Just as regular composting is beneficial for your garden’s environment, grief composting can be beneficial in restoring your inner environment – your inner garden – after the loss of a loved one by providing a process for exploring and resolving unresolved feelings; expressing feelings of love and loss; as well as emotionally placing your loved one in a place of beauty.
Step 1: Using large pieces of acid free, biodegradable paper, write and draw-out in crayon what happened that still feels painful or unresolved with regard to your loss; include any feelings and thoughts about “the story” no matter how messy or unpleasant or unkind.
Step 2: Rip the paper into tiny, tiny pieces; place the pieces in a bowl and burn them. Then throw away the ashes.
Step 3: Write and draw “love” stories about the individual who has died. Express what that person meant to you, the beauty they brought to your life, what you will miss about them, and anything else that needed to be said.
Step 4: Read the stories out loud to a concerned listener or loving other, if you so choose.
Step 6: In spring, mix the torn paper with soil; this is now compost for your garden. In the area where you place the compost, plant flowers you feel your loved one would like.
To learn more about grief composting, visit the Remembering A Life Blog: Grief Composting by Elizabeth Lewis.