grief rituals

Grief Rituals, Creating Them Will Help You Heal

For all of you who listened to my teleseminar last week, you know we discussed rituals and why they are important in the healing process.  As a follow-up to that, I want to share the article below which gives some great examples of rituals and how they might apply to you.

ByHarriet Hodgson

Each society has its own rituals. These rituals connect us with support groups. Personal rituals also help you to heal. In fact, they may be more meaningful because you created them. What is a ritual? The dictionary defines it as “an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.” Another definition is “any practice or pattern of behavior repeated in a prescribed manner reminiscent of ritual.”

I am not a ritual kind of person. After four loved ones died in 2007, however, I created a few simple rituals to honor them. Each morning, when I awaken, I make a pledge to my daughter. This pledge, “I will not fail you Helen,” is for her children — the grandchildren I am raising. When I say the pledge tears come to my eyes.

We need rituals in order to heal. Rev. William Purdy, DD, Vice President or Provider Relations Continuum Hospice Care in New York City, makes this point in his article, “Giving Grief Ritual.” Despite the tragedy of September 11th, “for a significant number of people whose loved ones died unexpected deaths, ritual grieving remains unexplored,” he writes.

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