Grieving the loss of a loved can be one of the most difficult circumstances to navigate.
To promote healing, Carmel resident Elaine Voci has created a coloring book called “Resilience Art: A Grief Coloring Book Using Ritual and Music to Help You Grow.” Voci is a celebrant and facilitates a death cafe where attendees discuss death.
“I’m a fan of coloring books,” Voci said. “I thought I could put ritual art and music together to help people help themselves. The focus of the book is resilience. When we encounter loss, what builds our resilience is how we react to it. What do we do to help ourselves get stronger?”
The concept of rituals occurs in daily life and is important to the grieving process, Voci said.
“The rituals around grieving include preparing a space where you can bring a picture of your loved one or other artifacts that are memorable for you and that have meaning for you,” Voci said. “You can put certain music on and take a page from this coloring book, and for 45 minutes or an hour you can intentionally be working with the memory and the feelings that are evoked. You’re helping build your own resilience by creating that little ritual and coloring in the book as a part of it.”
Voci also provides examples from her own life experiences.
“I grew up in an Italian family where my dad sang opera on Sunday mornings when he was shaving getting ready to go to church, so that music has particular significance for me,” Voci said. “Everyone has certain songs they really connect to or that are associated with the person you’ve lost. If you bring those songs to yourself and add that simple ritual it becomes a very moving thing because then the memories are more vivid.”
The book comes out Feb. 6 and is available for pre-order at mascotbooks.com.