I recently traveled to Dano, Burkina Faso, in West Africa to visit the land of my grief mentors-Sobonfu Somé and Elder Malidoma Patrice Somé.
In this blog I begin to share what I learned and I also have new offerings of grief coaching/counseling packages which include my online grief relief course.
Also, I’m doing another round of my Tending the Tenders online support group for therapists and wellness practitioners. We start March 15, 2023. I’m including the theme of how to be with disenfranchised grief, specifically suicide loss.
See all info below in “How to work with me.”
Now some gems from Africa…
Thank you Spirit, Ancestors and Nature for guiding me.
All praise be to the ones who carried me safely there and back.
All praise be to the abundance I had to make the journey.
I’ll be integrating you for a while.
I’ve fallen in love with you and all that you offered me.
Red earth embedded forever in my sandals and the sweet sour taste of the baobab tree fruit still lingers on my tongue.
Beth laying on the Baobab tree
Thank you to the community of Dano-my new mentors, friends and guides.
Thank you to Alwyn Thomas our soulful guide.
Thank you for your leadership, guidance, and the many teachings on ritual. Thank you for your patience with our delays and detours.
Thanks for driving us on the red dusty pothole filled roads.
There were many highlights…I will share them slowly, like fat drips of water.
We met Sobonfu Somé’s family-her brother Francois and her father.
Wendy Kaas, Francois (Sobonfu’s brother) and Beth
We saw her family compound, and met some of her village. It was an honor to be on the land where she grew up and where she’s now buried. I cried and placed my tears on her grave.
It opened up my gates of grief for her; I cried for about 30 minutes in the back of the truck on the way to our next destination. I heard her sweet voice say to me, “You haven’t grieved enough for me have you?”
Laughing with sweet grief, I replied, “No, no I haven’t.”
Sobonfu would always ask, “Have you grieved enough?”
Wendy and Beth
So I let the grief come. I cried, sobbed, and laughed and cried some more. Now when the grief waves come, I just allow it to come out fully. Sobonfu taught me well—to clean out the pipes of grief.
I didn’t know I had to travel half way across the world to clean out my pipes of grief.
Her father was so grateful for our visit. As a thank you, he gifted us a live chicken! And he said, “If we had known you were coming, we would have given you a goat.”
We drove all the way back to town with a chicken. It clucked each time we hit a bump in the road. It was a duet of chicken clucks and my griefy sounds. It was perfection and just what I needed.
I am grateful beyond words.
Our friend Ourmorou & the chicken