Reflections on Child Loss


 CLIENT President Lincoln's Cottage

LOCATION Washington, DC 



This exhibit looks at the Lincolns' experience as mourning parents who, by the time of Mary's death, had lost three of their four sons. The exhibit chronicles the impact of profound grief on the president and first lady, while paralleling the experiences of a group of contemporary parents who have likewise confronted this unimaginable loss and unfathomable grief. The intimate space explores different facets of grief, from rituals that mark loss, to social expectations, to memories and the change that grief provokes. Lightboxes display first-person quotes and images, showing the experiences of the Lincolns and today's families side by side to highlight surprising commonalities and important divergences. The gallery's centerpiece is a memorial: an internally lit, swaying, weeping willow that carries tributes on its leaves written by parents and families who have experienced this uniquely shattering loss. The exhibit provides advice and resources for anyone hoping to support others in grief.

Photo credit: Chris Ferenzi Photography

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