​A Child's View: Color and Wonder


BY: Andy Getz, LISW-S, ACHP-SW

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

When you lose someone you love it can truly feel like a part of you died with them. Sometimes it is hard to calm your mind. Often you just keep thinking and thinking about why things have to be this way. That thinking can make it hard to listen to your teacher in school and make it especially hard to fall asleep at night. This is the time to play and rest and just "be," while your mind heals and adjusts to the changes in your life. But it is not easy to find ways to do that, especially in the early days of your loss. Guess what? There is an activity that you may have done when you were much younger, and it can really help. It is a simple, cheap activity that you can do anywhere, anytime. It is coloring

Believe it or not many good and helpful changes take place while you color. These changes are exactly what you need when you are sad and confused. When you put those colors between the lines or even create your very own drawing you are telling your brain to relax. You send signals to the part of your brain that is most worried and mad and afraid and tell it to calm down. Once that has happened, coloring can allow you to really focus on this one task without thinking of all your other worries. For a while your brain can feel quiet and peaceful. It will also spark your creativity. You remember that you are a kid again. Coloring helps you relax, calm down, focus, be quiet, peaceful and more creative. It also reminds you that you can play and be in a place that is kinder, more colorful and gentle than the one filled with your grief.

On bad days, or as a daily practice, grab crayons, markers or colored pencils. Then pick up coloring books wherever you can find them (or print coloring pages from the computer). Sit in your favorite place at your favorite time of day, or do this before bedtime to prepare your body for sleep. Finally, hold your loved one in your heart, and color your pages to allow peace to fill your heart too. The adults in your life may watch the good things it does for you and join in, too. Be sure to share your crayons with them!

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