Just before Thanksgiving, under the guidance of a small flock of wise friends, some of whom are pastors and psychologists, I formed guidelines for a group that invites and empowers everyday people to sit together and be present with grief, explore grief.
A web page was made, a press release sent to three local newspapers, fliers made and posted in cafes and libraries.
Last night was the third meeting. Two brave souls showed up. The first quality I noticed was an immediate intimacy between us. I don’t know you, I don’t know the kind of grief you hold, but without any story-telling, our hearts walked into the water together and began to speak from there, from the essence of inquiry.
That will be the power of the group, I believe: a story might or might not be told, but the universal experience of grief is our common, unspoken language, and your courageous questioning of your own experience is food for my soul. There are no answers, only the willingness to hold still for the questions and let them live within us.
Although I shepherd the group, it is only to protect the shape of the circle, to keep the form, to keep the focus on curiosity. If we weep, so be it--tears are medicine--but the intention of this circling is to show up with all that is in us, to be authentically present in a circle that is not afraid of grief. As Martin Prechtel writes in Grief and Praise, "Grief doesn't care if he's badly misunderstood, underestimated, or forgotten: he's not hurt because people run away when they see him coming, because grief has one real good friend. Grief is the best friend of Praise, because Praise is a grandiose griever."