Grief, and what do we do with it?


Grief, and what do we do with it?

Grief is a collection of feelings we feel for a variety of reasons, most commonly understood to be something we feel when people we love pass away. But it’s one of the most complicated of emotions, and not limited to losing a loved one. It is not linear and does not follow an easy straight pathway back ‘to normal.’ Grief is also an initiation, as we are forever changed by the experience. 

We are living in a time of loss for so many things. We open the doorway to grief and see how wide ranging it can be, and how often we are afraid of even opening the door to peek through because of what we might find. And although grief is unique to you and your situation, when we come together we can feel compassion with others which helps alleviate feelings of loneliness, and can ease anxiety and depression.

Fertility grief

Here at The Nest we support women, birthing people and menstruators through the major life transitions of menstruation, pregnancy, birth and menopause. Grief can be encountered around many of these corners, and is something that is not often shared but is very common when we start talking about fertility. 

Grief can come at many stages in the fertility journey, for example through:

  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Neonatal loss
  • Termination of pregnancy for social or financial reasons
  • Termination for medical reasons
  • Divorce / separation
  • Fertility treatment loss
  • Perimenopause 
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy after loss
  • Or any other grief related to the wide field of fertility… all is welcome

Grief tending in community

What do we do when the weight of sorrow lies heavy in our heart? How do we deal with it? Grief tending in community is a four hour event to give attention to our grief within a supportive group. It is a journey for connection with self, and others who also feel deeply and widely. 

Humans are a social species. We are born to live in connection with other people, not just for the good times, but also for the difficult ones. Grief tending in community offers an opportunity to build a ‘village’ even if only for the day, which can bear witness and hold each other’s strong feelings. It can help to:

  • Feel lighter
  • Build connection to other people
  • Give emotional release
  • Ease anxiety
  • Soothe the nervous system
  • Open to healing
  • Connect with life

Our next Grief Tending in Community event is coming up on Wednesday 6th April in Exeter. Please register your interest now:

Grief tending in community is a space to share some of those feelings within a like-minded group. We meet in person with a supportive team who hold the space for sorrow and have experience of supporting others in this way.

We recognise that grief is not an isolated event, but is affected by your unique personality, your family situation, your culture, language, spirituality and community. We welcome all genders.

Grief tending is about creating a non-judgmental and respectful experience to process some of our feelings while being witnessed and witnessing others. For too many of us grief is hidden behind closed doors, sometimes through fear or in an attempt to try and protect others from the depth of our pain.

Grief tending cannot take away what happened to you, but it can offer an opportunity to learn to live alongside the feelings.

Grief tending in community is not the first place to come if you are recently bereaved, or if your mental health is unstable. Please seek advice from your health care professional if you are in any doubt. 

Neither does grief tending in community replace professional therapy, but can work very well alongside 1-2-1 work.

Grief tending is a good way to feel feelings, especially if you have felt stuck for a while, feel numb and don’t know what you feel. When coming to an event we advise that you find support for yourself both before and afterward. This could be a check in with a good friend or family member who can listen, or with a trained therapist or counsellor.

Ready to book?

Register your interest to be the first to know when booking opens for our event on 6th April 2022.

photo of a flock of flying birds

Got more questions? Get in touch…

Published by Hazel Acland

Director of The Nest SW social enterprise Women's circle facilitator Doula Writer Mum

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