Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Greetings. I am hoping to create a new language of mourning, which seems all but lost in the modern world.The Victorians understood the importance of grieving, and created a beautiful lexicon of melancholic imagery. Art, jewelry, and poetry that embraced the pain of loss, entwined with hope for an unknown yet eternal reunion. Today we live in a denial of death. We are embarrassed by the grieving process. Trite hallmark cards, plastic flowers, and a uninspired scattering of the ashes by the seaside is our current paltry legacy.
I hope to resurrect a meaningful way to grieve. From contemporary urn cozies to mourning jewelry, sewing a quilt from a loved ones' favorite clothes to inventive and personalized shrines.
Why I'm doing this: I unexpectedly lost a close member of my family. I searched for ways to honor her, but everything felt antiquated, inappropriate, or hollowly "goth." I am not morbid, yet I found myself going back to the Victorians and their culture of mourning. Why can't we have something like that? Why must we act like the deceased no longer exist?
I work in television production, and wrote a Discovery Channel show called "Extreme Funerals". Though the methods of mourning were sometimes wacky (shooting ashes into space, turning remains into artificial coral reefs) I was moved by personal stories. I was also disturbed by how few options are out there. As I write this blog, I hope to find new ways to honor our loved ones, and even consider our own mortality.