazing the power of a couple of photos to bring back so many pf the thoughts and emotions I was experiencing in those last hours. And after my brother sent them to me, I cried, because I wished so much I had even a single photo of me with my mom in her last days. And, of course, wished that I had just been with her when she died (11/29/01). Wow. Thanks for the prompt (I love that word/concept!)

  2. Eleanor  February 13, 2014 at 10:57 am Reply

    Oh good I’m glad it was helpful. Sometimes crying is as therapeutic as anything.

  3. Springer  February 13, 2014 at 3:06 am Reply

    I was nervous but curious to explore the scrapbook website because I didn’t want to upset myself..a bit of self protection. But I gave it a go, it made me cry and it was healthily reflective. Thanm you for sharing.

  4. Wildflower Women  February 12, 2014 at 10:21 pm Reply

    Great idea, and of course, they will be all the special moments that he wasn’t there . . . love this idea of journaling about this as I think the outcome will be healing. Thank you for the inspiration!

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