Mourning What Could Have Been

Faculty Sponsor

Sarah Jantzi


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


When a person is born, the possibilities of who they become as they get older are endless. There is no way to know if any other potential self is ‘better’ than the current one, but in the way that the grass is always greener on the other side, there might always be a lingering doubt that maybe, if things had been different throughout childhood, that the adult self would be better off. Grief is generally thought of as the process a person goes through in mourning the death of another. In Mourning What Could Have Been, I instead chose to explore the stages of grief as a process of reconciling with what might have been possible if circumstances in my life had been different. I present these five stages of grief illustrated as a physical journey that can be visually understood in a series of five intaglio prints. I created these pieces as a therapeutic outlet and I hope that anyone who feels similarly about circumstances in their own lives might find comfort in them as well.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Sage Burns is a senior Studio Art major with a Cinema and Media Studies minor. He practices many forms of art, including drawing, painting, printmaking, and creative writing. His work often covers topics that bring awareness to mental illnesses, and he also places an emphasis on storytelling. He hopes to pursue a career in book illustration.

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