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Join us as we gather to introduce the newest Message of Hope painting on the cemetery’s famous Big Chair.

This informal gathering at 2:30pm on May 3 outside the cemetery gates will introduce the painter of this installation and recent artists, as well as allow us to honor a recent Big Chair artist who died last month.

All are welcome. Come meet the artist, Elizabeth Marik, and previous artist, Heather, who painted the chair with her son, Aiden, who died in last month.

From the sign on the chair:

This spring, for the season following the vernal equinox, our Big Chair painter is the artist Elizabeth Marik. The spring chair design includes flowers associated with death and mourning such as marigolds, daisies, lilies, and a white rose.

“Together, they remind us of life emerging. The watery seat invokes the Ganges, and doorways to the afterlife such as the river Styx,” Marik said.

Marik’s design was previously featured in the second Message of Hope installation in December 2023 along with two other painters, Michele L., and Evelyn M. The candles they depicted were in honor of the annual Worldwide Compassionate Friends Candle Lighting Ceremony and included their motto: “We Need Not Walk Alone.” Compassionate Friends supports families who have lost children of any age.

The first Message of Hope was painted by Heather and Aiden in the fall of 2023 and featured a lighthouse in honor of suicide awareness after they lost a close relative to suicide. This month we join in honoring and remembering Aiden, who recently died of suicide. In his honor, the chair now features Aiden’s drawing of Godzilla which he drew for a tattoo he wore. The messages of both Messages of Hope on the Big Chair now become entwined as part of the history of this cemetery.

For more information about our Messages of Hope please inquire in the gatehouse or email: DeathDoula@congressionalcemetery.org