Reclaiming grief & mourning

This is one post in a series I intend to make on mourning groups.

Anyone might reasonably ask why would I want to be sad. My answer is that I don’t want to be sad, but when I have good reason, I don’t want to repress or ignore sadness. As BrenĂ© Brown says, we can’t selectively numb. If I’m not willing to experience sadness, I will limit my ability to experience joy. Part of being a complete human is to experience the full emotional range.

Marshall Rosenberg (the originator of Nonviolent Communication), invites us to become aware of our unfulfilled needs, those things we are longing for and are not receiving. This leads to us becoming less angry and judgemental, making life more wonderful for ourselves and everyone around us.

Last year, to make a space for a regular mourning practice, I formed an on-line mourning group. This proved more successful than I expected as the group, through trial and error, settled on a format that works well for us. Word got around and more people asked to join. I was reluctant to add more people to our group as a small number seems to work well, and because our little group had got to know and trust each other. I was also reluctant to say no, to fall into scarcity thinking. I decided to offer to support people in forming new mourning groups. So far, a friend and I have started a second group and are gathering Spanish speaking people for another. We know of two Japanese speakers who would welcome a group in their first language and would welcome a few more to get a group started.

Over the next few days, I will write further about the mourning group format we settled on in the hope it will help more people to start groups.