Bereaved But Still Me

Processing Grief Through Art

September 03, 2019 Hannah Sherebrin Season 3 Episode 9
Bereaved But Still Me
Processing Grief Through Art
Chapters
Bereaved But Still Me
Processing Grief Through Art
Sep 03, 2019 Season 3 Episode 9
Hannah Sherebrin

How can we use art to help us with our grief? Hannah Sherebrin, M.S., ATR, RN is a retired Director of the Art Craft studio of the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She moved to Israel in 1997 where she continues to work as an Art Therapist in private practice dealing mainly with trauma bereavement and depression with adult populations.

She supervises practicum students and other art therapists and leads art therapy support groups of bereaved parents whose children have died in terrorist activities and in the army. Hannah has presented numerous international and national conferences in Canada, Israel, and the U.S., published articles in magazine and book chapters, served on the executive committee of the Ontario Art Therapy Association and currently is the Vice President of YAHAT, the Israeli Creative Arts Therapies Association. Hannah resided both in Israel and in Canada. Now she is immediate past president of the Israeli Art Therapy Association, and member of the overseeing committee. She is also the chair of registration and supervision in the Ontario Art Therapy Association.

In this episode of Heart to Heart with Michael, Hannah and Michael talk about Hannah's experience with grief, what she does with her patients to help them use art to deal with their grief, and the importance of silence when dealing with a grieving individual.

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Show Notes Transcript

How can we use art to help us with our grief? Hannah Sherebrin, M.S., ATR, RN is a retired Director of the Art Craft studio of the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She moved to Israel in 1997 where she continues to work as an Art Therapist in private practice dealing mainly with trauma bereavement and depression with adult populations.

She supervises practicum students and other art therapists and leads art therapy support groups of bereaved parents whose children have died in terrorist activities and in the army. Hannah has presented numerous international and national conferences in Canada, Israel, and the U.S., published articles in magazine and book chapters, served on the executive committee of the Ontario Art Therapy Association and currently is the Vice President of YAHAT, the Israeli Creative Arts Therapies Association. Hannah resided both in Israel and in Canada. Now she is immediate past president of the Israeli Art Therapy Association, and member of the overseeing committee. She is also the chair of registration and supervision in the Ontario Art Therapy Association.

In this episode of Heart to Heart with Michael, Hannah and Michael talk about Hannah's experience with grief, what she does with her patients to help them use art to deal with their grief, and the importance of silence when dealing with a grieving individual.

Please take a moment to follow us on your preferred social media platforms:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/heart-to-heart-with-michael/id1333229173

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HUGPodcastNetwork/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGPKwIU5M_YOxvtWepFR5Zw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hugpodcastnetwork/

If you enjoy this program and would like to be a Patron, please check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/HeartToHeart

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/HearttoHeart)

spk_0:   0:00
one off The nicest pieces besides these piece that I've seen is one of the purse. People rolled it up and created like like a tube. I looked through the tube and said, I can see light at the end Off the town

spk_3:   0:17
Way Friends to the Third Season of Heart to Heart with Michael Program for the brief community. Our purpose is to empower members of our community this season. We're taking a longer view. Can we find healing? Can we find peace? Today's program is processing grief through art with us today to discuss this topic is our guest on the sheriff kind of share Bread is the retired director of the Art Craft Studio of University of Western Ontario, Canada. She moved to Israel in 1997 where she continues to work a cz, an art therapist in private practice, getting mainly with Trump bereavement on depression with adult populations. She supervises practicum students and other art therapists and leads our therapy support. Groups of bereaved parents whose Children have died in terrorist activities and in the army has presented numerous international and national conferences in Canada, Israel on United States, published articles in magazines and book chapters served on the Executive committee of the Interior Art Therapy Association. Connor resides both in Israel and in Canada. Now she's the immediate past president of his really art therapy association and member of the overseeing committee All social chair of the registration supervision, the Ontario Art Therapy Association. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have you with us. Well,

spk_2:   1:44
thank you very much for having me on the

spk_0:   1:47
program, and I'm ready to go here. What you would like to what you would like me to talk about?

spk_1:   1:54
Well, the first thing I think we need to know more about you. So please tell me about your brother.

spk_0:   1:59
Well, my brother was 12 years older than me. And, uh, by the time I was born, my sister, who is some 15 years older than me already left, um, the where we were we I was born in Transylvania, which during the second World War and, um, s up. You probably know that was not a very, um, easy place to be for a Jewish person. Ah, and my sister left actually. Ah, a day before the Romania, which Transylvania was part of Romania at that time went into ah came into the war. So, um, she left with a youth movement with you, Celia to Israel. And my parents didn't hear from her for probably over a year. They didn't know had she arrived, had she not arrived, what was happening with her? In the meantime, I was born. And the situation there was not that great. I knew my brother. I knew my sister only from pictures that were shown to me. That that is your sister. And that's it. I mean, um, then in 44 still, during the war we managed, my father was in the work camp. Ah, and managed to get home are quite sick. And my mother said that they were both very much involved in the Zionist movement. And my mother said, I'm taking the kids, and I'm going to Israel by hook or by crook. I'm leaving here. If you want to come with us, that's fine. If not, you know, be my guest. Stay here. But I'm not staying. And they managed to get onto a little boat. Um, it was very lucky that my father was actually on the boat because he, uh, a district, Turkish and the the crew was talking to each other and telling them, telling that the boat will be given to the Germans the next day. And ah, he got together. The young people that were on the boat. My brother was, uh I guess about what, 15 Almost 16. At the time, there were other young people they managed to go and convinced the with with with with some money and with a gun. Convince the captain to change course. And, uh, instead of being about, you know, two days or three days on the boat. We were about 2.5 weeks. No water, no food. People, many, many more people than the boat could actually, uh, take, um and we somehow managed to skirt the Bulgarian coast and gets to turkey a turkey. We were met. We were put by the by. The hogan are people. We were put on a on a train that went through, um, Syria, Lebanon. And, um came in at what was then called Russell Naqoura, which is Russian Nigra. Ah, and the British then that were the mandate in Palestine, put us up on Lorries and took us to athlete, which is like a DP camp. My brother was there, but but we were separated. Men and women and Children were separated. I met by my sister there for the first time after the birth, Barbed wires, fans saw her and didn't recognize her because she cut her hair. The cut of a story Long story short. We were all dispersed. My brother went to a kibbutz. My sister was establishing a kibbutz. Um And, uh, from the kibbutz off he went with the pal Bok Hee. He joined the Palme on dhe. Hey, Waas fighting in the War of Independence. And he was in many of the fights. He came home. I've last time I met him, he came home after a big battle. Ah, and that was the first time that he actually talked a lot. And, uh, he was my my whole life. I mean, he was my support system. He waas my my only brother because that's that's the one that I grew up with that I knew. And, uh, and after that, he went back to the army. And that was the last time I actually saw him. He fell. Ah, he was killed at the in the morning off the big armistice. We didn't know about it. Apparently, there was the it was in jail. She, huh? Ah, and, uh, they were They were surrounded. Um, he and the 10 people in his group stayed to let the others go, and all 10 off them were killed. And and, uh, we're not allowed. Nobody was allowed to touch the the bodies until there was negotiation. About 10 days later, they allowed to take the bodies out. And the way I learned about it, I was about seven years old, almost seven years old, And I went I thought that he's coming home for the weekend and I went to be clean the house, and I went and I picked some flowers, and, uh and I came home and one of the kids said to me, um, go home. Your parents are sitting on the floor. When I came in, um, it was a small, small, very fairly small house. It was full of people. The people parted and I saw there my father and mother, indeed, sitting on the floor, and my father looked at me and yelled, You have no brother any Maur. That was my introduction to grief.

spk_1:   8:53
But I'm really sorry. I want to clarify something for people who may not gonna be ableto relate to this. When you lose somebody in war specifically to award that creates the place in which you live like this is the war for independence. Then every day every place really has to remind you of that love somewhere, right?

spk_0:   9:12
It's a complex thing because when you come into a country into a place, it's already a loss because you come from a different place. You lost your your first being like any immigrant that comes into a new country. You already are struggling with the loss. So it's kind of a loss on top off a loss, and you're starting to establish yourself with all the losses. And you're trying to really create something and create something new. Yes, the personal loss does come into effect, and I remember myself walking on the street and seeing somebody from the back that I was absolutely sure looks like my brother. And my heart starts beating and you know, all your adrenaline starts flowing and you start really a CZ. This is what happens because you start ventilating, you start Really? The whole thing, the whole emotional, um, being in, you starts, starts beating. Ah, and and then you go, And of course it's not.

spk_1:   10:33
It says here in your bio that you moved Israel in 97 but you actually moved to Israel before there was in Israel in guessing 5 46 44 But you also now live half of your time in Canada. So your relationship with Israel, I think, is complex, very complex. And I'm guessing that a lot of this has to do with those early experiences and how difficult it was to come here and to sort of make a new life and then have it up turned from beginning.

spk_0:   11:00
Well, yes, but really that waas that was at least making life, getting away from death and coming into life. And with when you when you when you get away from death from from the from the Holocaust and and you come back and you establish your life, you you off course takes things with you. But but you put all your energy into creating something new. Okay, so you put together the shards you put together the things and you start creating something new. Now that thing blows apart again. When you have another loss on this is thistles, what happens. And then you have to put all your energy in and so on and so forth to put things together. And especially when your when your when your support systems around you, like your parents are the your main support systems. They grieve, too. And I don't have the energy or the time to kind off put in you and and, um and look after you. And this is what I will tell you later about my work with the, uh with with brief parents because I know it from the from the point of view and the perspective off the child. But I've also seen my parents, you know, and what they went through for their grieving. So I was doing things in different ways. I used to bury myself in books. I usedto climb trees and sit on

spk_2:   12:49
trees and read and kind off close myself in and disappear. Really? So you have to look at that kind of seeing the swell forever by the baby blue sound collective. I think what I love so much about this CD is that some of the songs were inspired by the patient's

spk_3:   13:19
many listeners will understand many of the different songs and what they've been inspired. Our new album will be available on iTunes. Amazon dot com. Spotify.

spk_2:   13:29
I love the fact that the proceeds from this CD are actually going to help those with heart defects.

spk_3:   13:36
Enjoy Music

spk_2:   13:37
Home Tonight forever.

spk_5:   13:42
Hi, my name is Jaime Al Croft, and I just published my new book, The Tin Man Diaries. It's an amazing story of my sudden change of heart as I went through a heart liver transplant. I can think of no better way to read The Tin Man diaries than to cuddle up in your favorite hearts. Unite the Globe sweatshirt and your favorite hot beverage, of course, in your hearts Unite Blow mug, both of which are available. The Hug podcast network, online store or visit hearts unite theglobe dot

spk_2:   14:14
You are listening to heart to heart with Michael. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on Michael's program, please email him at Michael at heart to heart with michael dot com. Now back to our program

spk_1:   14:29
kind of Tell me about what you do with people greeting with crayons. Don't have the crabs, because that's special.

spk_0:   14:34
Well, um, what I do is I actually asked people what ISS lost. What is Drama? Okay. And people talk about trauma in different ways. There. Tell me what people feel, what people do, Whatever, whatever. And then what I do is I take a big alloy, a box of crayons and I open it up and I say, Look at those. It's organized in here. Whatever the colors, it doesn't matter where they are, how they are, but but it's in the box. It's fine. It looks okay. And that's like And then what I dio is I take my hand and I get a big bang from the bottom and everything flies and and that is really And people have different reactions, and the reactions of people have are the same reactions that we all have. Four, uh, trauma there is. There is the the fight, the flight, the freeze. You know, people are, um, either getting up immediately and trying to get things together. Or they are. They're they're kind off moving back on or they're freezing their frozen to the point, and then after a little bit, it's it's, you know, they start putting things together back in the box that

spk_1:   16:09
amazes me.

