Good Grief’s first annual Hope Blooms: Walk of Remembrance on June 17th from 1-4 p.m. at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum is fast approaching!
This meaningful gathering will provide a healing and fun experience for all ages, and for anyone wishing to honor a lost loved one or support a grieving family. Hope Blooms will bring together the Good Grief community, along with individuals and families throughout New Jersey to express their grief in a joyful and collaborative way. Art is a phenomenally healing way to express feelings and grief.
Good Grief is collaborating with Jumpstart, an arts consulting firm in Morristown, to create a memorable experience for all who attend Hope Blooms. For over 25 years, Susie Schub, president, and the Jumpstart team of artists have been helping harness the arts to uplift children, families, service members, and seniors. A team of Good Grief staff, volunteers and artists have designed several unique activities utilizing a variety of creative arts so participants can give life to their expressions of hope and remembrance. In addition to the many arts activities, families will also take part in a reflective walk through nature, symbolically roaming through the grief wilderness in search of meaning and hope, picking-up inspiration and love on the way.
It will be a time for families and individuals to express and reflect on their grief and to share the love and hope that still lives within them. The afternoon will be full of inspirational activities such as:
Creating a Labyrinth —Labyrinths are used as part of a journey of meditation or reflection. During the walk, participants can personalize stones and ceramic markers with a message or the name of a loved one. The labyrinth will remain a part of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum for future visitors to use as a special place of reflection and remembrance. Monica Litvany, who is making over 100 markers for the labyrinth described her inspiration this way, “I’m drawn to the idea of helping families memorialize their loved ones in a permanent way in tune with nature, using clay, a gift from the earth.”
Creating Flowers — “Give yourself a flower. Cherishing beauty is the secret key to opening the heart. Supported by beauty, the heart begins to open like the petals of a flower,” said Claudia Sabino Benowitz, who designed the paper flower project. Participants will make flowers using beautiful materials and then take them on their journey, sharing some along the way.
Making a Community-wide Remembrance Collage & Keepsake Frames —Children and adults will create a communal multi-media collage which will be permanently displayed at Good Grief. Karen Titterton who created the design for the 5’ x 7’ artwork said that she was, “inspired to create a foundation so guests could share a part of their stories in a collaborative art piece. I chose the tree theme for its strength, healing and beauty. The roots are our memories of those that have been part of our lives. They have forever formed who we have become. Stems and branches represent how we carry their spirit within ourselves and reach out to others. The flowers are the beauty of life flowing from the roots, from the memories.” Karen also designed beautiful keepsake frames that participants will decorate in the same fashion as the collage, and then bring home to display memories of their loved ones.
Making Music —Participants will be able to ‘join the band’ to learn a traditional West African rhythm and participate in a jam session, which will give rhythm and beat to the grief experience showing all the ways we are interconnected and all the ways we grieve at our own tempo. It will be a fun an interactive activity for all. “The resonance of music’s uplifting power nourishes our humanity as participants merge into one heartbeat of rhythm, jamming on traditional instruments from around the world,” said Andy Wasserman who will lead the band and share his world instruments throughout the afternoon.
REGISTER YOUR TEAM TODAY: www.good-grief.org
Learn more about Hope Blooms and all of these activities at one of our upcoming Kick-Off Events on either Thursday, April 26th or Monday, May 7th from 6:30-8:00 at Good Grief, 38 Elm Street, Morristown.