Grief and Gratitude for Thanksgiving

By Danielle Siano

The Story Catcher Mailbox Project is an interactive, public art piece which stands 7.5 feet tall, made entirely out of low-carbon steel and is partitioned down the middle to accept letters of grief on one side and letters of praise on the other.

The Story Catcher Mailbox serves its community as an outlet for our thoughts, feelings and complex emotions. You can find the Mailbox at Wylde Works, 609 State Street, downtown Santa Barbara, California. Letters will be collected and read out-loud on a monthly basis. Check the Wylde Works digital calendar for dates. Selected letters are also published in their monthly Dispatch publication.

The Story Catcher Mailbox acknowledges that grief and praise are intimately linked and gives voice to the story of both in each of us. Simply put, when we grieve for something we’ve lost, we’re giving praise for the thing we once loved. And when we sing out our praises for what’s alive in us, there is inherently some grief in connecting to its impermanence.

The Mailbox offers the opportunity for personal healing in four powerful ways. First, you connect with yourself as you write your words down. Then, you release those thoughts, feelings and emotions by dropping your letter in the Mailbox. Next, we invite you to attend a monthly reading for the chance to hear your words read out-loud by someone who is holding the space. Lastly, in doing so, you hear your story read among other stories of grief and of praise, forging a connection in community.

Learn more at


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  1. What a wonderful idea to give us a place to share our stories ! We all have at least one story worth sharing. I agree that writing things down is a personal healing experience… and when it is shared it can become a healing for so many others as well.
    Thank you to the artists who created this for our community 🙂

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