All of Sudden… or How to create a page about grief?

OK- this is a sad topic- but no worries- I keep it still light 😉

I was a while ago asked to create a page about grieving. It wasn’t the easiest part – I have to admit. I mean, Scrapbooking, ArtJournaling- all pretty personal, right and it is all making you vulnerable already…and then to put it out there about grief. mmmpfff…..I have to admit that I was for the first time hesitant to do something I was asked for. But then I thought, I should just give it a go and see – I can still decide to hold it back, right?

I decided to do a layout without picture about my feelings of my loss of my step father.


In short, my father died when I was 20 days old. My stepfather, who came later in my Mom’s and my life, was an amazing man- and a loving father, taking care of me as if I was one of his own children. He died when I was 25.

After a while you do not think every second, every hour, every day, every week, every month about the person you lost. But sometimes it hits you still after all those years without warning- and this is what the journaling is about.

My father for example loved to listen to his music sometimes pretty loud – I think I got my love for loud and heavy music actually from him – LOL. He had quite a big LP collection and we would sometimes in the summer sit together in our garden with open windows, listening to some cool music. Not sure if the neighbors thought it was cool, but he was for sure ranking as the “cool” Dad among my friends 😉 We would meet at the same concerts…which was as a teenager a bit strange at times- LOL – because dang it – Dads are supposed to stay home and sleep so you can sneak in late 😉 So sometimes if I hear certain songs – it just hits me and I think back and I miss him a lot! It is a weird mixture of sadness and happiness. I guess I don’t have to explain the Sadness – but: Happiness is because I was so fortune to have a person like that in my life and spent time with him to have those memories!

Supplies: Prima Shabby Chic Papers, Prima Vine, old Music sheets, Gesso, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and Glam, Pink Paislee Dailee Junque Alphabet, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L

It was actually quite relieving creating this layout and I am glad I did it. Well – they say art and creating is therapy, huh? I think that is a pretty good excuse for spending all that money in art supplies, what do you think? LOL

Have you ever created a layout or project about grief?

Have a wonderful and happy day!




  1. Flitters says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Nat. Grief is what got me started on this path of art journaling, yet, ironically, I have not made a single page about my grief. My sweetie passed away three years ago, and yes, sometimes, it just hits me like a tidal wave, as if he just died yesterday. I sooooo terribly miss him, and it is quite a relief to know that I am not alone in this experience.

  2. Debbie in AZ says:

    What a wonderful layout!

    After my brother’s best friend committed suicide, I made my brother an album about his friend and their lifelong friendship. I used old photos, momentos and many snippets of memories that my brother told me as the basis for the pages. I also included photos from his wake and a poem my brother read aloud that day that helped him grieve for his friend. I even asked him to help me make a couple of the pages too. After it was finished, he had it professionally copied and bound and gave the bound copy to his friend’s parents. They were very grateful for the good memories of their son and for my brother’s friendship. My brother treasures this album too. In short, we didn’t shy away from the sad and tragic parts but also celebrated the many good memories too.

  3. Lovely memory about your daddy, I hope we will be the same for our choldren and our grandchilds, I think your father and us her are the same about music and garden party and lovely people seeing each other ❤

  4. Nat, es bueno sacar hacia fuera los sentimientos que nos duelen, y a la vez nos hacen felices, el trabajo es precioso, pero sobre todo el sentimiento que lleva. Un besito muy grande y muchas gracias por compartirlo, en muchas ocasiones me he sentido fustrada, pero no he sido tan valiente como tu.

  5. M. Carmen - Cuchy says:

    I don’t understand a word of your page, but it speaks to me. So powerful and beautiful.
    Your stepfather did a great job with you 🙂

  6. Nat I love this page. It’s really beautiful. I love how you used the gesso. I’m not so good at the grief stuff, I’ve avoided it. I haven’t really scrapped about my Stepdad or my Grandad.
    If something botheres me I tend to avoid rather than tackle.
    You did good Nat xxx

  7. What a nice story…the page is beautiful! Just keep on hanging on to those special memories. No one can take that away from you. Tfs!

  8. What beautiful memories. I love your picture-free page. Even though I cant read it the colors and layout are so calming and evoke the feeling of tribute. I also have done one of these about loss of a loved one. I enjoyed making it and every now and then, looking at it. Life’s not all sunshine and roses, eh? xoxox

  9. Sue Clarke says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your Dad as well. Sounds like a fun guy especially with music. I have done at least 3 LO’s about people/pets who have passed and how I feel about it. Each time it was very therapeutic and cheaper than therapy.

  10. I also believe that creating is therapy! I made a layout some time ago about my mother, lying in a hospitalbed – dying, but with her first granddaughter in her arms. I cried while doing it, but it felt rather good at the end.
    Your stephfather sounds like a fantastic person and so cool to be around. Good to have so many good memories!

  11. I have had quite a lot of loss of family over the past three years. In my brothers circumstances they were both very sudden. My mum’s passing was expected but it hit me like an avalanche when it happened.
    I have created a number of layouts and mixed media pieces for all of them. I have given most of them to my remaining brother and sister. I found it a very personal and even healing way to work through my feelings and my memories.
    Reading your story is special. It is out there and you will never forget the lovely memories you shared. BTW my son and I share a love of loud, crazy music!
    I hope you use the memories that would have surfaced for you when creating this piece to heal and mend!

  12. Your stepdad sounds like he was a super cool guy. I’m so sorry for your loss Nat. I LOVE that you made a page about it! It’s beautiful and very inspiring!

    • Harriet Garrison says:

      Hi, I think it is beautiful. It’s different (and sometimes hard) to do things that are not the norm but you grow and learn. I think it helps you feel better too. Therapy. I really love this page. It has a perfect balance of softness, happiness and tenderness without the bright celebrating colors, of say, a birthday. My dog just passed a week ago. Even tho it’s not a person, he was very special. Maybe I’ll do a little book for him. Nat, you did a fabulous job and got to remenisce about your step-dad for a time. He’s probably smiling at you and so proud. Thanks for sharing!!

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