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Hosting a community grief ritual

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. There is something feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and sanctioned behaviors of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul.” – Francis Weller

Have you wondered what a grief ritual is? What sharing grief publicly is for, and what the intention of such a gathering of souls is? Have you been part of one yourself? In this video we tell the story of a community grief ritual we hosted last night. We describe the form of it, the protocols, the feelings and the purpose of it. Our intention for this video is to share with you the possibilities of such a process, and to encourage you to find, or create, those places in your community where such rituals can take place.

The length of this video is 50mins. In the spirit of unscripted sharing (and less time on screen) we haven’t edited this video. It is a single take, and a slow unfolding that requires some space, contiguous with the subject matter.

Here is the audio-only version:


We’d love to hear of your experiences of community ritual, your comments about your own grief, or anything that arises from community story sharing you wish to share here.

Here are the books we mention, and recommend, in this video:

Healing Pandora: The Restoration of Hope and Abundance by Gail Thomas

– re:)Fermenting Culture: a return to insight through gut logic by Patrick Jones (PDF & audio; paperback copies are out of print)

The smell of rain on dust: Grief and praise by Martín Prechtel

The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller