Hobbies and Grief- Guest Feature: Jane Edberg: The Fine Art of Grieving

Having taken a picture of the latest cake made (our Mum’s Christmas Birthday cake Christmas 2019) and looking back on how many cakes have been made during this past year is where the idea for this topic came about. Cake making wasn’t a planned hobby, it just happened naturally….

Please see Hobbies and Grief which includes:

  1. Introduction/ Our Story
  2. Illustrative Examples: Hobbies and Grief
  3. Hobbies and Grief
  4. Guest Feature: Jane Edberg The Fine Art Of Grieving
  5. Links on: Hobbies and Grief/Photography and Grief/Gardening and Grief
  6. Our Final Thoughts

© Copyright 2019 Grief Probate Journey Blog *PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION IS SOURCED FROM UK and AMERICAN WEBSITES* It is also based on our own experience. *We are not experts in this field, we are speaking purely on our own experience with information sought from the internet to give further examples.*

1. Introduction/Our Story

Having taken a picture of the latest cake made (our Mum’s Christmas Birthday cake Christmas 2019) and looking back on how many cakes have been made during this past year is where the idea for this topic came about.

Cake making wasn’t a planned hobby, it just happened naturally. I wanted to make a cake for a friends 40th birthday (New Years Eve 2018), and the rest is history for the remainder of 2019. My sister and I made quite a few cakes throughout that year.

Gardening is also a newfound hobby. This came unexpectedly. I never knew how attached I could become to a garden and seeing produce grow. It’s so rewarding, it’s therapeutic. The list goes on of how good being in the garden would make me feel. I noticed my love for gardening through our Dad’s garden. It would fill us with pride seeing the fruits of his labour still producing after his passing. It gave us great pride in maintaining the strong roots and foundations that our Dad’s gardening experience had set.

Photography is another one.  I’ve always loved taking pictures and creating memories. The sad event of our Dad passing away makes me so happy for the memories we created. You never know how things will go in life, having memories to look back on is precious and priceless.

Taking pictures of our Dad’s garden gave me joy and would make my day feel the same. If I was down or feeling low, if I went to my dad’s house, the garden would lift my spirits 100 per cent. It would be the first place I would go as soon as I entered the house, check on the garden and see how the flowers are doing. What was even more nice to see is that my Nephew’s got involved and started helping me to maintain the garden. It was lovely to see how keen they were.

These pictures are what is used for the blog. At the time I was just taking pictures to help our Dad’s memory live on. Little did we know these pictures would end up being such a main feature of this blog.

All of the above have been passed down from both our parent’s. Our mum is a professional cake Baker and loves gardening.

Our Dad was a keen photographer and his garden was one of his many pride and Joys.

We feel privileged that we were able to take on these great talents from our parents, and at the same time honour our Dad with them without even realising we are doing so.

We also wanted to do something different and bring something a bit more personal in the information that we share. We thought about it and decided to reach out to our Instagram community. We were reaching out to indiviudals that channel their grief in ways that are relatable to our topics to find out if they would mind us linking to their page, and thankfully we got a yes. We were fortunate that Jane Edberg: The Fine Art of Grieving agreed to feature on our page. (Item number 4). This is something that we are doing for the first time, and so we are very excited about it. We have also included links to Jane Edbergs Facebook and Instagram pages in case you would like to find out more about Janes Journey.

Please see Hobbies and Grief:


2. Illustrative Examples: Hobbies and Grief

3. Hobbies and Grief

Taking up a new hobby to deal with Grief – AK Lander

For some people, taking up a new hobby after losing a loved one can bring a wealth of benefits. Not only does it offer a welcome distraction from your grief, but it can also give you a new output for expressing your feelings and help you feel as though you’re moving forward.

4. Guest Feature: Jane Edberg The Fine Art of Grieving

Jane Edberg and the Fine Art of Grieving

Jane Edberg copyright 2018

I did not expect myself to bury my face into the ashes of my dead son, but I did. I needed to know he was not there. I needed to see if I could feel him in those grains, if they had energy, meaning, but they were silent, as grief is silent, relentlessly so.

