We all have a story to tell


We are an artistic community born out of the mutual desire for emotional connection. We provide safe spaces, both on and off the page, to share true personal stories of our experiences with grief. We want to know what life looks and feels and smells and tastes like, because of - not in spite of - grief. We embrace the fact that grief comes from any 'end', not just a life end, but also ends to hopes and dreams, relationships and careers, and anything we thought would be and now isn't. The loss of all that was. The loss of all that wasn't. The loss of all that will never be.

We believe in using art as agency to learn to live side by side with our grief. Using any artistic means to move grief through our tears and flesh, sinewy muscle and bone. Through our hearts. To free our bodies of the toxicity of grief that manifests in our very cell. Grief lives and breathes and has a life of it's own. Grief inhabits the shadowy little nooks and crannies within our bodies. To acknowledge and give voice to our grief, to see it and hold it and bear witness to it, we allow it to move through us. We honor it.

We don't ever get over grief. We get used to how hard it is.

Slowly, by looking at our grief head on, by supporting it and acknowledging it, by talking about it and sharing it, we will find that we are not alone. We are here in this together.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE SEE YOU . WE HEAR YOU. WE’VE GOT YOU.


 

We are connectors. We are empaths.

We are grief warriors. We are motherless daughters.

We are heart wranglers. We are love.

 
44782553_10218191009913664_2457430190549106688_o.jpg

Melissa Lynne

co-founder/curator/editor

Melissa’s mother died in March 2014 and everything changed in that instant...her priorities, her career, her purpose and passion, her outlook on life and death. She crumbled into a heap under the blankets and shut out the world, where she stayed for almost a year. The thing that brought her back and kept her going was returning to the page, returning to the written word, returning to something that felt like life. The words came through her body and soul and heart and gut and quite literally saved her life. She wrote her way back to a life she needed and wanted to live. She resurfaced with a fearlessness to look grief head on and to feel all of it...the pain, the insanity, the beauty and love, the snotty tears on the shower floor or the shoulder of the kind stranger at the grocery store. She gave herself permission to grieve and trusted herself to feel anything that came.

Today, Melissa’s grief lives in her body, in that place where loving and creating intersect. Where she blesses and honors it. Where it’s fed and watered. Where it’s shown darkness and sunshine. Where it is cherished. Where it leads her one day into the next.

Melissa is co-founder/curator/editor of Grief Rites Foundation, where she uses connection and storytelling to walk beside others who are feeling the loneliness and isolation of grief. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her 3 children, 2 cats and 1 dog. She thrives in words and water and trees and moss and mist. 

poetress-head-shot_orig.jpg

Mari gonzález

co-founder/curator/editor

The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Marialicia and was raised in Miami, with a value in the efficiency of love & creativity. She is American-born but her mother languages are Spanish & Portuguese.

Mari started writing as a child, as a way to vent and witness herself. Poetry gave rise to her imagination. Over the last 20 years, as a midwife, minister, and palliative care nurse, she’s had the privilege of ushering thousands through the passage of life and death. She has been published in midwifery journals since her early 20's and most recently in VoiceCatcher.
 
As a writer and leatherworker, she burns her poetry into handmade/handcrafted bags, cuff bracelets, and other pieces that flow from her hands and heart. Mari is a faculty member at Birthingway College of Midwifery & works as an RN as well.

Mari is co-founder/curator/editor of the Grief Rites Foundation, where her divine light brings ritual and ceremony to honor the presence of grief. She lives in Portland, Oregon. When not writing or leathering, you’ll find her reading, writing, playing, hiking, swimming, swinging in her hammock, snow shoeing, spending time with loved ones, or simply star gazing.