The Good Grief Group

 GGG I and II meets twice a week ; GGG III meets once a month 


Good Grief Group I

if you are grieving the death of a person

Mondays 7:00 to 8:30 PM

Good Grief Group II

for everything else we have lost

Thursdays 7:00 to 8:30 PM

Good Grief Group III

for the beloved pets we have lost

On First Friday of Every Month 

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Contact me to sign up and receive the Zoom link for each meetings

So much loss in a human life and grief is the elephant in the room. From break-ups and divorce, job loss and retirement, moving house, empty nest, growing old, ill health and, of course, death - where is it safe in our culture to talk about these things that break our hearts, let alone honor them?

This was the original concept of The Good Grief Group when it began four years ago. Now in the time of coronavirus, as we take in how much we have lost, it seems more needed than ever. A key difference is that there are now three groups. Two are meeting weekly: one for people who are grieving a death, the other for all those other losses, of which there are so many. One meeting monthly, for people grieving the loss of their pet.  Also, we meet on Zoom, since it is not safe to meet in person.

The GGG is not a traditional support group, nor is it group therapy. We gather in a (virtual) circle, loosely based on Native American Councils, and after a time to center body and mind, we pass around a (virtual) Talking Stick and either talk (or not talk) about whatever is breaking our hearts. What makes our group different  is that when it is your turn to speak, you address the center of the circle and you can hear yourself think out loud. It is speech without reaction from others. It is extraordinary how much we use our words and guide our speech according to who is listening. Here we are talking to ourselves.

So the lights are dim, the speaker can talk freely, the others are silent witnesses. Whatever is said is held in confidence; no-one offers advice or commiseration. It can be intensely moving, to share raw experience with others who need only listen without judgment or comment. The listeners understand that we are being offered a rare look at how life is for another human being underneath the polished social mask.

After the Talking Circle comes into silence, usually of its own accord, usually after about an hour, we settle into a comfortable posture for a guided meditation, and finish the evening with a simple ritual.

My qualifications for leading such a group, since I am not a licensed therapist, are a long-standing interest in death. This one certain thing that we all have to face, why are we so shocked when it happens? Almost a quarter of a century ago, my mother died suddenly of a brain aneurysm and I became a hospice volunteer to see what it's like when death happens slowly over time. Ten years later, my father died in my arms. Relatives, dear cousins, friends, my husband's parents and his three brothers - all dead now. The masses of books I have read, the workshops and courses I have attended (led by Stephen Jenkinson, Mirabai Starr, Frank Ostaseski), the course I taught on preparing for death using Kathleen Dowling Singh's wise and challenging book The Grace in Aging, plus my own yoga and meditation practices help me fill a role I’ve heard described as 'compassionate helper.’ My role is to hold the space, to be the time-keeper, to bring things to a suitable close.

I guide us in a compassionate exploration of how to grieve our sorrows together. From telling our stories in a sacred circle through to the final guided meditation and closing, we leave feeling comforted, supported and heard.

Contact me if you would like more information, to be added to the Good Grief Group email list, or to let me know you'd like to attend a meeting.  

"Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the Unseen singing softly to itself and you.​"

~Rachel Naomi Remen