– excerpt from “The Fine Art of Grieving”, a memoir in progress by Jane Edberg

The Fine Art of Grieving is a synthesis of photography and prose related to the tragic loss of my son Nanda, who died at the age of nineteen in 1998.

My illustrated memoir vividly describes how my creative process emerged and reveals how I connected to my grief.

I leaned in, excavated, and played with the details. I imagined, and created, compelled to explore and process my grief with a wild mind, like an animal mother who smells, tastes, touches, and repositions her lifeless offspring.

The train tracks where my son died, his ashes, his belongings, our photographs, my hair, tears, flowers, the places we shared, all became my art materials.

My camera served as a tool for documentation, and self-observation.

I used creativity to connect to and express my grief, to find meaning in loss, and make art as a reminder.

Over a period of nineteen years I started writing about my loss, but mostly, I did what I do best: be the photographer, set up the camera and start the process of self-observation. Since I had been writing to survey my new life for insights, it seemed natural to illustrate with photographs what words could not say and vice versa.

In the garden where the fava beans had dried and hardened to yellow stalks I sat before the camera shrouded in Nanda’s red blanket.

I was as hollow as those stalks.

Brittle and spent.

There, I caught the grief in all its agony.

Alive bent against the dead.

In one of my images, the wind lifted Nanda’s blanket into the shape of my son’s body. His red blanket was the catalyst, vehicle, and anchor that allowed me to stay connected to conscious grieving.

I did not have boundaries to my expression when I found myself head high in mustard flowers trying to rediscover the boy who loved to wander those fields in spring.

I let myself float down the rivers he swam in and I pressed myself into his belongings.

His ashes.

I knew that if I headed face on into what I feared most, that he was really gone, I might be able to create a new relationship with him based on the fine art of grieving.

It is my hope that the book that emerges from my own process will help others with their loss.

The Fine Art of Grieving” is not a ‘how to survive loss’ book, it is an excavation of the meaning that I gleaned from the darkness of deep loss; a mindful process that brought to me the light of understanding, and spiritual awareness.

My book faces death directly, it’s a not-so-pretty look at bereavement.

It breaks the model and stretches (challenges) the boundaries of traditional expectations about the grief process.

My creative process has informed me about death, loss, and put me in touch with my new relationship to Nanda, to who I was, who we were, and who I am now.


Born in Egham, England (in 1956) photographic artist Jane Edberg is recently retired Professor of Art and Digital Media at Gavilan College in Gilroy, California.  She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance Art, Photography and Painting in 1987, and her Masters of Fine Arts in Photography and Performance Art in 1989 from the University of California at Davis. She spent her early years in Canada, has lived in England and Italy, but spent most of her life in the United States. Jane currently lives on the California coast of Monterey Bay.

Jane has been fascinated with photography since she was five years old. Her grandmother gave her a Kodak Instamatic when she was eight, and her father gave her his two and a quarter medium format camera when she was fourteen. Jane has been setting herself as subject before her camera since those early times.

She now uses both analog and digital cameras to produce artworks combining images with text. Jane’s main media is photography combined with writing, but she often incorporates painting, sculpting and mixed media into her artwork. Jane has also produced videos, films, composed music, choreographed dance performances, danced and directed major art performance venues. She’s shown in galleries worldwide for over thirty years.

Facebook page

The Fine Art of Grieving

Instagram Page

The Fine Art of Grieving


5. Links on: Hobbies and Grief/Photoghraphy and Grief/Gardening and Grief

Hobbies and Grief:

Photography and grief:

Gardening and Grief:

Art and Grief


6. Our Final Thoughts

Grieving can be a lonely journey, but what we are learning since starting this blog is that there are many people who are going through similar things, and by exploring new avenues or ways of trying to deal with your own personal grief, you can find yourself in a new community or support network of people who are experiencing similar things to you.

Grieving is an individual experience, and all we can do is try our best to live this new way of living life as best we can.



5 thoughts on “Hobbies and Grief- Guest Feature: Jane Edberg: The Fine Art of Grieving

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