I Choose Blue As My Color

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

After my husband Peter died almost five years ago, I no longer saw the world in color.  I saw only shades of gray, as if I was in an old-fashioned black-and-white movie.  Color and more importantly, the richness of color, was displaced by a dull vision of gray gloominess.  My life was drained of all color and vibrancy.  I felt as if the trauma of my loss transformed my vision to the overcast loneliness of gray. 

Remember the 2000 movie Pleasantville?  Everyone in Pleasantville is portrayed in black and white.  But slowly, as the characters experience the emotions of compassion, kindness, and love, color returned to the screen.  When I was in the early throes of grief, I saw days in a blinding haze of shadows.  As I began to see some light at the end of the tunnel, colors began to come back into view.  As I ventured out into the world, taking small steps forward, technicolor slowly began to return to my vision. 

I discovered that colors and emotions are closely allied.  Some colors make us feel happy, and some evoke feelings of sadness.  The psychological effects colors have on emotions depends on the brightness, the tint, the hue, and whether the colors are warm or cool.  Traditionally warm colors are reds, oranges, and yellows.  Theoretically warm colors induce optimistic and happy feelings.  But, when one thinks of red, one also thinks of anger which is one of the stages of grief.   Red also makes you stop, literally at a stop sign or it can signal danger. Cool colors, include blue, green and purple.  Cool colors evoke soothing and comforting feelings but blue can also be used to mean sadness as in the “blues.”

When I think of happy colors, I think of pastels colors, particularly pink, lilacs, and soft blues.  Maybe they evoke baby colors which always brings a smile.  Sad colors are muddy greys and browns.  In Western culture black is the color of mourning but in East Asian countries white is used for mourning to symbolize rebirth. 

As a blond, I love to wear red which is not only flattering but seems to suggest the fact that I am empowered and impassioned.  Yellow is the color of smiley faces and seems to give one a sense of happiness.  Orange is a high-energy color with a lot of vitality.  Green is the color of nature and evokes calming and a sense of growth.  Pink is feminine, flirty and fun.  Purple is associated with royalty and wealth and also has a calming effect.  Black is sure to remind one of sophistication.  Who doesn’t want to look great in an LBD (little black dress)?  But black is also the color of sadness and mourning.  White conjures up feelings of purity, rebirth, and modernity.

Blue is my favorite color.  Blue calms me, and makes me feel relaxed.  As I move to accept my new reality, blue has helped me to view my new existence.  For me blue is the color of healing and growth.  Others feel that green, since it signifies plants and new growth, is a better choice for healing.  But I choose blue.  It is my calmative, quieting, soothing, and comforting lens through which I move forward into the light.

Please feel free to contact me via my website:

My latest blog on THRIVE GLOBAL. If you would like to sign up for my blogs follow this link:

And if you would like to buy my new book:

October 15, 2019, Los Angeles, CA – Cookbook author and television chef Laurie Burrows Grad, 75, sits down to a roasted chicken dinner in her Los Angeles home. Grad’s husband of 47 years, Peter Grad, died four years ago. To cope with her grief, Grad has written extensively about grief and grieving, and her new book, “The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now,” navigates her first years of widowhood, and includes nine recipes with advice about cooking for one. (Sally Ryan for The New York Times)
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...


    Life in the Middle

    by Sarah Wood

    “Make a ritual out of it.” With Bernadette Pleasant

    by Candice Georgiadis

    Recognizing our Impacts on Beautiful Places

    by Erika Veidis
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.