Grief Tending Ceremony


Schedule & Booking

  • Date: 03/11/2024
  • Teacher: Erika Tourell
  • Price: £75.00

Sunday 3rd November

12.30pm - 4.15pm

Book Workshop

Join us to find support with grief and loss. We offer permission to open our hearts and speak our truth, in the presence of a deep holding circle. It’s a chance to really be seen, and to connect authentically with others.

There will be a step-by-step series of guided exercises and rituals to build trust, connection and relaxation. We encourage self-kindness and taking care of our needs during our time together. Everything we suggest is optional.

Grief tending offers grief support without trying to fix anything.

Grief is a natural response to difficult things happening. This may include a whole spectrum of feelings such as sadness, anxiety, depression, anger, numbness and overwhelm. We offer a guided journey through this landscape, whether your experiences of grief are personal, collective or ancestral. We offer tools to discover and express our own unique responses, together in a group. To help us to remember how to be human in community. People may bring challenging themes and strong expressions of emotion.

“Grief is subversive, undermining the quiet agreement to behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small.” Francis Weller

Who is Grief Tending For?

Grief Tending is not just for the bereaved, although they are welcome. This retreat day is for anyone who feels sorrow, disappointment or has experienced loss at some point in their life. Recognising and giving attention to our inner feelings is part of maintaining good emotional health. Unprocessed emotions can leave us feeling low, heavy, discontented or add to our stress load. So, touching into our feelings with care can help us move through them. As a result we may feel lighter, with more access to our energy. Afterwards some people report feeling more able to connect with joy.

You may be recovering from a specific loss, carrying the consequences of childhood issues, or holding the cumulative weight of changes. Perhaps you are worried about the future or going through a process of transformation. You may be exploring the roots of physical symptoms or illness. Whatever the source of your grief, this can be a valuable way to enhance wellbeing.

This is for you if you want to feel more alive.

We open to an authentic, grounded understanding that the longing of the heart for love and belonging can be satisfied when we take responsibility and embody our vulnerability.

Why Grief?

We are primed to love. So as a consequence we have many different reasons to feel loss when we don’t feel held and cared for. We may suffer because of: relationship breakdown, loneliness, involuntary childlessness, bereavement, loss of health, redundancy, death of a pet, someone taking their own life, and childhood trauma to name a few. Collective trauma may also bring us to this work. These may include social injustice, cultural oppression or exclusion and fear about the future.

Grief is a Spectrum of Feelings

There are many sources of grief, there are also different ways to respond. This is because our grief may include a spectrum of feelings. These may include despair, anger, fear, numbness, overwhelm, shame, guilt, confusion, relief and gratitude. Although our Grief Workshop includes practices that welcomes these complex emotions, most importantly we first work towards feeling enough support so that we may feel safe enough. This work also invites us to recognise that we are part of the circle of life.

Is Grief Tending Cathartic?

The practice encourages workshop participants to pay attention to their own inner experience. We hope that each person will feel able to allow whatever expression arises for them naturally, without shame. Finding your authentic voice may include words, sounds, or silence and breath. Discovering feeling quietly numb can be just as valid a response as tears or other sounds.

Where Does Grief Tending in Community Come From?

Grief Tending in Community includes a range of practices from a variety of sources designed to encourage feeling and the expression of emotions in a group setting in order to attend to rather than heal grief. The teachings of Francis Weller, Joanna Macy, Sobonfu Somé, Martin Prechtel, Maeve Gavin have inspired this work. We also thank our teachers Sophy Banks and Jeremy Thres.

What Kind of Ritual Might Be Involved?

A ritual is a structured practice, which frames an experience. In a culture where many of our traditions have been lost, we are finding new ways to anchor meaning. While many of us have grown up with specific religious rituals, our intention is to work in an inclusive way that neither excludes anyone because of their belief, nor pushes any belief onto someone. You are invited to do your own emotional work in the way that suits you. Every exercise is optional. Some participants may bring a talisman from their own spiritual tradition to support them. We may invite in gratitude to nature, ancestors, or other personal guides, focus attention on a shrine, and be inspired by spiritual words and actions, but none of our rituals are denominational.

“Because we are wired to hold each other; we need to be held in life by warm hearts and loving arms.” Sophy Banks