Befriending Grief ~ Session 2
Sorrows of the World
Welcome to the second Befriending Grief online session. For our time together in this session, we will focus on recovering the fundamental skill of ritual in assisting us ~ individually and collectively ~ to honor our losses and metabolize our grief.
We will share our experience of & create a simple ritual to explore Francis Weller’s Third Gate of Grief ~ the Sorrows of the World. Weller says that this gate “opens when we register the losses of the world around us. Whether or not we consciously recognize it, the daily diminishment of species, habitats, and cultures is noted in our psyches. Much of the grief we carry is not personal, but shared, communal…. the cumulative grief of the world is overwhelming.” (The Wild Edge of Sorrow)
A simple definition of ritual (adapted from Weller) is any gesture done with intention by an individual or a group that attempts to connect with transpersonal energies for the purposes of healing and transformation. Our session ritual, which we will co-create, will be offered to model an experience that empowers you to access this tool for yourself going forward.
This session will last three hours, with one 15 minute break. Set up in a quiet, private space with as little distraction & interruption as possible.
Plan to arrive to the Zoom room 5-10 minutes ahead of time to settle in. I ask you to commit to being in the session for the entire time. It is important to the group experience that we start together and end together; it helps to build a strong container for our exploration.
This workshop is designed to be experiential & interactive, so plan to participate with video and audio on.
If you are not familiar with Zoom, please contact me at least 24 hours ahead of the session so I can support you in getting up to speed. I will not be available to help with Zoom questions after that point.
What to bring to the session
Your journal or pad of paper, and pen
A small space on the desk or table near you with a simple altar for the ritual we will be creating together. Include on your altar:
An unlit candle (with lighter or matches handy)
One or two symbols representing the “sorrows of the world” that are alive in you at this time
Any other items you wish to have on your altar
Water to drink, and a warm beverage if you wish
For our time together, I am asking us all to align with the following:
I will be fully present when others are sharing themselves in the group
I will offer myself and others deep compassion, even if I experience difference or disagreement with another’s sharing
I will hold what is shared in our sessions with confidentiality; what is said in the group stays in the group
I will refrain from giving feedback or advice, unless it is requested from me specifically
I will allow others their tears, their anger, and their complexity by offering them my compassionate attention and witness.
There will be an optional session 2 check in call on Thursday December 3, 6:30-8pm. This is a more informal opportunity to connect between session 2 and 3. You can come to share what is moving for you, ask questions, or just listen in. The Zoom link will be sent closer to the date.
If you have Weller’s book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow, I invite you to read the sections on the Third Gate of Grief, as well as Chapter 4 titled “Stories of Sorrow - Rituals of Renewal”.
If you desire more opportunity to dive into grief & end of life work, I highly recommend Reimagine End of Life: https://letsreimagine.org. They offer multiple opportunities to do personal & communal grief work online, with a clear commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. They center BIPOC facilitators and content.
Another online resource I’ve found useful around the world’s sorrows is Radical Joy for Hard Times: https://radicaljoy.org. They are sponsoring a Global Day of Mourning for the multitude of losses connected to COVID on January 10: https://radicaljoy.org/global-day-of-mourning/.