Hello dear ones,
I’ve been getting calls and emails asking if I’m doing any grief rituals lately, and I really appreciate that. Thank you!
And I’m not, at least not the one that I used to do that was taught to me by my grief mentor and grief friend Sobonfu Somé.
We need to keep grieving right now more than ever and we also need more ways to gather and move grief together. (If you’re on Instagram, consider following me. Beth_Erlander_Grief_Friend is my handle there. And on Fridays I’m teaching ways to have your own grief rituals and other practices.)
I have limited capacity to hold large grief rituals right now. I’m also being mindful about gathering in public due to the pandemic, etc.
I’m open to gathering in small groups outside in nature. I’ve been going to a nearby river to sing and grieve with the water. I’d be happy if any of you local Coloradoans would want to join me. It would be spontaneous and casual…
We could meet by the river in the late morning sun or early afternoon.
I see us standing in a small circle with our shoes in the sandy river bank.
I see us sipping tea from our own insulated cups.
I hear us naming our sorrows and struggles. I see tears falling, I see myself running back to my car to grab the toilet paper roll that’s in my car for moments like these.
I see us going to the waters edge, some of us sitting on cold stones and speaking our grief to the water that flows continuously.
I see myself beginning to drum and sing the Dagara grief song or maybe I make up a new grief song. Some of you join me or make up your own grief songs.
We grieve like this until we feel done.
And then I see us coming back to the circle.
I see us giving an offering of gratitude to the water, to the land and to the first inhabitants and tenders of this place.
And then I see us closing the circle by naming what we’re feeling now. Perhaps some of us feel lighter and some of us not.
So if you’re called to this vision-reach out and we’ll find a time. We need to grieve now more than ever.
In the beginning of the pandemic, I attended many online grief rituals and the one that served me the best was the one by Joanna Laws Landis and Will Rogers.
I’ve included their next grief ritual for you to sign up here. Their own words and link to their grief tending circle is below:
Grief Tending Circle next Tuesday, October 16th from 12-3pm PST / 3-6pm EST on Zoom. This circle if offered 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 this 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.
We would be honored if this gathering calls to you and you would like to attend. We are offering this circle as a gift in service to healing, without expectation for payment. That being said, for those who feel called and able, there will be an opportunity to make a contribution via the follow up email sent out after our time together. If you plan to attend, you must follow the link below to the Eventbrite invitation to reserve your spot. We are limiting the group to 24 folks to contribute to a sense of intimacy in our circle. Feel free to pass this information along if you know someone who might be interested to join us.
Reserve Your Spot Here
Grief Tending Circle with Joanna Laws Landis & Will Rogers – Tuesday, November 16th // 12-3pm PST / 3-6pm EST on Zoom
Click here to convert to your time zone.
We’ll email a link to the Zoom meeting 2-3 hours before the event on Tuesday to those who have registered. Please set aside 5-10 minutes before the call to get centered and work out any technical issues. We’ll begin together promptly at 12pm PST / 3pm EST.
If tickets are sold out and you would like to be added to the waitlist, or if for any reason you are unable to attend after reserving a ticket and would like to make it available for someone else, please reply here or email Will at firstname.lastname@example.org. **Don’t hesitate to reach out if you are interested, spots often become available.
**Both Joanna (white cisgendered woman) and Will (white-passing bi-racial man, both white and Japanese) are committed to anti-racism and undoing white supremacy both personally and systemically. We believe deeply in the healing and transformative power of grieving in community, and in grief’s essential role in this needed dismantling. We welcome folks of all identities to join our grief tending circles, while also recognizing the limitations inherent in our particular life experiences. We are committed to listening, learning, and unlearning. May we grieve the legacy of white supremacy together. May our collective grief cry serve towards the liberation of all beings.
May you find ways of keeping your grief moving my friends. And seriously, reach out if you need to go to the river to grieve with me.
Beth, your grief friend.
These are still grief-full times. Apply compassion and curiosity and keep grief moving. Be kind to yourself and all others-human and non-human. And remember to grieve well, so we can be well.