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Befriending Grief ~ Session 3

Ancestral Grief


Welcome to the third Befriending Grief online session. For our time together in this “Ancestral Grief” session, we will invite ourselves to make relationship with some aspect of the grief of those from whom we come. Most of us are descended from folks who carried unresolved grief, so it is likely that a portion of our own grief landscape may include terrain from theirs.


We will have some teaching time, and an opportunity to each speak about our experience of ancestral grief. I will lead a guided meditation to visit our ancestral grounds, with time to share what we discovered there.


As you prepare to step into our gathering on Sunday, I invite you to sit with these questions: 

  • Are there losses or traumas of my parents/grandparents/extended family that were minimized or shrouded in silence? 

  • Can I feel any part of those experiences showing up in my own experience of grief?


Trust that awareness will arise naturally of what is most important for you to discover/explore during our gathering together. This exploration, if consciously chosen, could be a life-long endeavor, so do not pressure yourself to uncover everything all at once.


Be aware that you may have an even more complex grief ancestry if you were adopted or raised outside of your genetic lineage.


Session details

Be sure to update your Zoom app well before the beginning of the session. It only takes a few minutes, and usually helps avoid most connection issues. 


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.



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 that can include any of the following:

    • An unlit candle (with lighter or matches handy)

    • One or two symbols representing the “ancestral grief” that is alive in you at this time

    • One or two pictures or representations of any ancestors that you wish to join you energetically for the session 

    • Any other items you wish to have on your altar

  • Water to drink, and a warm beverage if you wish

  • Comfortable space nearby for a 20 minute guided meditation. You can sit or lie down, as long as you can hear my voice, and feel relaxed and supported during the meditation.




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.



Going Deeper

There will be an optional session 3 check in call on Monday December 28, 6:30-8pm. This is a more informal opportunity to connect after our final session. 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 Fifth Gate of Grief, as well as Chapter 9 titled “Becoming Ancestors”.






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