What Colour is your Grief?


Here is a tool for you to use that can be reworked in different ways.

I am going to address the concept of colours in grief in THREE ways.  For some of you this may be a step with “Getting out of the box”, your box of understanding. 


When speaking to your clients about grief, ask them what colour it feels like. You may be surprised by their answer and never assume what their answer will be.
-in future session ask again and the colour might be different
-this gives you an opportunity to delve deeper into grief
-other concerns may arise


Sometimes, at the beginning of a session, I have clients draw a HEART on a piece of computer paper         

and indicate with crayons or coloured markers how much of the HEART is happy and how much is sad.

-the conversations from this exercise can change from session to session also.

-the colours used and the amounts indicated with each colour may change

-this is can be used as a progress indicator for you and your client


The aura around someone can also indicate a state of grief, sadness, trauma and being overwhelmed to name a few states of being.

Consider for a moment, a child in a counselling session who tells you they are bad, because the colour they see around themselves is dirty brown.  With this comment comes the sadness in the eyes, the lowered head and eyes and a feeling of not being good enough. 

What you don’t see or know is that this child had experienced extreme loss and trauma and misinterpreted the colour of the aura and it’s meaning.  This therefore created a perpetuating self narrative of being bad due to their inability to understand grief and trauma.

In all seriousness, some people see the world differently and until you ask, you may not know that they see auras around themselves and others.

What is an “AURA”?

I encourage you to seek more information on this topic if it is of interest to you. 

In very basic terms an aura can be described in the following manner;

  1. As a loose outline in the atmosphere that surrounds a person or living thing and is generated by their own energy. 

Suffice to say in this article I have introduced a different concept as it relates to auras, grief and loss, that I hope you do not dismiss when speaking with your clients.

Open the doors of conversation and “Get out of the box”!

All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Grief Counsellor/Thanatologist