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Courting Grief


Reserve your spot


People generally need little persuasion to sign up for workshops teaching happiness where the subtle message is to derail and make one impervious to grief or at the very least able to recover quickly from it. Few make the case for developing some skillfulness around grief and inviting this often unwelcome guest to take a seat at the head of the table. If I've got your attention, please read on and come to the feast table ..

In a world so caught up in the business of coming out ahead on life's great balance sheet, we are frequently called to bear witness to the fact that our present day society leaves little room for mourning when mourning is clearly called for. We have become grief inarticulate. Our capacity to weather the tragedies and sorrows of life is painfully thin and in and of itself tragic and sorrowful.

Grief by Jan Clayman

A person's ability to navigate the terrain of grief is exactly that .. an "ability" .. something that must be learned throughout one's life. "Grief is a skill". Those are the wise words of author Stephen Jenkinson and subject of the film Griefwalker. Grief is also mysterious; in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book The Little Prince, the author writes, “What makes the desert beautiful, is that somewhere it hides a well…” He later says, “It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.” This land of tears is enormously rich and fertile, especially when we come together with others who are feeling the weight of their own grief bundles and who know something of the valley of aches and tears, whether by virtue of having been there or merely having heard rumours of such a place.

This gathering is for those who have felt the tug to venture into the rich terrain of grief and broken-heartedness. Here we will wrestle with letting life's both big and small endings have their way with us and turn us into persons of soulful depth as well as persons who can hold out a steadying arm to others facing endings of their own. By being willing to grieve, we might begin to trust and recognize that our tears are needed somewhere and our living becomes relevant beyond the periphery of our own self.


• Failure to grieve
• The broken heart is not broken
• The language of grief
• Myth, metaphor, poetry and journalling as guides


• Something to write with
• A meaningful object that represents endings to you
• A possession from someone close who has died or departed from your life (optional)
• A favourite piece of writing, poem or song that touches you in moments of sorrow

Regarded for over 15 years for her work in helping people speak and relate with greater depth, honesty and authenticity, Rachelle has been a scholar of Stephen Jenkinson's (Griefwalker) Orphan Wisdom School in Deacon Ontario for the past 6 years.

Hear psychotherapist and author Francis Weller, MFT discuss the communal nature of grief, the expressive virtue of anger, false happiness, and the two hands of grief and gratitude.