Like many of our ideas at Blackbird Medicines, this idea of a grief support group exploded unexpectedly with interest from across Turtle Island.
The awesome Indigenous Death workers who make up the Indigenous Death Doula Collective had an idea. An idea to offer some support over some of the most difficult months of the year. Why so difficult? December and January are extremely busy times for death and grief workers. For those who have lost loved ones, the holidays are a time of year that we think about their absence or maybe the traditions that are changed by their loss. It can be a time heavy with grief and sadness.
With the holidays of 2020 on our minds, we created this offering for community with a plan to welcome 12 participants. We hoped we would get at least 8 people who wanted to come together to discuss grief and loss as part of the annual Winter Medicine teachings we offer.
We could have guessed what would happen next. We didn't, but we could have! Within hours of the registration form going live our hopes were fulfilled with 24 registrations. We collectively discussed how to accommodate twice the amount people. A few more days went by and registration hit 44 people. We announced that registration was closed and our total reached 50.
This time of year cold embraces most things in the north and these Winter Medicine offerings are a hug of warmth for spirits weary by months that have gone by. Some of us brace for the long nights and cold, others look to it as respite from the hurried expectations of the long, warmer days.
If you missed out on registration for the December 2021-January 2022 Grief Workshops, please know that another opportunity will come!
We're so excited for the upcoming January release of our Indigenous Death Doula Training and Certification program and know that NDN country has been waiting patiently too!
My pen name is Chrystal Waban and I am a member of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation.