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Sometimes it IS big and clever

In the months before she died, my sister, swore. A lot. Much to the horror of her youngest child. “I’ve been raising children for 25 years,” she said. “There are a lot of ‘fucks’ to come out.”

I appreciate it’s not right for everyone, but I’m a fan of swearing as a coping mechanism when you’re grieving. I went along to a mosaic class in Paddock Studios, Lewes, to get me out of the house when I was struggling. I realised when I got there that what I needed was to create sweary tiles. The lovely teacher (and amazing mosaic artist) Gill Autie was a little non-plussed, initially, but then she got it, and totally supported me. I’m not good at crafts that require precision. I’m impatient. But Gill would come over to help with the tricky bits – the edges of the ‘k’ in wank and fuck for example. The ‘w’ was tricky too.

What I created is not great art. But my goodness, it was therapeutic. It made me and others laugh. I cannot recommend sweary crafts too highly. A friend sent me a beautiful, adult colouring-in book, mostly flower designs. Very thoughtful. I added swear words to every page, and suddenly it was enormously enjoyable to colour those bits in.

I’d been inspired to do this by a wonderful woman I follow on social media – Felix Hewison-Carter. She has experienced loss and grief and been creating inspirational, sweary embroidery for years. She created the thoughtful, beautiful Little Book of Grieving. Find it here

Research shows that swearing has multiple health benefits, including relief from pain, improved performance. And it creates a sense of solidarity with others!

The point is – grief is hard, exhausting and wearing, and we all need to do that which helps us look after ourselves when it feels really tough to do so. So if swearing is your bag, just do it.

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