Rituals for Grief and Loss
December 4, 2021
by Dr. Terri Daniel, CT, CCTP
Most of us go through our lives living with a set of assumptions about our sense of safety in the world. But when we face a profound personal loss or trauma, those assumptions can no longer sustain us, and our grief invites us to look for deeper meaning to help us understand our experience. Grief can shake us loose from our spiritual lethargy by asking us to look at our wounds as openings to higher awareness. One of the most effective ways to process this shift in perception is through sacred ritual.
Ritual gives form to the formless by helping us move from the attachments of the ego-body toward a more spacious, soul-level awareness. And grief rituals are simple to create. For example, set up a small altar that the contains a picture or written message representing your loss, along with a candle and a personal sacred object. Light the candle, and as the smoke rises, ask that your pain rise along with it, symbolically moving from where it is lodged inside your body toward the vast universe, where it can be transmuted into light.
Grieving — and suffering of any kind — without a mystical connection can deprive us of the great lessons pain can offer. If we grieve only within the confines of our three-dimensional understanding of human experience, we risk missing out on true spiritual healing. Our pain should not be denied, dismissed or defeated. It must be lovingly cared for and honored as a sacred messenger.
Terri Daniel © 2010