Two apparently unrelated news items caught my attention this week. Both, local to St Albans, reflect the particular character of our locale:- community-focussed, committed, historically aware.

One was the announcement of the second “The Art of Grieving”,  an event in September, portraying “‘creative expressions of bereavement and loss.’ The exhibition will include paintings, sculptures, photographs, poetry, textiles and all other forms of artwork that artists, art groups,  or art societies wish to contribute for display.”  It will be held in the evocative Kingsbury Barn.  Details can be found  on the Rennie Grove Hospice site The other described the efforts of residents of Kings Road, St Albans, to erect a street memorial for the Kings Road men, who died in WWI, but who are not memorialised. More information about this can be obtained from Alison and Dave Comley (

Both these efforts reflect the importance that grieving and remembering have in our lives. It is often said that as a society we are poor at dealing with sorrow, but the mood is changing. Today people who suffer a loss often commemorate their loved ones by charitable acts, and talk openly about their memories. Social media is alive with the dead lovingly remembered. This is entirely healthy. As death becomes rarer, it becomes more important to acknowledge the pain it causes.

The dead are kept alive by our remembering them. This is something we can and should do actively. It is also important to express our grief, using whatever medium is at our disposal. I write poems; some paint; others create a quilt or plant a rose. And all of us can help others by allowing them to grieve and remember.