spk_0:   16:10
I looked at

spk_1:   16:11
It amazes me that people get up in the middle and just start putting it back. You told me that the pre interview,

spk_0:   16:16
but they But they do because what is happening? You see the things on the floor and you realize because I don't do anything, I just sit there and they take and they put it back into the box and they're even looking. If they see that there is a space in the box, they look around and sometimes I look around and I pointed something that over there, let's see. I can see one over there and they pick it up and put in the box and they're very upset if they don't find if they see that there is a space and they cannot see any more crayons and we, we we actually look around, and once they find it quite happy and they put it back and it's in and I look at it and I tell them I look at them and say what you. Is this okay? Does it look fine? Now? Would you like to change some things in here? You can. You can if If it doesn't feel right to you, you can take it some crayons and put them in different places and so on. And once they finish that, some put some people do some people, don't I say OK, is it fine now? And they say, Yeah, fine. And say, Is it the same as it was before? And they say, obviously, no, it's it's, it's It's not I don't I don't think so. I don't know, really. And I say No, it can never be exactly the same as it was before. And that's all it is, really. It is a metaphor for all that we do in fact, in our grief work because what happens is we have a trauma. A trauma is like opening everything. Nothing stays the same. Everything is open, everything is broken up. People are saying my heart is broken. My whole insides are mixed up and that's what it is. In fact, it is a good reflection off what exactly it is because what happens in our trauma, everything that waas you know, at at an equilibrium, and suddenly something comes and destroys. This whole thing destroys our equilibrium, Really? And so what we need to do is start picking up the pieces and putting them back together. And that's what we do now, how we put it together. Each one does it in their individual way. We don't know, but the the idea is to help people put it together their own way so that they can live with it. It will never be the same as before, because it's not because we integrated somehow into our life and how

spk_2:   19:20
we integrated. Each one does it. It's only

spk_5:   19:24
I was five hours old when I had my first surgery.

spk_2:   19:28
The only advice I could really give someone like that is to be there for your family.

spk_5:   19:33
This is life, and you have to do it. You live it or you sit in a corner and cry.

spk_2:   19:37
I am in a Gorski and the host of Heart to Heart with Anna. Join us on Tuesdays at noon Eastern time on Speaker R Block talk radio. We'll cover topics of importance for the congenital heart defect community. Remember, my friends, you are not alone.

spk_3:   19:54
If you've enjoyed listening to this program, please visit our website hearts, unite the globe dot or GE and make a contribution. This program is a presentation of hearts, Unite the Globe and is part of the hug Podcast Network Hearts Unite The Globe is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resource is to the congenital heart defect community to educate and power and enrich the lives of our community members. If you would like access to free resource is pertaining to the CHD community, please visit our website at congenital Heart defects dot com for information about CHD hospitals that treat CHD survivors, summer camps for CHD families and much, much more.

spk_2:   20:33
You are listening to heart to heart with Michael. If you have a question or comment that you would like a dressed on our program, please send an email to Michael even at Michael at heart to heart with michael dot com. Now back toe heart to heart with Michael.

spk_3:   20:49
Tell me about the black construction

spk_1:   20:51
papers. How does that work?

