Merriam-Webster defines grief as “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement.” Whether through loss of routine, prom, travel or of a loved one, it’s a feeling we have all experienced in some form over the past year and a half.
To memorialize our collective losses and traumas, First Presbyterian Church of Hudson has an opportunity to collaborate on a visual arts project to connect during our time of grieving. The church will have a booth at the Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival Sept. 25-26 at Lakefront Park and all are invited to stop by to contribute.
The Rev. Dr. Kendra Grams, First Presbyterian’s pastor, has been with the church for three years, a few of which have been focused on helping her community navigate the complexities of COVID 19.
“The trauma has been manifested in different ways, depending on life, circumstances, employment, whether people have become ill themselves or lost someone,” she said. “But there's been trauma for everyone.”
While grief grew, connection didn’t. “You know, when everybody's traumatized by the same event, we don't always remember to ask each other how are you doing,” said the Rev. Lora Burge, First Presbyterian’s new family and intergenerational ministries coordinator.
With sponsorship from O’Connell Family Funeral Homes, the memorial project will transpose the importance of connection into a visual manifestation, containing three panels that the community is invited to create.
All will be invited to place a thumb print on a panel, outline it with words that describe your grief throughout the pandemic and then connect your thumbprint with one of someone else.
“The pandemic has placed an imprint on all of us,” said Grams. “The idea is that we're honoring that.”
The middle panel will be used to memorialize the 75 lives lost to COVID-19 in St. Croix County with 75 cross cut pieces of wood. If a loved one of those 75 people would like to honor them through this project, they’re invited to personalize one of the cross cut branches.
If you are interested in contributing and will not be able to make the festival, contact Grams at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church 715-386-2851.
Sometime between Oct. 10 and mid-November the panels will be placed for all to view at First Presbyterian Church of Hudson, on the northeast corner near the labyrinth.