Villages of Grief

Passing from one village to another advances the the process of grief that is assimilating a loss.

This year of accumulated losses the deaths of loved ones and dreams are increasing faster than we are accustomed to digesting them.

Imagine grief like a network of villages with huts of diverse settings. There is no standard order to visit each village and not everyone visits all the villages.

Someone might spend an hour or a day in a village before moving on to another. It is not uncommon to revisit villages after thinking you had moved on. It may feel like a regression at the time, but it is a natural part of the process of advancing.

You’ll notice that the overwhelming majority of the villages are uncomfortable.

It’s important to accept that it’s possible to be in a positive village and a negative village at the same time. Feelings of relief and freedom are not mutually exclusive of sadness and guilt-tripping.

Eventually losses get buried by the need to carry on every day life. If not cultivated the loss will transform into land mines and when one explodes all the others will too creating an over dramatized reaction.

There is no such thing as an over reaction the reaction you see to a new tiny loss is actually the appropriate reaction to all of the other losses that lie buried next to it.

In order to diffuse the land mines you need to create an environment favorable to compost the losses. Keep the good, grieve the pain. Here are a few concrete exercises to honor your accumulated losses.


  • Write a letter.
  • Make a photo album.
  • Declare a day of mourning for a dream or intangible losses.
  • Hold a private ceremony to commemorate losses.
  • Build a memory box in a prominent visible location.
  • Vlog or blog your experiences.
  • Declare a day of celebration of fond memories, gratitude and lessons learned.

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