spk_0:   20:53
I use art, materials and things that that will work because I find that that words and the group members were have also said that quite often support groups. You you tell the story again and again and again and again and you're ruminate. And what happens is you're creating a loop and you stay within the loop and you cannot separate himself from the loop. So when you're working with art materials, you actually talk about the stuff you're doing. You you separate yourself in a way, you distance yourself, okay? And you talk about that. You know that drawing that thing that I'm doing and whatever and you don't it's it's it's if you're not really talking about your own feelings or your own thing. You're talking about the, um, the product and it's the actual work. The actual creation, um, does actually do some things, some very important thing that you also get. Com You're all the thoughts and the talk and the noise in your head calms down. And then there is a different way off off communicating between the people you're talking about working with black. You take a big piece off like construction paper and Austin toe work, just from that to do some three dimensional objects. And two, if they want you some color and anything else used their whatever one off the group was I. I was absolutely amazed. He made Ah, Cuba like like one off these origami cubes, but in Big and went to the to the, um, tap and filled it with water. Uh huh. And put it on the table and said, One off these days it's going to collapse. The water is going to come out well. His wife took some black construction paper and made it as like like tor it and put some some colors on it. And it made it like a branch off a tree and stuck it in the middle because there was a hole in the middle, stuck it in the middle. Now it's going to feed. The water is going to feed these branch and it's going to grow and it's not going to explode. It is absolutely wonderful.

spk_1:   23:53
It's amazing. But is there Is there anything that because it's black, that has anything to do with it? Or is it just

spk_0:   23:58
Yes, I sing it does we see black. We talk about about darkness, and that's one of the reasons I'm asking people to actually create something create from the black. Okay, so use that stuff that you have used that feeling. Use that darkness and create from it and one off the nicest pieces. Besides, these piece that I've seen is one of the purse. People rolled it up and created like like a tube. I looked through the tube and said, I can see light at the end off the tongue And so this is the kind of things that happen when you're using art when you're using materials, being in our therapists and being really a trauma therapist. I know exactly what are the stages and what people are going through, and I I devise the activities that I do with people according to their stages and what we do with with with the materials

spk_1:   25:10
what I wanna ask you. Something has complete different. We talk about our therapies catalyst, and you use both silence and witnessing as important tools when you when you work with people. And I noticed that the beginning when you talk about throwing the crowns, you kind of sat there and didn't do anything to see what people would do. So how does how to silence was witnessing help you here?

spk_0:   25:32
I think that's very witnessing is very, very important because, um if you do things on your own and nobody is there to see it, it's as if you say what? Four. What am I doing? Nobody is here. Nobody sees. Nobody acknowledges. So if you're there, if your witness the witnessing is extremely, extremely important because that is if I hear you, I'm here with you. I'm waiting for you. I'm not going to rush you. You take your time and silence is very, very important because it says I'm listening and I'm I can take it. I'm here with you. I'm here for you. I'm not running away.

spk_1:   26:35
It's also very not judgmental.

spk_0:   26:37
Yes, it is. That's that's a very important point that you made. I mean, all of these is nonjudgmental. The art is not in order to be ah, you know, to show how beautiful you can paint. Oh, how wonderful your painting is or whatever. If you're grosses, sure, it's a process. It's a process that you go through both s a creator and as a creator off your own, um, in internal, being off your own off balance and your own equilibrium back

spk_1:   27:22
on

spk_0:   27:22
your own.

spk_1:   27:23
But creating something that that your client would do. But listening is something that you would do.

spk_0:   27:29
Yes, creating comes from them. Listening comes for me. But I'm not just listing. I'm there witnessing. And when I see that the person needs something, I'm there to provide it.

spk_1:   27:44
Kind of This is an amazing story and we're going to continue this in our next programme. So this, for the moment, concludes this current episode of Hart tied with Michael and I want to thank the Sherbourne for sharing her life and her passion for art with us. Kind of Thank you so much for being with us. And I'm looking forward to our next episode. Please join us at the beginning of the month for a brand new podcast. I'll talk with you soon and until then, please remember, moving forward is not moving away.

spk_2:   28:15
Thank you again for joining us. We hope you have gained strength from listening to our program. Heart to heart with Michael can be heard every Thursday at noon Eastern time. We'll talk again next time when we'll share more stories

spk_3:   28:30
weighed Like to think our patrons Brenda Vigorelli, Joseph and French Jaworski and you too, can be a patron of our program by joining us on patriotic p, a, T, r e o and patriotic. Just go to www dot patriotic dot com slash heart to heart and there you conjoined and become a patriot of heart to heart with Michael.