One of our most powerful tools for group healing
is the Community Grief Ceremony
The "story strings" were then carried, in processional, to an altar built from burnt branches and twigs from the areas destroyed by the fires. On the altar were little toy animals to represent the animals who were traumatized in the fires.
Grieving In Community
When a community is devastated by a traumatic event, such as a mass shooting or natural disaster, in addition to individuals grieving their personal losses (death of loved ones, loss of a home), there is a communal loss experienced by all who have been touched by the event, either directly or indirectly.
Grieving in community is an ancient practice that has been lost to many of us in modern Western culture. To grieve fully and consciously, it is critical that we connect with other grievers to help each other carry the collective burden of community, tribal or national loss.
In November 2018, we facilitated a grief ceremony to support those who were affected by the cataclysmic wildfires in California.
Each person was given a length of ribbon or yarn, and as a group, in silent meditation, wound the ribbon/yarn up into a ball, infusing it with their prayers, their pain, their stories of loss, and their intention for healing.
Example of a Community Grief Ceremony
The twigs, branches and strings were then carried outside and placed in a tree, where the stories, prayers and pain could be released to the elements, carried to the divine by the sun, wind and rain.