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Community Grief Ritual by Pacific Healing Circles

October 7, 2023 @ 9:00 am - October 8, 2023 @ 5:00 pm

Saturday, Oct 7, 9 am – 9 pm
Sunday, Oct 8, 9 am – 5 pm

  1. This retreat has openings now. Register Here

We carry grief of all kinds. Joy and sorrow are a main staple of our daily life. And this ancient wisdom teaches us that our culture is sick not because we grieve too much, but because we don’t grieve enough. We aren’t given permission to fully grieve.

Many of us feel alone and isolated in our grief.  Western cultures tend to have a “don’t ask for help” and a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. It is forced down and shamed until it turns into a personal pathology rather than collectively held and honored. We are not meant to grieve alone!

When grief is not processed, it often gets passed down through the generations and can come out in harmful ways. But we can choose differently.  We can reclaim our natural ability to heal alongside one another.

Grief is not something to get over but to be embraced and cherished for the love that it is. It is ok to hurt, we just need each other to collectively hold that hurt and support one another to carry what we cannot carry alone. Sometimes we can get stagnate and drown in our grief because we aren’t given a way and a community to allow it to move through us.

This medicine helps us regain our interconnectivity. To be reunited with our common humanity and to remember that it is ok to need and to feel. This being human is no easy task and part of our challenge in life is learning to be more human. To celebrate the full range of our human experience and that means our deep sorrow. But touching on that agony is often scary and why we need companions to journey with us through the tunnel of grief until we come out the other side.

What to Expect:
Learn more here: https://pacifichealingcircles.com/ and take advantage of the early bird pricing before September 6th!

The ritual includes talking circles, singing, poetry, movement, practice in sacred listening, witnessing and being witnessed, ceremony, sharing food and quiet time. The heart of the retreat is a ceremony inspired by Sobonfu Some.

Our work is also inspired by the Five Gates of Grief from Francis Weller:

  • Everything we love we will lose,
  • the places that have not known love,
  • the sorrows of the world,
  • the things we cannot even name that we ache for, and
  • intergenerational or ancestral grief.

We will lean in together and trust, surrender and open to vulnerability as we remember how to grieve in community.

Spiritual Framework

The spiritual framework for this ritual includes time-honored and earth based modalities, utilizing the power of drumming and chanting, the belief that the natural world is a rich place of inter-connection with “all our relations,” and the importance of working with the unseen realms, including our ancestors.

EXCHANGE: Early bird rate of $250 before Sept. 6 and $300 after Sept. 7. Payment plans and limited partial scholarships and work trades are available upon request: pacifichealingcircles@gmail.com.

Refund Policy:

  • Please do not attend if you have any cold/flu-like symptoms, are COVID positive, or have had significant exposure (e.g. household member) to COVID within 3-5 days of the event; a full refund will be provided minus a handling fees.
  • If you cancel anytime before 2 weeks prior to the retreat for other reasons, we retain $50 handling fee.
  • If you cancel less than 2 weeks prior to the retreat, we cannot guarantee a refund due to the low likelihood of someone from the waitlist being able to fill your spot.  If we are able to fill your spot, we will offer a 50% refund minus the $50 handling fee.

COVID Protocol:

COVID Protocol: We will be asking all participants to perform a COVID home test the day of our event. If you do not have a home COVID test, please arrive early so you can test upon arrival. Once gathered, each participant will be at choice as to what feels good to them in terms of masking, distancing, contact, etc.  Beyond testing 24 hours prior to the event, we will not be making specific requests of participants.

If you are COVID positive or showing any cold/flu-like symptoms on the days of the ritual, please stay home.

To Register:Register here.

Questions? Please email Mary (pacifichealingcircles@gmail.com).



Laurence Cole is a well-known song leader and respected elder with long involvement in grief work, men’s work, and many other aspects of healing and enlivening the human spirit. He has been co-facilitating Grief Retreats since 2009 and was blessed to have experienced this ritual with Sobonfu Some. In addition, he has been offering a ritual called “Grief Song,” at singing events for the past 5 years.

Mary Hart brings her commitment to authenticity, vulnerability and transformation to the team. She is trained in Internal Family Systems therapy, Hakomi therapy, workshop facilitation, The Wheel of Consent and is a personal coach.  She has participated in many healing rituals over the years. In 2014, she was introduced to Grief Ritual and began mentoring with Therese Chavret, Tere Carraza and Laurence Cole.  Since then, she has helped to create and facilitate many healing rituals. She has sought and studied with many great teachers and has been inspired by the work of Sobonfu Some, Richard Schwartz, Krishna Das, Stephen Levine, Jon Kabbat Zin, Francis Weller, and many others.

Siena Tenisci brings her background in body-based somatic healing practices, group therapy, and ceremonial work to circles. She is committed to a lifelong practice of cultural sensitivity and to dismantling systemic and internalized oppression. She completed her Masters in Counseling at Antioch University in Seattle and thanks her many teachers, including Sobonfu & Malidoma Some, Francis Weller, Sharon Blackie, and many others.

To Register: click here
Questions? Please email Mary @ pacifichealingcircles@gmail.com


October 7, 2023 @ 9:00 am
October 8, 2023 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:




Harmony Woods Retreat Center
11507 S. Keeney Rd.
Spokane, WA 99224 United States
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