“The following is an excerpt from the section on how boys heal. This excerpt focuses on healing through creative action.
Excerpt: Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons, page 53-54
I once worked with a young man whose girlfriend was killed in a car accident. The young man was distraught and crushed by her death. Shortly after the death he did connect with some friends and talk about her and how hard it was for him. As time went on he found he had a great deal of pain due to her death and he found some creative ways to work with it. He played guitar and he started to write songs about her. He didn’t share any of this with many people. He kept it mostly to himself (invisible to most) but the songs were about her and about their time together and they were very emotionally powerful. Can you imagine as he is writing these songs what might be happening to him? He was surely experiencing the emotions surrounding her loss but he was doing so in a way that had nothing to do with talking and everything to do with an activity that helped him move into the feelings and slowly release them. No one told him to do this. No one instructed him about what to do. He did it on his own without any direction. This is a great example of a young man using his creative action to help him with his emotions. He was telling his story through his creativity and his emotions and reactions were likely similar to what you might expect from someone else attending a support group.
How could you be of help to this young man? Would you ask him to sit and talk about his feelings about the death of his girlfriend? No. How about asking him about his songs? Which is your favorite? What is the newest song? Can you play one for me? The young man would be more likely to want to share a song than to sit and talk face to face about his feelings. As he played you can imagine the emotions would pour out. By focusing on his music you are entering his safe place. If he allows you to enter all the better but also know that he may not really want to share this. That’s ok too.