Making sense of grief and healing

Good grief.  More than simply an expression of surprise, these words can signify a deeper appreciation of the hurt that the earth endures at the hands of the human species.  And so beyond expressing words of sorrow, what can we do to right the wrongs that we have perpetuated in the name of human advancement, for in the name of our rise to dominance many other species have had to pay a hefty price – to the point of extinction in some cases – and living on the brink of mortality in many cases.

If being in nature makes us happy, then it stands to reason that when nature is hurt we can feel distressed and experience grief. Claire Dunn in Nature’s Wall of Grief (Huffington Post, 18/10/2015 | Updated 15/07/2016) writes about the work of: “Master tracker and bird language guru Jon Young, speaks of hitting a ‘wall of grief’ almost as a rite-of-passage when in the process of reconnecting to nature. Instead of pushing it away, Young encourages (us) to welcome grief as an ‘ally’ that will help ‘awaken our unique gifts’.”

“For thousands of years, ancient wisdom traditions have developed practices to tend to the grief and fear that can hold us back from healing ourselves, our relationships with other people and our children, and our relationship with nature.”

“Through these practices, grief becomes an ally.”


“We only grieve what we love, and love is what guides us to acts of greatest service. I now understand the grief to be the earth’s reminder, a seed in my pocket, a lover’s memento left deliberately in order to keep the thread alive, to not let me forget, to keep me on the trail and sniffing, ” writes Claire Dunn.

We will conclude this post with the words of Joanna Macy: “Our experience of pain for the world springs from our interconnectedness with all beings, from which also arises our powers to act on their behalf.”   Says Claire: “In her simply named ‘Work that Reconnects,’ grief is the glue to heal the illusion of separation between us and the rest of the web of life.”

To read the full story:





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