“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” –Thomas Merton
Art is certainly a powerful force. How many of us have a favorite song that once we hear it, we are immediately transported to a specific place and time? Or who hasn’t seen a movie that has brought us to tears? Paintings such as the Mona Lisa have been the subject of countless articles and debates over the centuries. Public art such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the contemporary “Bean” in Chicago draw millions of visitors each year who admire the beauty, simplicity or complexity of the works.
Today, neuroscientists and psychologists are finding that the arts help nurture the right hemisphere of the brain, which promotes creativity. Art, they have discovered, is much more than what meets the eye.
During our grief, it can be very helpful and soothing to express ourselves though art. Drawing, painting, taking photos, writing poems, journaling, playing music and other forms of art can help us express our thoughts and feelings in a healing and helpful way. It doesn’t matter if you are a creative, artistic person or not; just going through the exercise of making something from nothing is beneficial.
It also may be helpful to simply view or interact with art. Read a good book. Visit an art gallery, or watch an inspirational film.
One of the reasons why Forest Lawn is filled with examples of the world’s greatest art and sculpture is because of the therapeutic powers intrinsic in the art itself. To behold the glory of Leonardo da Vinci’s immortal Last Supper in glowing stained glass is an inspirational experience. A marble statue carefu
lly placed in a beautiful garden soothes and comforts the viewer. A mausoleum with displays of mosaic art, stained glass and beautiful statuary leave the visitor uplifted.
We encourage anyone who is grieving to consider engaging in the arts as a way towards healing, understanding and peace of mind.