2023-2024 Grief Tender Mentoring Program with Elders Thérèse Charvet and Laurence Cole supported by Mary Hart

For those already hosting grief rituals and those who aspire to do so

This mentoring program welcomes applications from people who…..

  • Have a yearning and intrinsic motivation to provide support to and walk with others in their grief journey
  • Have done their own personal grief healing journey (i.e. have attended several grief rituals/retreats), continuing to access and release personal grief as it arises
  • Demonstrate emotional health, intelligence, and maturity, having worked through one’s own personal losses and traumas
  • Have a personal spiritual practice that cultivates self knowledge around ego issues and personal patterns
  • Are experienced with holding space for groups

OVERVIEW:  This mentoring program involves participating in a total of 6 monthly 3 hour zoom calls starting in October 2023 through April 2024, held on a Saturday morning (Pacific time). It also includes participation in a day-long in-person mentoring session prior to and including a week-end grief retreat at Samish Island Retreat Center, Washington. The dates are: March 27-31, 2024

Laurence and Therese’s specialty is group grief ritual/ceremony. They are not therapists nor grief counselors. Rather, they were blessed to learn about grief ceremonies from Sobonfu and Malidoma Some’. Malidoma and Sobonfu were from the Dagara Tribe in Burkina Faso. These two adapted their village grief rituals into a model that fit into week-end workshops for the people of Europe and North America.. They believed that many of the issues facing our culture are a result of un-processed grief.

Topics for this grief mentoring include:

  • The importance of “Agreements” for creating a vulnerable and courageous space
  • The importance of ritual for transforming grief
  • The importance of grief being witnessed 
  • The basic bones of grief rituals
  • Reflective listening as a vital skill for holding space for grief
  • Skills & Qualities needed to be a grief tender
  • Exploring the Five Gates of Grief as described by Francis Weller

Dates: (all zoom meetings will be held Saturday mornings 9:30am -12:30pm pacific time):
Launch date:  Saturday October 28th.   Other zoom meetings will be held: November 18, December 16, January 20, February 10, April 20th.  In-person mentoring session and grief retreat is scheduled for March 27-31st on Samish Island Retreat Center, 2 hours north of Seattle 

Fees: $1200 for the full program includes food and lodging and the cost of the Samish Island retreat in addition to the mentoring sessions on zoom. “Pay-what-you-can” options available upon request.

Registration:  Registration is open as of September 1, 2023.  To register, please follow this link,  fill out the application form and submit $100 application fee.  If you are accepted into the program, this will be applied to the overall fee.  If not accepted, you will be refunded $50. 

More about the facilitators: Thérèse and Laurence met at a Grief Retreat in 1997, held by their mentor, the late Sobonfu Some.  They both attended many ceremonies (grief retreats and others) with her and Malidoma Some in the 1990’s and 2000’s. Therese began offering Grief Rituals through Sacred Groves in 2002, with the blessing of Sobonfu and always in honor and acknowledgement of the teachings she shared from the Dagara Culture (in Burkina Faso). Laurence joined the team in 2008. Mary Hart joined the team in 2016.

Read more about Therese here.

Laurence Cole, a song elder and ritualist from Port Townsend, Washington, has a gift of helping groups of people rediscover the healing power of grieving communally, bringing his special gift of group singing to everything he leads .  Guided and inspired by the teachings of Malidoma Somé, Sobonfu Somé, Angeles Arrien, Michael Meade, James Hillman, Francis Weller,, Joanna Macy and many others, Laurence creates a safe and brave, non-judgmental space for folks to rediscover their natural human capacity for healing together.

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.  After many years of her own personal work, she was introduced to Grief Ritual with Therese Charvet, Tere Carranza and Laurence Cole in 2014 and began to mentor in 2016.  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.