An abstract torn paper collage - orange paper torn into small circles is arranged to resemble fish scales, forming two semi-circles that meet in the center. Blue torn paper circles fill the gap behind the orange.

Processing Grief

I try to do one task a day. One day I am painting the paper, finding the right colors, letting it dry. On another day I’m ready to rip it up. Sit and rip, and rip and rip. I rip into similar shapes and sizes finding a rhythm, making a pile of the pieces. I may rip a different color on another day. I keep the pieces in an envelope or a ziplock bag, separated by color.

On a new day I may feel ready to take the pieces out. Let them shake out on the table and see what they look like. All the pieces are different and have their own personality. I mark out a pattern or shape on a piece of fabric with a pencil. I take the pieces and stitch them in lines on the fabric. Torn and broken pieces create a new picture. Stitching them in place with three little stitches. Mending. Making new.

Prompt by: Emma Lewis Acker