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A. Olivia Nelson

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At age 12, Danica Thurber lost her father to a sudden heart attack. She then experienced a string of other losses, including her desire to hold it all together. Thurber says that “grief threatened to engulf me.” Always an artist, she began painting pain and death alongside the beautiful parts of life and discovered that this would be a healing process for her. “It took me years, and a lot of support, to find personal healing,” she said, “and along the way, I began to reach out to others who had experienced loss.” Thurber is now a Therapeutic Art Life Coach, a fine artist and art teacher. She and her husband founded Project Grief, an online school that teaches art as a tool for personal grief recovery. The school is for anyone who’s experienced a loss and shows them how to translate intangible, painful feelings onto a visible canvas. In…

If you’re a friend or family member trying to provide comfort to a grieving heart, the last thing you want to do is bring them more pain. So when you’re told, “Your words and actions are hurtful. You don’t understand,” it may be easy to feel unappreciated or confused. I was just trying to help, you think. The Story of Peanuts and Grief After a long walk, Maria said to her friend Samantha, “Hey, I’m kind of hungry.” Samantha, recalling she had food in her backpack, offered some to Maria. “Hey, here’s some peanuts. I know it’s not much, but it’s all I have.” “Oh, I appreciate it, but I’m afraid I’m allergic,” said Maria. “But, I’m trying to be helpful. Just eat the peanuts,” Samantha said a bit bothered with her friend. “It’s kind of you, but the peanuts you’re giving me will make my stomach hurt more,” Maria…

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