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On Seasons of Grief and Hope

Jan 5, 2023

On Seasons of Grief and Hope and its conception:

“We all carry a suitcase of grief. Whether we work caring for the sick and dying, tend to a dying relative, or find ourselves suddenly exiled from our everyday lives and faced with serious loss, illness or imminent death, grief is a lifelong companion, a reliable reality. Grieving well requires an active stance, a willingness to acknowledge our losses, to search for meaning, to reassess our life as we knew it, and find a constructive and enriching way to go forward. We don’t get “over” grief, we have to get “through” it, by acknowledging and sharing our feelings, remembering, recognizing our loss, reflecting, expressing our sorrow, reaching out to others and re-orienting our lives. Since emotions are easier to illustrate through images, color and metaphor than tasks, I have selected the passing of seasons to depict the movements of grief.

In 2006. while one of my dearest friends was battling a terminal illness, and after his death, I found myself seeking refuge in poetry-writing and quilting. Most of the poems in “Seasons of Grief and Hope” were written then. Later, as I conceived this project, I illustrated the poems through original pictorial quilts. Color, textures and symbols were chosen to invite the viewer to connect emotionally to each artistic piece. This visual journey progresses from the starkness of winter, to the lushness of summer, reflecting the movements and cycles of the grief process.

For me, it has always been restoring to commune with nature, to sift through swatches of colorful fabric and to pour feelings in verse. I realized that there may be a healing aspect to making and offering a visual journey of this very personal yet quite universal path through grief.

It is my hope that this journey be viewed in a reflective way, as a window to the mystery and the sacred in our lives. Each quilted piece and poem can then become metaphors of life and death, of light and darkness, of hope and despair, of anger and peace, and most of all of the Love that abides with us through it all, connecting us to others.

In viewing, reading, reflecting, remembering and sharing, one can start rebuilding the shattered pieces of oneself, integrating the loss and re-orienting one’s life. Through this visual journey of poetry, quilts and Biblical messages of sorrow and hope, this project is intended to assist those grieving to understand and take a more active stance in their path through grief, to connect to others, to find meaning in the midst of suffering, and healing in their pain.” (Monique Cerundolo)

To read more from Monique, her book is available for purchase on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Seasons-Grief-Hope-reflective-journey/dp/1492728144 

Written by: Monique Cerundolo
Jan. 2023