Befriending Grief in 2021 ~ Session 4

Stories of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal



Welcome to Session 4 of Befriending Grief in 2021: Cultivating Our Resilience with Loss. The opportunity to be together as companions in the landscape of grief is really precious to me. I look forward to exploring the rich topic of ritual with you during this session.


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 4 of The Wild Edge of Sorrow. (Previously, I said we would spend two sessions on Chapter 3, but now I am guided to move into Chapter 4 for this session.)

  • Come to the session ready to share (if you are willing) about any experiences with ritual that have had a beneficial impact on your grieving self. What comes up for you as read the examples of rituals in the book? 

  • We will be co-creating a simple grief ritual during our gathering. Consider preparing your self by freshening up the area where you will be sitting for the session, and beautifying it with flowers, incense, or anything else meaningful to you. This helps set the container for ritual.

  • Choose one or two ritual items for our virtual ritual. These can be symbols of the losses present for you in your grief journey, and/or symbols of renewal and transformation that are personally meaningful to you. If you are willing, take a photo of your symbols and send it to me (text to 513.470.2973 or email by the morning of the session, and I will include it in a collage to be displayed on screen during our ritual. (This photo sharing is completely optional.)



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

  • If you have sent a picture of your ritual symbols, have those same items present in your space during the session

  • 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. 


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.