Honoring the Grief of Our Lives & These Times: Cultivating the Skill of Heartbrokenness
As it happened, the day before Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gave her searing testimony in Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearing, I gave a presentation of my own. The setting was entirely different, of course – a community arts center on the North Oregon coast. And my audience was universally open-hearted and friendly.
But the topic I presented on was unexpectedly relevant to the tsunami of trauma that met Dr. Ford’s all-too-familiar story and Judge Kavanaugh’s sadly predictable response the next day.
“Honoring the Grief of Our Lives & These Times: Cultivating the Skill of Heartbrokenness” was our focus that Wednesday afternoon.
We honored what brought us to and through the “Five Gates of Grief” enumerated by Francis Weller in The Wild Edge of Sorrow (I’ve written previously about them here). The 1st Gate of Grief: the recognition that everything we love will die. The 2nd Gate: the places that have not known love – those places shut down by abuse and shame. The 3rd Gate: the sorrows of the world. The 4th Gate: what we expected and did not receive – the grief of not being born into a village. And the 5th Gate: ancestral grief.
All of these gates were blown wide open by the national attention on the event described by Dr. Ford as “indelible in the hippocampus” – the unforgettable experience of being assaulted as a teenager. Read More