Good Grief: We need to stop hyper-labelling our experience and start actually experiencing!


“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. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life-force…. It is not a state of deadness or emotional flatness. Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated. It resists the demands to remain passive and still. We move in jangled, unsettled, and riotous ways when grief takes hold of us. It is truly an emotion that rises from the soul.”

~Francis Weller

When people come into my office reporting depression, I’m listening to their story considering whether they are also speaking of grief.

Where I am from, the general population is really only just beginning to acknowledge experiences of trauma and the various shades of pain and loss that can lead to grief, I only just see us now at the tip of the iceberg in terms of exploring different ways we might circle together and in the name of support and healing.

It’s really no wonder we have an issues with repression … chronic pain and addictions. Rather than rushing people back to work 10 days after losing their partner, parent, or even child, we need to learn a new way together. It feels we are a way off structuring community where people can gather, connect, tap into their feelings and express while they feel held and cared for. However, I wonder what we could learn from other cultures about this?

How could we support people at at time of loss feel like they can enter into the gentle, slower pace that is needed in that time of breaking-open time? I wonder what the benefits might be to our society as a whole.


Angela Cara

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“Circlework provided for me a space to reflect and feel connected to myself and other women. To be able to take that feeling—that space—with me day to day provided me with a sense of empowerment and reassurance to any challenges I may face.”