grief ceremony offering ( making time and space to honour the grief we carry)

jennifer apedaile's picture

Hello good folks reading this.

I began by introducing myself and this ceremony through the Lasqueti list… my hope is that this extension of that writing helps to inform any person who is curious about the grief ceremony… to be able to make a more informed decision about whether they would like to participate.

This is some information about the ceremony I would like to offer on Saturday November 14th and Sunday November 15th 2020… 

The ceremony was taught and given to me to share with others by my teachers Shirley Turcotte and Alannah Young who facilitated the year long Indigenous Focusing Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma Certification through the JIBC.

It is body centred (felt sense) and land based (medicines). 

There is no obligatory group sharing unless at the end you wish to share for up to 5 minutes.

I will do my best right now, to explain how it goes so you can make a (mostly) informed decision about whether it would be something you would like to participate in.


Each person is given a piece of paper… it has a circle drawn on it…the circle is divided into pie pieces…. in the centre of the circle is a word or colour /shape/drawing that is most informing your sense of what needs attention....could be grief, anxiety, depression, fear, illness, addiction.....

With words, colours, shapes and or drawings, each person best describes the facets of what informs that central focus… 

For Example… in one pie piece you might write down a specific event, another piece might be seasonal, or hormonal, poverty, collective, vicarious, environmental, situational, political, health, age, (inter)generational, ping-pong, habitual, cyclical, anniversary, a death, overdose, diagnosis etc…. A Black blob, red drops of blood, green snakes, burning forests, grey clouds  etc… basically anything that comes up… you don’t have to use words…. could be a shape or a colour…  that all gets put down on the paper….then you check into your felt sense of it… noticing your felt sense with all of that is down on the paper… off of you, onto the paper.

On the outside of the circle you might write or draw the antidotes you know of that care for the inside of the circle…. Examples could be … community, sleep, swimming in the ocean, compassion, awareness, the sun, medication, counselling, art, warmth, etc….

In front of you will be a blanket with many bowls of medicines…. 

Examples… cedar, rose petals, tobacco, coins, lavender, pussy willow, sweet grass, moss, eagle down, wolf, bear, fox fur, juniper berries, candies, cinnamon hearts, devils club, water, honey, salve, etc…

With your felt sense you are guided to the medicine(s) that support or ease the piece of the grief you put down on the paper… and when your body feels the shift inside it… as the medicine is laid down on the words or the colours etc… you know to go to the next facet.

At the end of this part of the process, the paper is usually covered in medicines that your body has essentially asked for to support the complex and numerous components of the grief.

Those medicines are then wrapped up together in a bundle and burned, put in the ocean, buried, left on the land, placed under a tree etc… your body will know what to do with it. 


Each group of medicines for each facet can be separately bundled into little prayer ties and some of them can be burned, buried, hung in trees, slept with, held in pockets etc…

I propose to hold this at the art centre.  Each person can take up to 90 minutes. A group of up to 6 people, will take up to 2 hours.

I am available from 10am 12pm 2pm and 4pm start times on Sat  and Sun.

I ask for trades of whatever is of value to you in return with gratitude… in reciprocity for my time, the supplies, the medicines, and the use of the space and the fire wood. 

COVID care will be practiced with hand washing, masks and appropriate distancing.

Please feel free to contact me with questions, ideas, concerns and if you are interested.

250 880 8405 jennifer [dot] a [dot] apedaile [at] gmail [dot] com





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