Grief tending and trauma.. what are the connections? Is all old grief a form of trauma, an injury or hurt that is waiting for healing? Can we heal trauma without support from outside, from humans or non-humans?
There seems to be widening recognition of how widespread trauma is in modern culture – from the Wisdom of Trauma film and on line events to trauma-informed approaches to mindfulness to an increasing understanding of historic and ancestral trauma related to colonisation, gender violence and more. In this post I share some of the insights I’ve come to about trauma, and offer some links to useful resources and places to continue learning.
Take a day to honour and tend grief with others, in beautiful surroundings. Make a deep journey of building banks, stirring and expressing grief, and witnessing others. Return safely with time for soothing and integration.
When I was younger I wanted to run a workshop called “Climbing Mountains Is Easy”. I had realised that if I push myself up a mountain, trying to get to the top or wanting to go faster, I would get exhausted. If I walk in the way that suits the most tired, injured or aching part of my body, walking becomes effortless and enjoyable. Listening to the most weakness in my body transformed walking up hills from a struggle to a joy. I could end a day of walking for hours still feeling energised. There was an obvious parallel to how I was living my life and why I was sometimes close to burnout or breakdown. And how those around me were living theirs. I wanted to share this practice with others who might be overriding the voice of vulnerability, driven by themselves or the culture around them. And to share the wild beauty of mountain landscapes with people who might believe them to be out of reach.
In Devon I feel particularly blessed that there are several people holding grief spaces in different ways, and that we meet occasionally to share experiences. Many are listed on our website so you can find your way to other offerings. It’s been rich to come together and ask questions – this month we asked “what are we learning?” which generated a wide ranging sharing. About the times we are living in.. about the need for our own support, and spaces for our own grief tending .. about the nature of grief and trauma, and the importance of support or resources for people coming to do grief work, so there is holding also when the grief tending space comes to an end. Continue reading “On grief, trauma and the importance of support”