|September 22, 2023|
Men only grief ritual in Chimacum, WA. September 22-24. Nico Kladis and Laurence Cole
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In many traditional cultures throughout the world, the wholesome expression of grief arising from life’s inevitable sorrows and losses was known to be most effectively released in a communal setting. It was recognized that unexpressed grief could be toxic, leading to illness, depression, addiction, even damaging and violent behavior towards oneself or others. It also was known that through supporting one another, welcoming the many faces and forms of grieving, holding compassionate witness in a sacred ritual container, that a people could reweave the bonds of connection and belonging.
Laurence Cole, a song elder and ritualist from Port Townsend, Washington, has been helping groups of people rediscover the healing power of grieving communally for over ten years. Guided and inspired by the teachings of Malidoma Some, Sobonfu Some, Angeles Arrien, Michael Meade, James Hillman, Francis Weller, Joanna Macy and many others, Laurence creates a safe, non-judgmental space for rediscovering the natural human capacity for healing together. Blending song, poetry, easy grounding movement, small and large group sharing, humour, silent reflective solitude in nature, and the co-creation of a beautiful ritual setting, Laurence provides a journey through the depths and heights of our aliveness. We come to a sense of renewal, connection and an awakened capacity for radiant joy.
Who should come? People who feel called to release some of their own grief, but also people who want to support the processing of our wider communal and ancestral grieving. In many cultures, holding grief communally is seen as an essential “technology of belonging”. Staying the course with each other through the ritual support of emotional release, as is practiced in such cultures, can generate a palpable sense of connection, lightening the load of what we’re carrying and renewing our hope.