Our Mission: (501c3) Trauma to Art works to help people with the initial stages of grief. We recommend resources tailored specifically to an individual’s experience. For those who choose to contribute, t2a collects inspiring stories of people who channeled their loss to create meaning through a variety of constructs: stipends, grants, contests. The works we collect combined with our research about traditions for remembering lost loved ones culminate to create our inspiring and comprehensive annual book project.
The Inspiration by Founder, Lauren Muscarella
My mother Alice Muscarella died of breast cancer January 12, 2006 at age 51. She was one of my best friends and greatest inspirations. She encouraged me to be exceptional by treating others well, respecting myself and being a student of life. She was the catalyst for my years of art classes, my passion for writing and commitment to volunteerism.
Right before she died she said, “Don’t stop living if I die.”
My response to her death was to focus on pursuing my future but it came at a cost. I suppressed my feelings of sadness. I avoided dealing with the challenges presented to me as a result of this traumatic loss.
Two years later I found myself in a low place, one that snuck up on me gradually.
When I sought help, I felt like the resources available failed to respect two principles: (1) Even though loss itself is universal, everyone’s experience is unique and personal to them only. (2) A great deal of encouragement, patience and inspiration is required to feel whole again.
I began my own research about grief, recovery, international mourning traditions, coping and how to affect social change here in the United States so we can better understand death and its role in our lives. The result was MamaQuest, a blog I used to track my research as well as share how I coped with grief. Through writing and being creative, I was able to feel more alive than I had in years.
Then I started receiving emails and letters from people telling me how much I inspired them to be creative to cope with loss. Each story was more inspiring than the next. I had no choice but to share them with the world. After generous financial support as well as an abundance of people bravely willing to share their inspiring stories of loss, Trauma to Art was founded.