The sun shone brightly on September 30th, 2023 as we held our 5th annual Give Grief a Voice Art Exhibition & Benefit at the Greatroom in Beaverton, where we unveiled the stunning art pieces made for 10 families this year in memory of their little ones.
Families were warmly greeted at the door and led to their art for a private viewing. Those who couldn’t be with us in person were virtually shown their art, many of which were guided by the artists who created their pieces. This year, a number of families were escorted to their art by parents who have previously participated in the program, and who worked tirelessly to help make this year’s event possible. Every year, we see a variety of reactions when families see their art for the first time: stunned silence, smiles, remembrance, reverence. There’s always tears, always grief, but above all else, always love for their child.
Once the event was opened to the public, attendees were welcomed with drinks, and the opportunity to participate in a wine pull and raffle, where 3 pieces generously donated by one of our Give Grief Voice artists were up for grabs. When guests had settled down with their bottles of wine and delicious bao buns and cake pops – generously donated by Sugar Coated PDX – three alumni of the Give Grief a Voice program were invited up on the stage to read their stories and talk about their experience with grief. This was a departure from our previous events, where we held a panel including our artists, writers, and families.
The impact of hearing the stories of their children and their grief was palpable. Our mission that gives the Give Grief a Voice program its name seeks to bring awareness to grief following the loss of a child and to change the culture of grief. Hearing the stories of these families and their grief spoken aloud in their own voices made our mission feel all the more real, and all the more pressing to accomplish. Following the readings, Amanda led a flower ceremony where anyone in the room who had lost a child was asked to stand and was then given a white rose. The reading and ceremony were recorded, and can be viewed on Buzzy’s Bees YouTube page.
We would like to take a moment to thank additional people and organizations who helped make this event possible. A special thank you to the Satterberg Foundation for their Moral Courage grant. The grant is being used to offset the travel costs for participating families, who might otherwise not have been able to attend this event. Additional event partners include Melissa Lindsay in honor of her daughter, Bella, Gina Kornfeind, formerly of UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and currently with Good Grief, and Cellar 55 who each sponsored a table at the event. Thank you to Basics Market for our bar, Ardiri, Rose & Fern, EVT Wines, Spirit Horse Vineyard, and the Petrie Family collection for providing the wine for our wine pull. Additionally, we would like to extend our gratitude to Navis Pack & Ship, who for the third year in a row have shipped the priceless art pieces to families unable to travel. Thank you!
Lastly, we would like to give a huge thanks to our writers and artists for contributing their talents for another year, our event planning task force for all their hard work putting this year’s Exhibition & Benefit together, and to our supporters and community for helping us continue our mission to provide emotional and financial assistance to bereaved families. We are so grateful for your support of Give Grief a Voice, and hope you’ll continue to follow us as we move forward with the next steps of our mission.