Grief Rituals

Day-long GRIEF RITUAL  November 12, 2022  9am – 9pm at Sacred Groves .

Co-Facilitated by Therese and Tere of Sacred Groves, Laurence Cole, and Mary Hart

Since 2002, Sacred Groves has offered the opportunity to gather and support each other in community to release grief, feel support and connection, heal our tender hearts. There are so few places in this culture where we can bring our strong emotions, our deep grief and anger. Many of us yearn to unburden ourselves with others, but find ourselves alone with our grief all too often. This is a place where your tears and heart-ache will be held in a sacred container with support and witnessing.

The day includes setting sacred space, talking circles, song, prayer, movement, sharing food and quiet time in the woods. The heart of the day is a grief ceremony accompanied by African drumming and chanting, in the tradition learned from Sobonfu Some.

The spiritual framework for this ritual includes time-honored and earth based modalities such as invoking the energies of the 7 directions, 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.

Food: Lunch, coffee/tea and snacks will be provided.  We ask participants to bring food to contribute to a potluck dinner.

Accommodations: No lodging is provided at Sacred Groves.  If you desire to stay on Bainbridge Island (or elsewhere in Kitsap County) the night before or after the ritual, please make arrangements through Airbnb or any of the local motels

Fees: The fee for the day-long Grief Rituals is $200. If you are in need of a partial scholarship or payment plan, please email Mary for details. Read more about our philosophy around fees here. Thank you for your generosity!

To RegisterClick here and fill out the form.  Submit payment through PayPal per the instructions on the form. 

Questions? Please email Mary (

COVID Precautions:  We are holding this ritual indoors, not requiring masks or vaccination.  Likely we will require a COVID test the morning of the ritual.  Stay tuned for more details as we sort through the latest recommendations.

Facilitators: Our “Grief Tending Team” includes 4 of us who have been involved in grief  IMG_0095 rituals here at Sacred Groves and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest for many years.  Each brings unique gifts to the group. Laurence and Therese met while doing grief ritual with Sobonfu Some in the late 1990’s.

(photo-left to right: Laurence, Therese, Tere and Mary Hart)

Refund Policy:

  • A full refund will be given if any last-minute changes to our COVID precautions do not feel stringent enough for you or if you feel sick at the time of the ritual.  (Please stay home)
  • If you cancel anytime before 1 week prior to the ritual for other reasons, we retain $50 of your deposit as a “handling fee.”
  • If you cancel less than a week prior to the retreat, we cannot guarantee a refund due to the low likelihood of filling your spot. If we are able to fill your spot, we offer a 50% refund minus $50 handling fee.

Click here for photos of past Grief Retreats.