What is Grief?
what our culture has collectively forgotten: Grief, when fully felt and moved, will transform into awe and gratitude for the opportunity to love at all; to be with our grief is to renovate new rooms in the caverns of our hearts so that there can be space for residence of more joy. In this way, our tears become the sacred solvent to soften and transform the hard edges of loss and strife into something which nourishes Spirit and carries us back to our soul's wholeness.
Many wise teachers have described the troubles of our times as an epidemic of the compounded effects of hundreds of years of ungrieved losses. In the community or cultural body, this inheritance of compounded grief severs us from our humanity, manifesting as violence, injustice, greed, dehumanization, and the desecration of the Earth. Each of us, whether or not we can sense it, is touched by more than our own losses or those of our ancestors. We are each connected deeply and invisibly to the sorrows of the world, the losses of species, the poisoning of the water.
In the individual, this backlog of grief can calcify into all kinds of maladies of the mind, body, and spirit; not only emotionally (heaviness, depression, anxiety, flatness, lack of presence), but physically as well (inflammation, impaired immunity, fatigue, auto-immune conditions, cancer, etc). For all these reasons, it's crucial for us to become literate in the ways of Grief as a doorway back into personal and collective wellness.
As a practitioner and ritualist, Josh Fox offers deep healing in the form of community grief rituals as well as individual support in his private practice to tend grief, trauma, shadows, and wellness. He also offers trainings around grief-tending for practitioners and leaders who want to level-up on holding therapeutic or ritual space around grief in their practices or communities.
"You wanna get up to the joy, you gotta go down deep!"
-- Laurence Cole
Grief has been relegated to the margins of our culture. Most of us have been taught that grief is simply what we feel when a loved one dies. Furthermore, we may have been told as children that it is something to be felt in private, or even shamed when we expressed it in the company of others. Yet the ancient ones understood grief as a much more encompassing and essential part of the human experience. They did not see grief as the opposite of aliveness, but rather as the intimate partner of life. Grief is our birthright and a rich, healing part of our physiology, as natural as our own heartbeat or breath. It is a built-in way that we can digest our experiences, honoring the losses of anything and anyone that we once loved. Our body innately knows