You've been thinking that a grief circle is for other people, right? Not for you. Maybe you've pictured people sitting around crying and being comforted, and that scene doesn't appeal to you. How embarrassing! Besides, you have no reason to cry. And if you did, you would have no reason to cry publicly, for sure.
Ah, but unless your head is under a rock, you have at least one ear turned towards the ongoing cries for mercy and justice and peace for our fellow beings and for Mother Earth. Driving your car you attempt to puzzle through, and you secretly mourn, the American massacre in Orlando of innocent people gathered during spring break at a gay nightclub. In your gut, anger seethes at the heartbreaking injustice and the sense of futility. Yes, there is reason to cry.
There is a need to come together in circle to acknowledge, with words or silently with the presence of our bodies, the human heart breaking open. It is happening whether you want it to or not, whether you admit it or not, whether you are campaigning for a cause or not. We are being broken open and we need each other to get through it in a way that might help create a better future. We were not created to act like machines who cannot cry. We are not meant to deny grief. We are not meant to walk around hurting and ordering another cappuccino to push past it.
We have a primal need to sit in circle and acknowledge the reality of grief and reasons to grieve. I believe that if more people could learn to grieve, fewer people would hate each other. Fewer people would kill others, fewer people would take their own lives. Because grief is the great human equalizer. In grief, you are forced to realize that, in the end, every human heart will stop beating. SIiting in circle, we are supported in acknowledging the inherent vulnerability of life itself and the fragility of the human condition.
The Life and Grief Circle meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. All are welcome. If you can't join us tonight in person, join us in spirit from 6-7 pm. We will meet for an hour on the back deck of the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meetinghouse, 137 Center Avenue, Black Mountain, NC.
You are encouraged to look for an object, a song, a poem, or some creative expression of your grief and to bring it with you to the circle. Speaking and sharing are optional but encouraged.
Reflections from a grief dula to help others navigate the waters of grief. Blog posts here are copyrighted and are part of an upcoming book. Please quote with attribution. Sheridan Hill