This how to process grief through creative memorials

Processing grief through art and creative memorials 

Have you ever been to a funeral and seen large displays of photos and collages of the deceased put together by loved ones? Most people have and there is a very good reason for this. Both grief and art are part of human nature.   


After a loved one dies, the bereaved often feel a strong desire to honor them in the form of a memorial or tribute. In fact, people often find the planning of the funeral or service therapeutic because it gives the bereaved an outlet to channel their emotions and keep them busy. 


Creating a memorial collage or picking out a gravestone or funeral flowers are ways in which the bereaved use their creativity and essentially create a work of art that will be on display. The rewards are gratifying and deep satisfaction can be experienced by creating something that friends and family members enjoy looking at during the service or afterwards. 

Using art while grieving can help you better understand your emotions

What happens after the funeral or memorial has passed? Are there other ways you can use art to help channel those emotions? Absolutely. From having creative things done with the ashes of a loved one, such as turning the remains into a diamond, to setting up an easel and painting - art is a soothing practice that helps people get in touch with their emotions and gain a better understanding of the feelings they have about the recent death. 

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Art has been used as a way to portray emotions for centuries. In fact, some of the most famous painters in the world created their masterpieces during a period of grief. Whether the emotions are positive or negative, the creation of art can help someone make sense of the grieving process. 


Here’s a list of seven creative ways to express your grief through art:


  1. Creating a painting of your loved one using paint that has been mixed with their cremated ashes. If you’re interested in exploring the relaxing process of painting, you can mix some of your loved one’s ashes in with your paint and create a piece in tribute to the memories of your loved one. If you would like to have a professional portrait, there are many different companies that offer this service and all you have to do is send in a sample of your loved one’s ashes and their picture. is one of the leading companies that provide this service.
  2. Sign up for an art class. Pottery. Painting. Pencil drawing. There are a variety of different art classes. While some of these options are available through your community at a center, you can also find art classes online. By focusing on learning a new skill, you can clear your mind and process your feelings more productively. is one such resource that provides online learning in the arts.
  3. Turn cremated ashes into diamonds. Cremation diamonds are made by extracting the carbon from a sample of cremains or hair, and then combining this pure carbon with a diamond growing foundation and exposing it to extreme heat and temperatures which turns it into a diamond. Most people who decide to have their loved one turned into a diamond usually choose to have the stone set in a piece of memorial jewelry. Heart in Diamond is a global company that has been offering these services to the world for more than a decade. Because they own their own production laboratory, their cremation diamond prices are competitive, starting at just $750. 
  4. Have a customized gravestone created. If your loved one will be buried in a cemetery, the headstone will be on display for all to see. Customizing a headstone for a deceased loved one is a way you can use your artistic abilities to pay tribute to the departed. One of the most popular ways to personalize a headstone is to have a picture of the deceased printed on the stone. 
  5. Create a vinyl record and album cover that contains the cremated ashes of a loved one. Anyvinyly is a company that allows you to send in the ashes of a loved one to be pressed into a vinyl record. Get as creative as you want and choose a collection of songs to be put onto the album or send in a recording, possibly of your loved one speaking. For an additional charge, you can also create a personalized album cover for the record.
  6. Design a memorial bench for your loved one which can go in the cemetery, a garden, or even a public place. From granite to wood and everything in between, there are many different styles of memorial benches that commemorate the life of a loved one.
  7. Commission the creation of a sculpture which can be placed in a cemetery or garden. Better yet, if you’re feeling inspired, you can get into sculpting yourself and design something unique that represents your loved one.


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Opening up through art and creativity

Art opens up parts of ourselves that we normally try to suppress. Whether you choose to take a hands-on approach to creating a piece of art to help you through the process of grief, or if you want to come up with the ideas and have someone else make the memorial - both are beautiful ways to celebrate the memories of a loved one. 


These are just a few ideas to help get your wheels turning, but there are literally endless possibilities when it comes to art which is just one of the reasons this practice is so rewarding. You might want to check out local offerings for an art therapy group as a place to get started or gain more ideas.