Beth Erlander headshot

A Vlog and an Invitation to a Grief Tending Circle

A Vlog and an invitation to a Grief Tending Circle March 11, 202!
Happy Spring everyone! I hope you can feel a slight shift with the seasons and may it seep into your soul and bones. Thank you Nature for reminding us of the how spring comes after a long winter of so much grief…

And welcome to you my new subscribers! I usually send out 1-2 blogs per month. Right now my main focus here is to give you a heads up about some amazing grief peeps who are offering grief rituals as I’m not at the moment. I’m busy with a full case load of clients and I’m immersed in writing my memoir and learning how to do Cowry Shell Divination with Elder Malidoma Patrice Somé. Stay tuned for that! I’m excited. 

So this month’s blog is a vlog-a five minute video of me simply saying hello, etc. Check it out here:


And then I wanted to invite you to check out my friend Joanna Laws Landis’s Tending Grief Circle. 

I met Joanna at a grief ritual/retreat with Francis Weller back in October of 2019 and we bonded on the outside stairwell when we had a spontaneous singing moment-the acoustics were phenomenal!

Joanna has been leading these zoom grief circles with a man named Will. The next offering is this Thursday March 11th. If you can make it-great! If not, at least get on her mailing list to get the invitation for the next one.

Here is what she says about their offering:

We offer this circle with honor and gratitude to the Dagara people and the lineage of grief ritual that has come to us from west Africa. The Dagara ritual was carried by Sobonfu Somé and Malidoma Somé to the west, and our circle has been influenced and deepened by this example.

The Grief Tending Circle will be an opportunity to come together to witness one another and be witnessed in whatever grief is present during this intense and historic time. Whether it shows up as something collective or as mourning a very personal loss, we will bring whatever we carry to together tend to the common “well of grief” that holds it all. We offer this space now, as ever, anchored in the belief that grieving in community is an essential step in dismantling the broken systems in our world and healing both personally and collectively. We frame it as a “grief circle” acknowledging that too often grief is repressed or psychologized in our culture, and because we’ll be including some specific framing around what it means to be present to our grief and to share it in community. That said, we welcome whatever is with you in this time, whether it fits “neatly” into your definition of grief or not.

I highly recommend attending this if you can. It’s this Thursday, March 11 from 2-5 PST, 3-6 MST, 5-8 EST on Zoom. 

The only way to sign up is to email Joanna at joannalawslandis@gmail.com. Tell her I sent you. 

They send out the invites a week in advance and they don’t post these on any social media, which I kind of appreciate. 

I found these grief tending circles to be a safe place to be with and move my grief with about 20-24 people. They use the zoom break out rooms to share in smaller groups. Your grief will be honored, heard and witnessed. They use music, songs, and poems to keep the grief warm, in typical Francis Weller style. 

If you go, let me know what you think.

Okay, my loves…may you feel the softest of spring arriving and may it begin to help melt away the harshness of this past winter and this past year of this pandemic. 

Take a moment if you’re able to place your bare feet on the soft earth, close your eyes and feel the warmth arriving. 

And I am here for you, reach out if you need me. 

Beth, your grief friend