Befriending Grief in 2021 ~ Session 3

The Five Gates of Grief, Part 1



Welcome to Session 3 of Befriending Grief in 2021: Cultivating Our Resilience with Loss. It will be so good to be with you once again, after this extended break, as we tend to our unique landscapes of grief.


On this page you will find Instructions and guidance for our session. If you have any questions once you have read through it, email me at



How to prepare for the session

  • Read Chapter 3 of The Wild Edge of Sorrow. It is a very full chapter, so we will be exploring this chapter for the next two sessions (3 & 4). 

  • During the days leading up to Session 3, notice which of the 5 Gates of Grief are especially tender for you at this time. Come to the session ready to share (if you are willing) something that you discovered, or feel surprised by, from your reading so far. 

  • Notice what comes into your awareness in response to the reading ~ memories, body sensations, images, feelings, sounds, etc. 



What to bring to the session

  • Your journal or pad of paper, and pen

  • The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller

  • An unlit candle, and a lighter or matches. Perhaps you have a candle you can dedicate to this process, and make use of between our sessions

  • One or two symbols of what you discovered in your session preparation ~ in response to the inquiry, the reading, or both

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




For our time together, I am asking us all to align with these intentions:

  • I allow others their tears, their anger, and their complexity by offering them my respectful attention and witness.

  • I offer myself and others deep compassion, even if I experience challenge or disagreement with another’s sharing.

  • I hold what is shared in our sessions with confidentiality; what is said in the group stays in the group.

  • I refrain from giving feedback or advice, unless it is requested from me specifically.




Plan to arrive to the Zoom room 5-10 minutes ahead of time to settle in. This session will last three hours, with a 15 minute break in the middle. Commit yourself to being in the session for the entire time. It helps to build a strong container for our exploration if we start together and end together. 


This workshop is designed to be experiential & interactive, so plan to participate with video and audio on.


Set up in a quiet, private space with as little distraction & interruption as possible. Have a 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.


If you are not familiar with Zoom, I am available to support you in getting up to speed for the session. Contact me by Saturday morning to set up a quick orientation; I will not be available to provide Zoom support after that point.



One last note…

Our grieving selves are being asked to reveal themselves, and it is an act of courage & trust to step further into these waters. If you find you are feeling anxious about attending the session, wondering if you are up to it, constructing ways to cancel… know that this is all really common and very natural. If this is happening for you, see it as an opportunity to notice & name what is coming up for you, offer yourself gentleness and compassion, and invite yourself to stay in. Reach out to me if you would like support in navigating this part of the workshop experience.