The Grief Garden - Supporting Collective Grief

Jul 14th, 2023 | Episode 261

As more opportunities for non-traditional grief support arise, it's no surprise that many of them are happening in historically marginalized communities who have not felt relevantly supported in those settings. The Grief Garden, co-created by Julia Mallory, a multidisiciplinary artist, and Tiana Zabala, the garden manager at Goggleworks Center for the Arts is the perfect example of this type of offering. The Grief Garden was designed to bring people together, in relationship with the outdoors, where they could engage with rest, movement, medicine making, and sound.

Julia Mallory is a storyteller, writer, and artist who after the death of her eldest son Julian in 2017 also became a community grief worker. Through her words, images, and offerings, Julia invites others to acknowledge and express their own grief.

Tiana Zabala is passionate about growing food, medicine, and building community. In her role as garden manager at GoggleWorks she focuses on urban farming and developing opportunities for collective healing.

We discuss:

  • What Julia & Tiana learned about grief from their families
  • The lack of opportunity to gather and honor collective grief, especially in the Black community
  • How grief gets pathologized in a grief avoidant society
  • The origin of the Grief Garden event
  • Why embodied practices like movement, song, and art are important in grief
  • How Julia makes engaging with grief more accessible through her lived experience
  • Farming as a metaphor for grief and the cycle of life
  • Julia & Tiana’s plans for future creative grief expression events

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GOL 1400 Opaque

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Grief Out Loud is supported in part by the Chester Stephan Endowment Fund in loving memory by the estate of Theodore R. Stephan.