Earlier this year I put out an informal call for contributions to a free resource to support our myriad communities during times of grief. I received some contributions and requested others and all came together to create By Way of Sorrow: Healing Magick for Times of Grieving.
Within these 40+ pages are rituals to get grounded and protect your aura, to let your queer heart grieve, and discover the hidden tensions you carry with you. There are tarot stories and plant stories and a tarot spread for finding power in your grief. There are poems, affirmations, and a simple one-page critical care guide for yourself and those you love. All of these resources are situated within the context that we are a grieving people and that our grief is necessary and needed.
But why focusing on grieving? Why not resiliency? Or revolution? Or anger?
In response to the myriad crises, what I have seen again and again this year is one consistent message: cry today, but get up and fight tomorrow.
Yet, such a message doesn’t sit right with me. I think we could do with more time to cry and grieve. Somehow, though, the idea of mourning is seen as counterproductive to the “real” work of fighting against that which oppresses us. In fact, we deserve time and space to grieve now more than ever. The lack of grief amongst different people for the same tragedies is what, in part, perpetuates fear of the other and belief (whether conscious or unconscious) that their life is of less value.
Grief shows investment in someone other than ourselves. It’s a sacred and unifying emotion. Grief also highlights what we are willing to fight for. To avoid our grief is an act of avoiding ourselves. Instead, I invite each of you into the magick of knowing your grief as powerful and a clarifier of vision.
None of the resources within these pages are meant to fix you of your heartache. But they do offer ways for you to know your grief as a tool of change. These resources are not meant to make you "tougher" or more "resilient" to the violence of 2016 - they are meant to help you let the trauma pass through you so that you may know it but not let it rot your bones and spirit. The contributors to By Way of Sorrow offer their words in order to to hold space, hold hearts, and gift each of us the gentleness we all deserve.
So here is my message for 2016 and beyond: cry and take time to know your grief, for that too, is the work of repairing the world.
I want to thank all of the contributors whose full bios are listed in By Way of Sorrow, but whose names and websites I have linked below.
If you are interested in contributing to future editions of By Way of Sorrow please get in touch.
By Way of Sorrow is to be shared freely with those who would benefit from its contents. If you share online, please link to the contributors as a way of saying thanks (you can simply copy and paste the links above). I would also love to know what you find to be most powerful and relevant to your life from the what you have read within By Way of Sorrow. Share your thoughts in the comments below or get in touch.
May By Way of Sorrow be a healing resource and wellspring of inspiration as we move from 2016 into the years ahead.