An embodied guide to being with grief individually and in community—practical exercises, decolonized rituals, and Earth-based medicines for healing and processing loss
We live in a culture that suppresses our ability to truly feel our grief—deeply, safely, and on our own terms. But each person’s experience is as unique as the grief itself. Here, Camille Sapara Barton’s take on grief speaks directly to the ways that BIPOC and queer readers disproportionately experience unique constellations of loss.
Deeply practical and easy to use in times of confusion, trauma, and pain, Tending Grief includes rituals, reflection prompts, and exercises that help us process and metabolize our grief—without bypassing or pushing aside what comes to the fore. Sapara Barton includes exercises that can be done both alone and in community, including:
- Altar practices to honor and connect with ancestors known and unknown
- Locating, holding, and dancing your grief
- Sharing circles for processing communal loss
- Water, fire, and nature-based rituals
- Honoring the survival utility of numbness—and knowing when it’s time to release it
- Peer support and integration
- Herbal medicines and plant-based healing
Sapara Barton honors each and every experience: The loss of displacement from homelands, from severed lineages and ancestral ways of knowing. The grief of colonization and theft. The deep heaviness that burrows into our bodies when society tells us our bodies are wrong. Practical tools and rituals help readers feel into their grief, honor what comes up, and move forward in healing.
Written specifically to center and hold the grief of BIPOC readers, Tending Grief is an invitation to reconnect to what we’ve lost, to find community in our grief, and to tend to our own suffering for our individual and collective wellbeing.