As a naturally human response to loss, Extinction Witness practices, facilitates, and otherwise encourages a growing practice of embodied grieving and creative mourning rituals with specific attention to biodiversity loss and species extinction.

We all grieve differently.

And research has shown that the feminine aspect tends toward emotive expression while the masculine aspect tends toward management – doing what needs to be done in light of loss.

Embodied grieving may, thus, take the form of direct action, purely emotive, and/or creative expression. What’s important is for the emotions to move rather than stagnate in the body, later surfacing as emotional and physical distress.

Both emotive expression and management help to resolve the pain and alleviate suffering. Nothingness or a numbed response to loss is a real misfortune.

Embodied grieving is itself generative - productive.

Generative can be positive or negative. The ultimate consequence of loss, whether greater suffering or greater peace, is determined by minding what is produced.

Moving the emotions in pure form and through creative expression before any other action helps to ensure that the doing is peaceful and uncharged by the emotions of anger and sorrow.

The effort is to release emotions associated with past, present, and anticipated loss so as to maintain spiritual vitality, liberate creativity, and clarify helpful action, while avoiding despair and the tragic consequences of revenge.

Extinction Witness’ current Grief & Generation work includes Generative Memorials, leadership in Remembrance Day for Lost Species November 30th, and facilitation of online Extinction Grief & Creativity online forum.

GENERATIVE MEMORIALS - honoring mothers of all walks, supporting open display of chronic grief, and nourishing all extant community members

photo of Butterfly Generative Memorials are carefully tended feral communities - communities shaped significantly by the activity of all members – that encourage biodiversity throughout developed areas as they support the human grieving process and public displays of grief within the context of life’s complete cycle.

In addition to providing areas for reflection and mourning ritual free from and of any religious doctrine, Generative Memorials provide for everyone's sustenance unbound by human monetary exchange.

Generative Memorials are a cooperative effort of Extinction Witness, Pollinator Posse, and Earth Restoration Service aligned with Lost Species Day. Please read more about the origin and intention of this work at Generative Memorials.


Extinction Witness is one in a growing coalition of artists, educators, museum curators, scientists and writers forwarding Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30th (RDLS).

RDLS offers a chance each year to explore the stories of extinct and critically endangered species, cultures, lifeways, and ecological communities. RDLS is an opportunity to make or renew commitments to all who remain and to collaborate in creative, practical means of ecological regeneration. 

Extinction Witness first formally participated in RDLS 2014 for the centennial anniversary of the last passenger pigeon’s death. And has since practiced Bell Ringing for Joy Giving in 2015 and 2016, and initiated Generative Memorials in 2017 to weave the human grieving process with the absolutely necessary hands-on labor helping to revive and maintain biological diversity.

With Steller’s sea cow as the focal lost species for 2018, RDLS 2018 events on or around November 30th to marked the extinction and endangerment of marine mammals and ongoing threats to seas.

In this RDLS INTERVIEW WITH MARY HYNES ON CBC TAPESTRY, RDLS Co-founder Persephone Pearl offers thoughts on how to communicate with and support young children, the stories of passenger pigeon and Steller's sea cow, and the intersection of genocide, biodiversity loss and species extinction.

Extinction Grief & Creativity online forum

Extinction Grief & Creativity online forum supports the peaceful, if raw, creative expression of feelings in a compassionate circle—a place for sharing personal works produced as part of the grieving process.

The attention is specifically with disenfranchised, chronic, and complicated grief brought by personal experience and awareness of global loss and associated with forced relocation, mass migration, and changing lifeways.

Please read more and register to participate at Grief Forum.

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