We don’t deal well with grief in our culture. We are expected to move on quickly after our losses. But when we don't take the time to acknowledge and deal with our grief, that grief builds up, anger builds up, joy and love are lost, creativity is stifled, and despair enters in. And who cannot be grieving today about what’s happening to the earth and to the beings of the earth?
So I think grief work - practices and rituals for grieving within a supportive community - is a critically necessary for these days. Mystics in all traditions bear witness: the depth of nothingness is directly related to the experience of everythingness. We learn we are cosmic beings not only in our joy and ecstasy, but also in our pain and sorrow.
And I believe that Grieving Day, which was initiated in Ireland and is now a global event taking place tomorrow, December 3, is a key step toward healing individually and in community: while grief is most often suffered alone, in isolation, this event offers the possibility of grieving together, in compassionate community.
I invite you to connect with the leadership of International Grieving Day at firstname.lastname@example.org, to explore events that may be taking place in your area, and to consider offering an event of your own.
At our recent Cosmic Mass in Oakland on Dec. 1, we did, as we always do, a grief practice.
Grief practices invite the participants to enter the third chakra and go where we hold our anger and our sorrow and let the sounds out. This can be done privately by wailing with a drum or collectively by getting on "all fours" (actually all sixes) and putting one's forehead to the ground (all "sevens") and letting the sounds out of the third chakra; first listening to one's own sounds; then, while still emitting the sounds, listening to one's own sounds.
National Grieving Day initiated in Ireland and happening around the world on Tuesday, 3rd of December is a day set aside to honour and acknowledge grief in all its forms. Recent times have brought many losses – personal debt, communities losing jobs, businesses closing, young people feeling disempowered, losing a loved one, environmental disasters, personal dreams being dashed or national expectations and identity having to radically change course.
The day will include a series of events giving people an opportunity to reflect,dignify their loss and offer the release of what is felt at an individual and social level, awakening hope for the future. The events are gentle, non-intrusive and open to all.
Contemporary culture often does not allow time or space in our lives, in our world, for celebrating what's been lost and the grief around it. This day is an invitation to meet that need, to offer events and places for those who want to take time to reflect and grieve their losses, small or big, old or more recent.
The National Grieving Day events will allow us to navigate discomfort and uncertainty and restore hope. The day itself is one of the darkest days of the year, on a night without even moonlight, which encourages us to embrace the dark in the knowledge that there that the light of new beginnings are born.
The spirit of people has arisen time and time again and it will do so once more. Let's comfort ourselves, recognise what power we hold within and renew our strength and resilience through our individual and collective release.
If you don't feel like joining a group setting, perhaps you'd like to light a candle on your own on the day to honour the grief you feel and say a prayer or meditate.
How people are getting involved...
- Join the group on FB (national and international pages)
- Celebrate individually with a candle, prayer, meditation
- Organizations can mark it with something aligned with their culture
- Come along to one of the grieving events
- Share details of the Day with your community and networks
- Suggest introductions for us to connect or talk with
- Host an event yourself
EVENTS: This is a decentralized, co-created day. There will be events all around Ireland, the UK, France, Netherlands and Australia with the list growing every day as people tune in and arrange programmes: see the global map for events. These include Remembrance Walks, Musical Mourning, Speeches, Ceremonial Fires, Sean Nós, Labyrinth Walks, Grief Circles, Keening, Ecstatic Grief, Poetry. The list is growing steadily!
CREATE AN EVENT: if you would like to run something in your community on Tuesday 3rd of December, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we can provide you with resources, suggestions and outlines for events if you wish.
YOUR SUGGESTIONS: if you have suggestions or connections for us to make, please drop us a line.
EMAIL: keep in touch with us through this page or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org