I’m grateful to Dan who joined us for the half day on line workshop on December 18th and then sent these reflections on his first shared grief tending.
Grief Tending – Dan’s Experience
When’s the last time you listened openly to other people share their grief, without giving advice or solutions? When’s the last time you witnessed someone else, in their truth? Why do we not do this more? Why is this not part of our culture? Part of our cycles?
We often speak about the two wings of the bird in grief tending – an image that comes from Martìn Prechtel. The two wings represent grief and praise, the pain of life and the joy of life. In the teaching as I’ve come to understand it, a full life means one where both wings are strong. We cannot love deeply without deep grief. We cannot celebrate beauty, open to the joy of the moment, let ourselves be free with laughter or creativity without also meeting those moments when the loved one is gone, the laughter and beauty is finishing. Impermanence means every sources of joy comes to an end, everything living dies, every moment passes.
COVID and grief. I’ve been speaking to a few people recently and finding a shared experience of something like a layer of grief in our awareness. It doesn’t feel very acute or sharp, something like a dull ache that comes into focus if I put my attention on it, and then the tears may come. It feels hard to name them all, but somewhere in that layer are griefs for the end of normality, for the imposition of government rules into private spaces, the difficulty of balancing autonomy, choosing the risks I want to take, with public health obligations, the ongoing quiet loss of contact with others, of hearing of the massive wealth grab that is happening by the most powerful, the sense of impending trouble as the fallout of all this on mental health, inequality and poverty roll out, of the slow wearing down of people’s well being, the outrages that are being committed by the old against the young.
Last night saw the first event in the series End of the Line, for those with the grief of not having children. Over 30 on the call shared a little of their journey with childlessness and the resulting grief, and heard a bit about how the practices of grief tending can be transformative for those who have longed for children.
Loving life, welcoming grief.. staying in touch with our truth in times of change and upheaval
Here are some new dates for on-line workshops from me (Sophy), a bit of update from Jeremy about what he’s offering, and some reflections on these times and how this grief work might connect to the response to George Floyd’s killing. Continue reading “Grief tending Update June 2020”