Artful Grief is a decade long study of loss by an art therapist, in the aftermath of her daughter's suicide. On October 11, 2001, Sharon received a phone call in the middle of the night from the New York City Police Department telling her that her seventeen year old daughter Kristin, had “fallen” from the roof of her college dormitory. So began her journey into the labyrinth of unspeakable grief. As the first year drew to a close she found no comfort in traditional therapy, and no solace in spoken or written words. In surrender to her inner art therapist's guidance, she began to create collages. She cut and tore images out of magazines and glued them on various size paper. The paper was a safe and sacred container, receptive to the fullness of emotion, story and paradox. Over time there was transformation and healing.
"Never has a loss been more tellingly told, and never has the raw immediacy, agonizing recollection, and uneven progress toward once again inhabiting a life of purpose been conveyed with greater clarity. This book is strong medicine, gripping in its imagery and unadorned in its searing prose. I recommend it to every would-e healer who has the courage to walk beside those bereaved by suicide, and who seek orientation in a wordless catastrophe somehow given voice."
Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD / The University of Memphis, Memphis Tennessee
"Artful Grief is a tour de force in the study of grief and loss. Through her writings, Sharon invites us to join her in the underworld journey that is not for the faint-of-heart. Her words and images are terrifying beautiful, unflinchingly direct, and utterly heartbreaking. The hope she describes is unsentimental and even savage, requiring the reader to bear witness to the unbearable: the senseless suicide of one's child."
Barbara Thompson, OTD, LCSW, OTR/L / The Sage Colleges, Troy, New York