I was a little excited when I saw the pastels and paper sitting on the table. It seems like the kids get all of the art therapy and the grown ups just talk. But today was different.
We did the usual talking. We shared more heart wrenching details of the deaths of our loved ones. It’s horrifying to hear the cruel destruction of normal lives. But it is what it is, and nothing more.
I wasn’t ready to express my feelings on paper by the time the pastels and paper were in front of me. I searched for an image and saw only a small swirl of anger down deep within my heart. I’ve always known it is there, right where I keep it buried, but I generally try to ignore it. To draw it was like picking at a scab to watch the wound bleed.
The group finished drawing our emotions. Then we discussed the self-portraits and how we felt during the process. The kleenex box began changing hands as we shared. I was tear free when I described my drawing but shortly after I mentioned that I’d felt distant and removed from the emotions that I had drawn, that feeling changed. What was previously down deep was rising to the surface in the form of pain.
The group ended and we were let out into the world to fend for ourselves and our children for another week.