Dealing with Loss
Photography and Healing

For dealing with loss, I found that expressing feelings through creative photography to be a great help on the path to healing. Grief and loss have a way of taking us to places where words seem inadequate. Visual images provide a way to transcend the limitation of language and get to our deeper emotions. The image may then serve as a doorway to open up the words to express those feelings more deeply.

As you can see throughout this site, I enjoy nature photography. But don't limit yourself, you need to explore the images that have meaning for you. Even abstract photography can provide color and form that speaks to you on an emotional level.

Start by taking time to look around you--at your house, at work, at the shopping center. Take the time to notice the images that draw you. Notice, also, the images that you want to push away from. Notice the emotions you connect with different images. start to think about why you make these connections--they tell you significant things about yourself.

hornet-nest

When I took this photo of the hornet's nest, I noticed that there were no hornets left. It seemed deserted and lifeless. I recognized those feelings in my personal life at the time. I felt empty and lifeless, so I connected with this image, even though I didn't actually explore it much at the time. Later I took time to reflect back on the emotion that the picture drew out of me.

Exercises for dealing with loss through photography

1. Make a photo that express feelings you are experiencing at any given time. Take one photo a day over a period of time. Keep them dated and notice how your emotions change over the course of your grief.

2. Take a photo of what you think your life will be like after the worst of your grief is over. This can become a hopeful image to keep present before you on difficult days.

3. Make a photo that reflects the nature of your relationship with family members, friends, community or God during this season of your life.

4. Take a photo that would be your wordless prayer for what you need most in your life right now as you are dealing with loss.

5. Make a collage of photos that represent who your loved one was to you and what you miss most about him or her.

For more ideas about photography and healing click back to photo reflections page

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