why grieve together?
by liz day
Here are some responses to this question that I've discovered and learnt about, some common threads being woven together here. Everyone brings something different and unique to this territory and you will have your own particular reasons for being drawn to this work.
For many of us, sharing our vulnerability and witnessing each other in the beauty and mystery of our grief is a strong medicine that helps bring us home to what it is to be fully human, in solidarity with each other and with the natural world. As we step into the waters of grief, we often discover that it is part of an organic flow that also helps awaken our joy and our sense of aliveness.
Honouring our pain can also help open the way for us to step more fully into compassionate action, enabling us to see more clearly what needs to be done to bring healing to our societies and to our planet. As we allow our sorrows to come into the light, to be tended by the circle and by our own compassionate witnessing, this can open us to the realisation that our pain is part of a wider, collective wound.
Touched by the broken-heartedness of our fellow humans, we often get a sense of our personal griefs coalescing into a communal cup of sorrow, which also encompasses the more-than-human community around us. In this way, could the tears of the earth, our own and each others' tears , all intermingle into one single stream of healing water?
Pain for the world, ancestral trauma, the places in us that have not known love, the bitter-sweet and universal tragedy of the human condition of utter impermanence in which everything we love we will lose.... All this and more, when tended with love, is part of a magic alchemy that can bring us into the seemingly never-ending cycle of new life, of re-birth, of transformation.
Many of us, of course, have also had very different experiences as we've sought the compassion and support of community and friendship in our sorrows. Our culture is often uneasy with expressions of deep emotion, and it's not unusual to hear stories of feeling shamed and even invisible in our grief. This is another source of grief in itself - our disappointment at not being received in our brokenness, and the harm that can result from that absence, that denial.
What are your experiences of sharing grief with others? Why might grieving together be a good thing, and maybe even a necessary thing to bring our cultures back into balance? Why is it important that we discover and learn new and more healthy ways to approach the sacred waters of our collective sorrow?
We'd love to hear about your feelings and experiences around all this, if you care to drop us a line. Or come along to one of our workshops and take part in this living inquiry.