Grief Tending

Tending Grief Communally with Sacred Witness, Song, and Ritual

In many cultures, the tending of grieving together is recognized as the “glue” of community. People come together to deeply witness each other and connect. Not only to share their sorrow, but to also renew their sense of hope, purpose, belonging, respect, and mutual support. These grief tending rituals also recognize that unexpressed, privatized grief can be toxic, and become the underlying source of illness, interpersonal stress and discord among people. Even lessening their connection with ancestral roots and the natural world. Laurence Cole, a well known song elder, communitarian, and student of cross-cultural wisdom from Port Townsend, Washington, will be leading a two-day gathering to help us reclaim and discover old and new ways of holding each other safely, as we attend to our personal and collective losses and sorrows.

We'll be sharing as a group and in smaller clusters, singing, moving, eating together, journaling, and creating beautiful altars.  

Bring flowers, photos, and objects you’d like to add to an altar.  

Wear comfortable, loose clothing and bring a water bottle.  

This is as much an opportunity to work on your personal grief, as it is a time to practice staying in the course in support of each other.  When we all stay engaged, one person’s work can become the work of everyone. And prepares the ground for the continuous healing release of the many faces of grief, and the harvesting of medicine that follows the forthcoming phases of our time together. Such times of communion often engender surprisingly deep feelings of greater aliveness,
connection and joyous renewal.


November 17-18, 2018

Saturday:  Start at 9:30 AM
Continues all day and through the evening
Sunday: Start at 9:30 AM
Continues until after shared dinner


Eco-Institute Gazebo & Barn

Includes fresh, wholesome lunch & dinner on Saturday, and lunch on Sunday

Overnight camping stays available
(included in fee for Friday & Saturday nights)



Part of Laurence Cole's mission is to re-acquaint people with their birthright and natural ability to make beautiful and meaningful sound together. Most of the songs he's written are short, easy to learn, chant-like songs with several layers that fit over and around each other in interesting and pleasurable rhythmic and harmonic challenges that make them fun to sing. Group singing is one of the most ancient and primal “technologies of belonging” that we humans have been using since our earliest times, possibly before speech itself. When we make joyous and passionate song together, it nourishes our souls and offers an enlivening gift back to the natural world that made us and gives us our sustenance and our very being. When such an exchange is genuinely made, and the song finds its natural ending, often there is a sweet, lively silence in which we simply stand and hold the “enchantment,” the sense of deep and genuine communion amongst each other and with the whole living world.