Good Grief

A week or so ago I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours in the company of others exploring the topic of grief.

The session focussed around Francis Weller’s book — The Wild Edge of Sorrow — and how grief is such an integral part of all our lives.

Not just the obvious grief we experience when losing a loved on — but a range of other grief ‘types’ as well. These 5 different ‘gates of grief’, as Weller calls them, include:

  1. the sorrow of losing someone or something we love
  2. the places in us that have not known love
  3. the sorrows of the world
  4. what we expected and did not receive
  5. ancestral grief.

The topic was timeous for me — as I have and still am battling with how to process the grief of the passing of my mother — and perhaps many other things that I am now aware of after the two hour session!

The way we started to identify these different areas of grief was by writing answers to these 5 prompts. Each one which aligns to the 5 different ‘gates’.

So we had to follow on from:

I lost …..

I miss …..

I did not get to ….

It hurt me when ….

I was scared ….

Not all of the things I wrote matched entirely to the 5 themes — but what was interesting was the variety of loss/ grief that was there.

Big ones for me that perhaps have been buried include:

  • Leaving South Africa
  • Leaving New Zealand
  • Loss of childhood due to divorce

These are now at least things I can start to be aware of — and perhaps start to process — along with my Mother’s passing. Perhaps I need to deal with those first. Who knows?

But the one thing that came out towards the end of the session was how easy it was to answer each of the prompts with answers related to the change in our lives due to covid. I’m pretty sure there is a larger collective grief around the loss we are all processing and dealing with due to Covid.

I’m no expert in any of this — just thought I’d share my experience and insight into what was an interesting evening. I’m not sure where it will lead — but it’s another jigsaw puzzle piece that is now on my table of life.

Love and hugs to all



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mick Gibson

3 countries, 3 children, 2 dogs and 1 life-partner. I speak and write to make sense of what’s inside.