Our World’s losses are enormous.
Our community losses are numerous and swelling and our personal losses are profoundly affected by All that goes on.
Our losses are of health and happiness, of the well-being of our planet of our friends and family and of soul.
And, our customary way of dealing with these losses is most certainly one of shock and denial.
What we have learned over the past several decades is that there is a pattern to how we experience and deal with such profound losses.
The pattern is:
Shock: The awareness of our loss shocks us and demands our attention. Some become stuck in shock!
Denial: Our first attempt to move out of the paralysis of shock is denial. It is hard for us to accept the loss. We want it to not be so. Most of us and of our institutions and culture is to be “stuck” in denial.
Anger: Our second attempt is to argue or fight for the truth of the loss to not be so. Many hardened people and groups are stuck in this phase.
Bargaining: Next is the idea that we can somehow reverse the loss. We try hard to reason our way to change the outcome. Many are in the squirrel cage of bargaining. Around and round we go!
Acceptance and Depression: The loss and acceptance casts us into sadness and depression. Some by-pass anger and bargaining and just surrender into depression.
The clincher for us, in Modernity, is we have few ways of working with this Process of Grieving. Most often our societal response is to give us a few weeks of attention then “move on”.
Those most affected get implicit and explicit messages to “get over it.” Back to work, back to taking care of business, back to before the loss happened. It just doesn’t work like that.
We do not adequately attend to the grieving process and the result is stickiness and repetitiousness.
Indigenous cultures have much more elaborate processes for working with profound loss. And, from them we have distilled the following process.
Grieving Rituals for Dealing with Profound Loss.
Such rituals are essential for us as individuals and collectives to process the loss such that we don’t slip back into “The Repetition Compulsion”. We do regress and need to relive when we do not adequately heal our losses. To heal them adequately means to regain a more integrated sense of Soul, capital S.
And, as a consequence of adequately grieving in Ritual Space and Village
Our Communities become strengthened!