At The Center for Grief Recovery, we work primarily with individuals. But individuals make up groups and groups make up communities. These days we have both physical and virtual communities. As the world around us continues to show signs of chaos, it seems increasingly important for places of coherence to come into being. Place of coherence establish a sense of order, purpose, reliability, and predictability. Perhaps we can think of community as a potential place of coherence. In general, people want to belong to and become involved in places of coherence.
When it comes to community and grief, I like to use the phrase communal grief. I think individual inner work at some point needs to reach out into the community. We need to share with each other in mutually respectful and reciprocal ways our reactions, memories, pains, hopes, etc., through the grief and mourning process. It seems to me LegacyConnect is a place of coherence.
Communal grief refers to the experience of belonging to and sharing with a group of co-travelers on the mourning path, our individual reactions to loss and change. It is important to declare our beliefs and values for communal grief.
In communal grief…
…we recognize both our differences and what we have in common as human beings, so that our individual emotional burdens can be shared and carried by our collective strength.
…we intend to face our losses in our own unique way, but not alone in isolation.
… we widen our sense of what we belong to.
… we give and receive empathy and affirmation.
… we create a holding environment for each other in which we can build safety and warmth to encourage connection.
… we move toward wholeness and healing together.
… we work as a team whose goal is not to be in competition, but to be in compassionate relationships.
… we slow down and take the time as a group of individuals to remember and reflect on our losses.
… we accept that the experience of loss affects each individual differently based upon many factors, both seen and unseen.
… we come to understand that mourning our losses is a process that has no specific timetable, but that when we give it our attention, it carries us toward the possibility of transforming our lives.
… we learn to allow ourselves to move through powerful phases of reaction to loss.
… we mirror back to each other that love and loss are intricately woven together.
… we honor the experience of coping with death as perhaps the most profound and challenging of all experiences.
… we choose to keep going and to learn from each other about how to keep going in the face of adversity.