Spirit Altars

A Spirit Altar is a physical honoring of a lost beloved. It is a creation that seeks to express the fullness of a complex spirit and relationship, offering opportunity to connect to the essence of your loved one that lives within you while also helping to unravel unresolved complexities that may linger. When complete, the altar is an invitation for connecting with the spirit of your beloved.

There is no easy way to part ways from those you love. Often, a loss happens suddenly, without opportunity to prepare for or say 'goodbye', without opportunity to mend complex relationships. Even with the time that advanced knowledge and preparedness may offer, as it can be with serious illness, parting can often feel incomplete.

The process of creating your Spirit Altar can offer calm to your heart as you connect to the spirit of your beloved that exists within you. This can allow you to engage the places of relationship conflict and complexity that can make traditional memorials, which often focus on the positive, feel incomplete.

A Spirit Altar can be engaged by all who feel connected to the lost loved one, both in its creation and once complete in the sharing of the stories attached to the items it contains. Families can work together, friends are welcome to participate. And the altar is never finished- it can continue to grow and change to reflect your processes of healing and the evolution of your relationship.

Grief is an emotion that is generally shunned in our western society. We have few outlets to express the depths and complexities of our emotions. Without this release, the grief can persist within us, impacting us in ways that can be harmful to our body, our psyche, and our presence in the world, such as work, family, and relationships. The process of creating your Spirit Altar is a way of walking directly into the pain in order to connect to the still living presence of your beloved in your life. Your loved one may no longer be with you in this material existence, but their impact on your life is real and persistent.

Spirit Altars are an opportunity to celebrate and honor their spirit and yours.

The Program

The Spirit Altars program consists of bringing together items for a memorial artwork. The selection of these items is based on prompts that I give each session. During our sessions, whether in private or within a group, we unpack what has emerged since our last meeting and its prompt. The program is interspersed with special actions that correspond with the process. We meet live using zoom, weekly for 8 sessions. At the start of the program we have a phone call to understand your circumstances. And we complete with a goodbye call. During our time I am there alongside you, offering solace, support, encouragement, and perhaps insight.



"The altar project with Andres' guidance helped me be present to my grief--to honor real, tangible space for interacting with something that can feel wordless. Through prompts, I was able to sit with poignant emotions and find ways to express them art-and-soul-fully."

"Andres' gentle and wise question-asking and companionship on this journey gave me peace to feel the depths of sorrow and the depths of joy. During the program, I felt health, comfort, and the power of something ephemeral and enduring."

"I'm forever grateful for the time spent honoring and, in a way, communing with my beloved stepdaughter (and my own soul). It gave me safe space for contemplation, helped me kept my heart open, and strengthened my spirit for future days. I believe this program salved and saved something in me."