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The Grieving Apothecary (2020)

The Grieving Apothecary is a one-on-one social practice project with myself and selected women in my life to create ritual and materialize grief. The project was inspired by formalizing my own grieving process, when I  noticed my need to ritualize and collect objects in small vials. The project is ongoing.


I ask other women in my life and community who have experienced grief or loss to receive one of my grieving remedies from The Grieving Apothecary and send back a remedy of their own within the provided vial.


Each remedy will be collected, inventoried, and on display along with each participant's explanation for the items that are placed in the small containers and the corresponding emotions that have materialized in the items.

How to make a your own grieving remedy at home (below) is the prompt received by participants. 

How to make a Grieving Apothecary

1. Sit quietly by yourself and reflect on your grieving process--notice any changes within your breathing, body, memories or thoughts.

2. Isolate a part of the grieving process that you want to materialize--writing down your notes and how it looks, smells, or exists.

3. Select ingredients that resonate with that part of you-- noticing textures or perceived meaning.

4. Layer your ingredients within a container in silence or while speaking to the ingredients.


5. Hold your breath, then release that part of your grieving outside your body into your container.

Project by
Shelbie Loomis

Portland OR, Columbus OH, Santa Fe, NM

2020- present

Grieving Rituals
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