Next Ritual: Deadwood, Oregon

Hi – Grisha & Alison here. Please join us for a community grief ritual in beautiful Deadwood, Oregon on June 8, 2024 from 10 am to 6 pm.

Please mark yourself as Going or Interested in the Facebook event. To be notified of upcoming events, please join the Mailing list.

Some of the Many Benefits of Community Grief Rituals

There’s so much power to shift what’s been stuck when we really feeling our grief, without pretense or distraction. Sobbing, keening, raging… Not to wallow in it, but to complete the process, so it’s not frozen inside of our bodies, keeping us from shining our light.

Grief rituals also serve as a way to honor the griefs we carry, whatever they may be. For example, a beloved person/dog/cat/horse/other being who has passed away, the ongoing harm to planet on which we live, losses you have experienced, love you did not receive, ancestral grief, the multi-faceted harm of systemic oppression, or the harm you may have done to others as an individual or collectively, like the harms of colonialism, white supremacy, or human supremacy.

“Grieving is a way to say yes to life. When we grieve, we let out the toxins, so that we can embrace life again. When we don’t grieve, our creativity becomes dim or almost nonexistent.

But when we grieve, especially when we grieve together as a community, there’s almost a like magic that happens in the dance of the community and the individual, where the gift begins to flow, and the people can begin to drink from the Well of this gift so that they can begin to heal together and know the value of what we’re bringing.”

Sobunfu Somé

We all carry grief.

Community grief rituals are a supportive environment where people come together to share their grief, knowing that they are not alone in their pain.

Your grief is Beautiful.

Grief rituals allow for the expression of emotions in a safe and non-judgmental space. This emotional release can be cathartic and help individuals process their grief.

Yes, all of it.

We will create a specific and safer container where people can openly cry, scream, or express their feelings in ways that may not be as readily accepted in other settings.

Closure & Acceptance

Through the collective support and shared experiences, people can find solace, strength, and a renewed sense of hope.

Fostering Community

Witnessing others in their grief allows us to deeply know that we are not alone. It fosters a sense of belonging and connection within the community, as we release anger, blame, shame, and sorrow in our tears.

Intergenerational Healing

This ritual is rooted in the teachings of Sobonfu Somé and Malidoma Somé of the the Dagara people in Burkina Faso (whose elders and ancestors insisted they bring grief ritual to the West), with inspirations from Laurence Cole, Francis Weller, Alexandra Blakely, and Fernanda Samambaia, among others.

20% of donations for our grief rituals go directly to the Dagara Empowerment Water Project.

What is Community Grief Ritual?

Your Tears Are Precious Here

Grief ritual is a chance to express your deepest sorrow and pain with the witness of a trusting community, so you can somatically shift that grief you’ve been carrying.

Grief is part of being human, and we aren’t meant to do this alone.

What is Ritual?

Ritual is an opportunity to connect to something larger than ourselves, whatever that means to you.

In Community Grief work, the ritual is simply time and space to mourn together, with the support of other participants, who are singing. (And don’t worry if you’re not comfortable singing).

Keening, Sobbing, Raging

We have been taught to grieve alone in Western society. Having a deep embodied experience of being in grief with others present is potent and it’s different from just talking through it.

What Our Grief Retreats Look Like

We incorporate singing, brief writing exercises, grief education, honor to and requests for support from our ancestors, and a chance to be witnessed during the deep grief ritual portion. These elements can bring comfort, meaning, and a sense of continuity to your grieving process.

“At the core of this grief is our longing to belong. It assures our safety and our ability to extend out into the world with confidence. It was in this setting that we emerged as a species. It was in this setting that what we require to become fully human was established.”

Francis Weller

The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief

The witnessing of the community has the capacity to act like scissors that cut us away from unhealthy ties, so we can rewire ourselves in the way we should be wired, to say ‘yes, I’m alive, finally, again!’”

Sobunfu Somé