We now offer ‘Walking With Grief as your Teacher’ Year Long Grief Mentorship for those who have recently experienced loss.
In our culture we have no container for grief beyond a funeral or memorial – then we are expected to go back to ‘business as usual’ and ‘snap out of it’. In traditional cultures not only is there an honoring of the loved one who has transitioned into Spirit World but and honoring of Grief itself. The family walks with grief as a teacher for one full year moving through all the seasons and holidays. When the year is complete there is a Ceremony to release their Soul and to officially and tangibly mark the end of the year of grieving.
If you have lost someone you love and would like to honor their life by honoring your grieving process I am here to witness and hold space for you. The only guidance will be to aid you in creating a personal daily/weekly ritual that you can practice that will support the digestion and integration your own emotions and insights.
This Year long Grief Mentoring arose from my own experience of walking with my Grief the year following my Dads’ crossing over as well as the deep way I have been witnessed these past two years by my Mentors in my Ministry Program.
When my Dad was about to cross over I called up one of my Teachers, Barb Mainguy, and asked “What do I do?!”
I thought, “If I was Catholic I would likely be using a Rosary and if I were Tibetan I might be reciting the Book of the Dead.”
I was at a total loss. She told me singing, dancing, drumming would all be helpful while he transitioned and once my Dad did pass to cut a lock of his hair to keep. If I were Lakota and a sweat lodge was available to me there would be 4 consecutive days of lodges where items of his would be burned each day and the ashes would be collected and placed along with Dad’s hair into a bundle – a little package made out of his favorite comfortable piece of clothing. My mom and I did our own version of a mini fire ceremony in our living room where Dad passed, each day with a different configuration of two to five people present.
Over the course of the year I created daily rituals for myself. Taking Daisy the dog on daily hikes. Singing 30 minutes of Mantra a day. And setting time and space aside to be in a dance practice every evening – giving myself permission to do anything – simply lie on the floor and cry, listen to music, roll around on the floor, and then sometimes I would move, allowing my emotions to move through me. Eventually some movement would be repeated night after night, then there was a playlist of songs, then a ritual of lighting a candle, burning sage, singing a four directions song, walking in circles and then dancing with a walking stick I had found on a hike —
I began creating an improvisational structure that lasted 20 minutes in honor of my relationship to the loss of my dad. To pain and grief itself.
This piece was offered to others three times,
once at a works in progress showing at the Garden Center for Contemporary Dance, once at a ‘Performing Illness, Performing Healing’ workshop with Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barb Mainguy, and finally, with a small circle of friends and family on the last night of my commitment to this practice at my Dad’s Soul Releasing Ceremony.
Two mentors have been following me though the Center for Sacred Study 22 month Ministry Progam – witnessing my reflection papers and listening to my challenges insights and process. They have followed me through most of my year of grief, my cross country adventure, my whole pregnancy, and the first 3 months of my Son’s life. It has been like having two of the most compassionate therapists witnessing me, holding space and prayers for whatever I’m working with and reflecting these back to me. I am so grateful for this very deep support.
It is this kind of support I will be offering in my Grief Mentoring. There will be monthly or bi-weekly calls over the course of 4 seasons and the year long process will come to a close with a Ceremony that I will assist you in creating.
We will hold this process together for 4 seasons.
We can work together from anywhere in the world.
The fee will be by sliding scale donation.