Francis Weller's Five Gates of Grief
“Grief and love are sisters, woven together from the beginning. Their kinship reminds us that there is no love that does not contain loss and no loss that is not a reminder of the love we carry for what we once held close.”
Gates of Grief
1 All that we love we will lose (Francis Weller)
2 The places that did not receive love (Francis Weller)
3 The sorrows of the world (Francis Weller)
4 What we expected but did not receive (Francis Weller)
5 Ancestral grief (Francis Weller)
Optional extra Gates of Grief which I find helpful to explore:
6 Trauma (Francis Weller’s optional gate)
7 The harm I have caused to myself and others (Sophy Banks)
8 Anticipatory grief – fear of what is to come (Sarah Pletts)
In times before our grief became something we had to 'get over', community came together in various ways to witness and support grief.
Grief is not only death of a person. It is loss of home, job, land, the bones of ancestors......
...and in modern times we are now grieving the loss of cultures, languages, species, climate change, political divide, divorce, estrangement....etc.
And too the ambiguous griefs like miscarriage, aging, changing roles, Covid.....anything that requires of us to adapt to what is unfolding before us while mourning the 'way it was'.
One of the most important parts of meeting grief is being witnessed and heard.
In ritual we can come together, meet our griefs and allow our tears, anger, bewilderment, confusion, purposelessness, pain and all the rest of the myriad ways that grief arises.....even years later.
We can ask to be seen, heard and held in community.
There are many ways rituals can be performed, even by ourselves....and I am diving into the training now, even as I develop my own ways of creating ritual.
There is so much more to our grief than meets the eye.
Grief is sometimes like broken ribs; excruciatingly painful, but invisible to the outside world.
Ritual can open doorways to leaning into "Yes" in life, knowing we have been and can been seen.
Stay tuned for more information and resources.
Be gentle with your tender hearts.
What is a Grief Ritual?
One of the elements that I have been learning to incorporate into ritual is Circle Singing. I've trained in that method of textless, spontaneous song. Without words our ability to express and to hold space for others as they express the sounds and songs become a container of safety and community. No perceived singing voice required!