On grief and grieving*

*quoting Elisabeth Kübler-Ross book of the same title.

In the past few months I have walked an intense and profound path into myself, into the deepest darkness of sorrow. My life has gone through a journey I had never thought I would have to live or experience. However, it might probably be the most transforming pilgrimage ever, in spite of the pain. And through pain.

Most of the things that seemed to be important lost value.

I became a mother, but my baby is not physically alive.

Is there any woman who can cope with that reality without feeling an extreme pain?

I guess I know the answer myself.

I’m writing from the Swiss Alps now. In the past two months I’ve been working in a project I called The timing of loss, going through creation while processing and redefining the meaning of grief.

This has been a very personal and yet shared process with the local artist Elisabeth Fux Mattig, who has experienced herself a very close loss three years ago.

This week we have started the last face of our projects, and I’ve been documenting the process of her performance, literally inside the Saltina River, in between the Alps.

Trauerrand projekt. Land-Art-Installation by Elisabeth Fux Mattig. (Z’Grindji, VS, Switzerland)

Many years ago, I heard the speech of a young teenager, named Claire Wineland. She was dying of a congenital decease, and she expressed:

Innovation doesn’t happen because there’s some person who’s in some great circumstance and everything is going well and they get on a roll and they make something for the world. Innovation happens, real art happens, because of suffering.

I prefer to replace the word suffering for the word pain.

Innovation happens because of the painful circumstances that we experience and face, trusting that we will be resilient afterwards. And from there, we’ll be able to give back true value to the world, because there’s no better understanding and support to give than the one we deliver from our own experience.

The timing of loss. Performance. Ph by E. Fux Mattig (Simplon Pass, VS, Switzerland)

I spent part of the last seven weeks knitting a mantle.

White, cozy, baby-look type of mantle.

The act of stitching took me into a meditative state, week by week, day by day. It has been a symbolic way to go back to each moment, to remember, to honor, and reframe the feeling of loss -and the immense grace that surfaces through it.

Guilt, self-blame; some of the heavy weights that are slowly being left behind.

The joyful gift for being opened to our own vulnerability in its full expression.

Ph by E. Fux Mattig

Having the courage of opening our hearts and arms to embrace our darkness, our pain, our vulnerability, leads us to grow. Beyond our limits.

I think this is what life’s about, in the end.


Experience by experience.


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