Meet Our Team

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Laura Green

This is a picture my mother took, at my uncle's memorial, of me walking into the Atlantic Ocean. 

 

When things are hard I take my neighbors' dog to the woods. 

I also sometimes ask the universe for help, then pull a tarot card or open a book, point to a sentence at random, and believe whatever I see is my answer. 

If neither of those things are enough, or if they are plenty and I still want more I ask the people I love to hold me in all their different ways - my cousins and my partner, my mother. If things line up just right I go eat bibimbap in a poofy hat with Sascha.

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Sascha Demerjian

My mother died of complications with alcoholism while I was walking in these woods. The next week, I took a walk in these same woods. This picture was taken during that walk.

When things are hard I close my eyes and focus on my breath. 

I also sometimes do a sound meditation.

If neither of those things are enough, or if they are plenty and I still want more I box in my garage and or go for a walk in whatever nature is available to me at the time.

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Alyna O'Hanlon

This is a picture my best friend took on a day when we heard sad news and processed together by making bouquets in her garden.

 

When things are hard I like to go for walks around the neighborhood and look around at the plants and the sky and gather little bouquets while listening to music. I also love to take hot baths with soaking salts and essential oils and journal or read in the water.

If neither of those things are enough, or if they are plenty and I still want more I like to dance with Sarah (especially to Beyonce).

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Emily Prechtl

I graduated from Wellesley College in a bedsheet and a scarf. With just a few days’ notice to leave campus as a pandemic encroached upon our home, the senior class did all of our traditions — and our own graduation ceremony (with flowers instead of diplomas) — in one day.

When things are hard I go for long walks to untangle my thoughts and braid them back together again.

I also sometimes do yoga out in the shed with all the spiders.

If neither of those things are enough, or if they are plenty and I still want more I petition the universe for guidance through my craft. If I don’t have the necessary energy for this I watch smart people do stupid things on YouTube.

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Dan Barton

A moment of togetherness and contemplation captured by a friend while hiking in Maine.  Altitude, vastness, nature, physical activity, wildlife, friends—they bring me clarity and perspective. 

When things are hard I prefer to be alone and outside, away from busy human activity and if possible alongside moving water. I also sometimes close my eyes and visualize a special ocean-side place that’s been a part of me for my entire life.

 

If neither of those things are enough, or if they are plenty and I still want more I like to contact special people, perhaps someone who I’ve not spoken to in a while, or I take on a project that will give me a sense of accomplishment and completion, which could be as simple as organizing a closet or something more ambitious that requires a lot of moving about.

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Alisa Barton

This is an image from our community’s annual Lantern Festival. Each light represents people we love who, though gone from this world, are always with us. 

 

My losses can at times make me feel alone. Coming together to launch these lights connects me to others who also love and grieve.

 

When things are hard, I take walks — movement helps; practice meditating — being still helps; reach out to someone who I know won’t feel like they have to fix my feelings - feeling heard helps; speak to my lost loved ones and wait for an answer — listening for their voices and watching for signs of their ongoing presence helps.

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Michelle Slater

Sayulita 2009, three months after leaving my husband, full time mom to a 1 and 3 year old, full time lawyer, turning 40 and feeling much older . . . escaped for a few days with friends, a few days on my own, to a beautiful, lonely place to be with my heartbreak, disappointment, and exhaustion, and to find a few steps forward.

 

When things are hard I forget to feel. I focus on being busy, until I remember to make space for the feelings. Then, I slow down, show compassion to myself, and feel all the good, the hard, the hurt, and the healing. 

I also sometimes escape into fiction. 

If neither of those things are enough, or if they are plenty and I still want more I talk to my therapist, or a friend, take a long walk by myself, and make lists.

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Nicole Comach

I am a lover of travel and learning how people do things differently than me. This is a picture of me praying in a temple in Bangkok, Thailand. I am not one to usually pray, but in this space I was called to follow the direction of the locals. It just felt right.

When things are hard, I cry. When things are not hard, I cry. This ritual is how I physically process my grief and move big emotions through my body. Crying has been a tool of success and a means of survival. 

I also sometimes submerge my body in open water. This is where I feel the most freedom. 

If neither of those things work, or they are plenty and I still want more, I call my grandma. I know she will listen and we'll cry together and we'll laugh together. And maybe we will laugh together because she would never submerge her body in open water because she cannot swim.

Contributors

  • Kate Maskar & Bruce Schimmel - emotional and practical advisors

  • Anna Grace Christiansen - technical support

  • Robin Peters - marketing and social media support

Chelsea Granger created the beautiful art you can see featured all over our site. See more of her work on her website. Click on the image to magnify and explore.

The Portland Grief House

Other people who contributed their art to this new site include: