The Pressure of Grief

The Pressure of Grief

IMG_3419If you were to use the spiral below to map the weight of grief over time using only the pressure of your pencil on the paper what would it look like? Ideally, we would like to believe that our grief is darkest close to our loss – the center – and gradually lessens over time. If only it were that simple, right? But how does the pressure of your grief really look?

Creative heARTwork Activity

Using the pencil from your Camp Widow goodie bag and the spiral below let’s map how grief feels over a period of time.


Here’s how:

  • Click on the image of the spiral below to download and print the activity sheet
  • Choose a time frame that makes sense for you – a day, a week, etc. – and write that at the top of the page.
  • Start in the middle and map your grief adjusting your pencil pressure to represent your emotions:
    •    Those times that your grief is at its worst, use heavy pressure with your pencil creating a dark mark.
    •    When grief is with you but not unrelenting, your pencil pressure is less but still present enough to be seen clearly.
    •    When you feel fairly comfortable or during moments of joy use light pressure.
  • Try to map increments of time, one day for instance, in relatively equal sections throughout the spiral. This doesn’t have to be perfect but doing so will allow patterns to be revealed.

Gray Spiral

 (Click on the spiral above to download and print the activity sheet)

Something to think about:

After you have worked with your spiral for a bit what do you notice? Is there a nice even flow of blue starting dark in the middle and tapering off evenly to the outside? No, right? It looks messy doesn’t it? When looking at your creation stay curious about what it tells you.

  • How much of the spiral is dark? Is it more or less than you expected?
  • Is there any pattern that you can discern?
  • If you tracked for a longer period such as a month do you notice any change over time? If not, why do you think that might be?
  • Consider repeating this activity at a different point in time and comparing the changes.

Share your experience:

If you have any questions about this tool or would like to share what you learned please get in touch with me at 404-377-5160 or [email protected]. I’d love to see what you did with this process and chat with you about how to interpret it (at no charge).

Just remember, an activity like this is about the process not the product. Our brains want to “figure out” grief but it often defies logic. We can tap into our creativity to understand it, recognize it and move with it.



P.S. Don’t forget that only Camp Widow participants get nice discounts on one-on-one coaching. Get the details at