01316675438 2 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AB
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Grief-tending in Community

Samhain, Halloween, All Souls’, Zhongyuan, Day of the Dead …

Whatever your culture or tradition, we – Thomas, Susannah, Douglas, Maeve and Stephen – invite you to join us for a day of Grief-tending in Community

Saturday 29th October 09:30-16:30

For the morning session we’ll be in the garden; around the fire for check-ins, easing into the work together; some small-group discussion; later around the whole garden for work alone; then together again around the fire, for everyone to hear and be heard, if they want.
We’ll give our presence and attention to any and all layers of grief that arise in the day. To help us frame our scope, we’ll use the ‘Five Gates of Grief’ that Francis Weller describes in his book ‘The Wild Edge of Sorrow’ – free PDF or £13 from an Edinburgh bookshop.

You don’t need to have read the book. The five gates he describes are:
1. Everything we love we will lose. ‘tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch.’
2. The places in us that have not known love. ‘…wrapped in shame and banished to the farthest shores of our lives.’
3. The sorrows of the world. ‘The cumulative grief of the world is overwhelming.’
4. What we expected and did not receive. ‘Deep in our bones lies an old intuition that we arrived here carrying a bundle of gifts to offer to the community.’
5. Ancestral Grief. The grief we carry in our bodies from sorrows experienced by our foremothers and forefathers.

Good grief beckons nourishment and companionship, so whatever your donation, lunch is included. Vegan and gluten-free; probably spicy-veg with quinoa, and fruit crumble.

For the afternoon session we’ll be indoors, and take our grief to a deeper level, with some simple collective ceremonies Francis Weller recommends. Beginning with a story or two, to gather us together and bring us into the mood; some singing and chanting to bring us into focus and closer connection; some movement to raise our energies and impulses to express ourselves. Together we’ll create safe space for each and all of us to express our grief in our own way; peer-held, witnessed and shared while also free to grieve as deeply or gently as we feel the inspiration.
After about an hour of open-hearted grieving, the energy will begin to subside, and we’ll gather in a circle for time to reflect, and each speak of what we have experienced. With tenderness we’ll bring the day towards a close, with requests of ourselves, blessings to those for whom we’ve grieved, and check-outs. Last time, the group slowly dispersed in song; it was beautiful.

What to bring:
✦ Suitable clothing for being outside for three hours during the morning.
✦ An object that for you has connection with grief. We invite you to keep it with you in the morning; and in the afternoon to place it upon the grief altar with the objects others bring. We’ll be sure to return your object to you before we disperse.
✦ Your donation if you haven’t already made it by PayPal or bank transfer.

You can register either at bit.ly/griefEdi or by email to smvwalters@gmail.com
or text Stephen at 075 000 19490.
Were donations to average £20, that would pay-forward the next event (March 2023).


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