grief ceremony

Something BIG and a Call to Go Small…

Hello dear ones,

Something BIG and a call to go small…


Starting here with transparency— it’s been hard to write this blog. I’ve been sad a lot lately with the state of the world and how life is these days. It seems what used to be up is down and what’s down is up. And I sometimes find it hard to do what I have to do. 


So, I’m curious about you and what’s sustaining you these days. 


For me the best thing is to be in nature.


I walked yesterday up the hill and said my prayers and called for help and suddenly I started to see heart shaped rocks everywhere. Needless to say, I immediately felt better. 


I was reminded again to go to nature when my heart is heavy. (Cue the Sound of Music song here, the hills are alive…)


I’ve experienced the most joy recently and that’s one thing I wanted to share…


Big things have been happening here and it all started with a rock.


Nine years ago my beloved Michael hit that rock, fell off his mountain bike and broke his neck. Our world went upside down as we were catapulted into a life of quadriplegia and disability.


And I can finally say thank you to that rock and to that moment. And for me that is BIG.


It’s been a huge process. I never imagined saying thank you to the rock that started it all.


That rock initiated me into a deep grief process, then I found my mentors. I found blessed memory, Sobonfu Somé and grief ritual. I found Francis Weller’s poetic words and practices. And then I was called to study with Elder Malidoma Somé. 

For the past year I’ve been immersed in Malidoma’s sacred training of Cowry Shell Divination.

On September 18, 2021, I presented my divination cloth and kit and made official vows as a diviner and medicine woman to my ancestors, guides and my eight fellow co-hearts in the group. 


It was sacred and profound and can now say I’m an official Cowry Shell Diviner!

I’m excited to offer you even more support for when your hearts are heavy or confused.


What is Cowry Shell Divination? Here’s my simple answer: It’s an ancient practice from Malidoma’s village based on the elemental cosmology of fire, water, earth, mineral and nature. 


It’s sort of like tarot card reading, yet it’s so much more than that.


It opens the lines of communication between you and your ancestors. 


This practice can be done in person and online. I’ll soon have offerings that are woven with some creative art therapy practices as well.


The messages that come through are like soul balms. 

So it’s something you may want to listen to again and again with the recording you’ll receive.


One important message I received through a divination was to change my business name from Grief Freak to Grief Friend. My ancestor’s said I needed to soften the door so that I don’t frighten people away because the combo of grief with freak could do that. I heard them and made that change. 


However, I’ll forever be that grief freak on the inside…

I’ll always be the one forever changed by grief and then called by it to learn everything I could in order to serve you better and help you find grief relief.


If you’re curious and want to find out more about these divinations, please reach out and let me know. I’ll work with you regarding a price and I’ll always donate part of the funds back to the village where this practice comes from. 


So that’s my big news…saying thank you to the rock that rocked our world and led me to becoming a Diviner. 


Now I want to talk about the call to go small…


Today feels like the first official day of fall, and I’m worried about sustaining another pandemic winter. 


I’m in a group with Francis Weller called “Soulful Living.” We’re meeting for a year and are navigating how to be in what he calls, “The Long Dark.” He’s referring to all the grief, loss, systemic changes, upheaval, and climate change, etc., that we’re living through. It’s a time of deep initiation on a global level and it’s really hard.


I asked him, “How can I do this work when there’s so much to grieve and so much to process? I want to make more of an impact and help more people, but how do I do that?”


He said, “Well, you start by doing what we’re doing here-by gathering with small groups and naming your feelings. Tend to a small group, you don’t have to go big. Focus on your local community and gather with your friends.”


So that is my call to go small. 


Can you gather with the ones that you’ve become closer to over these past 19 months? 


Can you strengthen those relationships?


He also suggested that we titrate the overwhelming news. It needs containment. So take only one issue that’s heavy on your heart and place it in a container, a bowl of water for example, and then just be with that for a day or a week. And then place something else in it later. 


Our nervous systems aren’t wired for the amount of news that bombards us daily. It’s okay to take breaks. We cannot feel it all all at once.


Take a breath. I just did.


There’s so much going on these days.


Reach out to me if you need more support. 

And speaking of support, I’m running my “Tending the Tenders” group-a grief support group for therapists and wellness practitioners. I’m passionate about teaching practitioners how to do grief better so that they can help their communities grieve better.




Please spread the word for me so that it can ripple out. 


And as always, thanks for being here, you are part of my very own small and precious community.


Beth, your grief friend.