Good Grief Statement
Good Grief is a visual articulation of the profound personal transformations I underwent after the life-changing loss of my mother, Melanie Gold.
Each series within the larger body of work relates to a different stage in my response to loss—from numbness to isolation to resurfacing. As an interconnected essay, I illustrate the deep pain and vulnerability triggered by the loss of a loved one. Through landscape portraits, I explore the vast and intense range of emotions I faced during my grief journey. During my most difficult moments, nature provided me with understanding and an opportunity for expressing feelings that I struggled to identify. The process of realizing how nature offered a reflection of myself at every stage of my grief allowed me to recognize a form of visual vocabulary by which I could understand that painful negotiation between the memories of my past and the necessity of moving into my future.
These photographs are my language, expressing a momentary sense of home when “home” as I once knew it was no longer accessible. Un-staged symbolism weaves throughout Good Grief like a cast of characters, reflecting key transitional points in my grieving and healing process.
My grief is a continuing landscape. There is no beginning and end stage; it is ongoing. I ebb and flow through this collection. The process of observing and documenting the beauty in the pain is my applied therapy; the grief as expressed through natural landscapes gives testimony to nature’s extraordinary healing power and sense of sacred space. Such seemingly ordinary occurrences reflect powerfully the extent of human suffering and inspire our gradual resurfacing. The rise and fall—or birth and death journey—is in itself a natural cycle. Everyone eventually experiences it; it connects us to something far beyond our individual selves and ties us to one another. Like the giving and taking of nature itself, this inevitable journey can ignite empathy and understanding. Ultimately, it is up to us to choose to see the Good in our Grief.