Grief doesn’t just evaporate or resolve itself in time. In fact bereavement therapists now say that “closure” after a loss isn’t all that helpful a goal. Creativity, remembrance and solace can be located in uplifting ways at a committal gathering in Green-Wood Cemetery’s crematory chapels. It is in these lovely spaces that New Yorkers can place their hands on the closed casket and say their last goodbyes before the cremation takes place. Kan-Chee Sang’s family made color copies and enlargements of favorite photos, then taped them to her casket as they listened to soothing music. They took their time, cried, shared stories and parted in a way that wasn’t quite possible at the city apartment where death had occurred in the tender care of hospice. Any creative action is helpful in the effort to redistribute the massive weight of a major loss. Kan-Chee’s memory was honored and cherished and everyone present admitted that, sad as they were, this was a meaningful way to part.

Amy CunninghamComment