These watercolors aim to capture the prevalence of death and decay in our daily lives, but also show how even now, we blend it into the background, not wanting to look. Halloween and fantasy help us come to terms with death being all around us by letting us engage with the frightening and alien on our own terms, giving us a sense of control over our loss of control. Additionally, Halloween’s creative side reminds us that death and decay provide opportunities for new growth and life.

Dead songbird outside the grocery store, burnt matches and watercolor.
Fungus growing on the side of the road, burnt matches and watercolor.
Memorial service program titled Forever in our Hearts, covered in fallen leaves and wet dirt, burnt matches and watercolor.

Alexandra Weiss is a writer and graduate student in Chicago. She studies the intersection of science, medicine, and the humanities, with a particular focus on narratives of death. Weiss is a proud BRCA previvor and loves pretending not to be allergic to her parents’ three beautiful dogs.

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