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The Sacred Work of Grief

Sunday, September 22, 2019 | Portland, OR


" Communal grieving offers something that we cannot get when we grieve by ourselves. Through validation, acknowledgement, and witnessing, communal grieving allows us to experience a level of healing that is deeply and profoundly freeing.

Each of us has a basic human right to that genuine love, happiness and freedom."

~ Sobonfu Somé

We can enter the realm of grief through many gateways, from the loss of loved ones, difficult life transitions, relationship conflicts or endings, chronic illness, cultural loss, ancestral trauma, broken dreams, or the overwhelming concerns of our deeply hurting and devastated world. Many traditional cultures throughout time have understood and practiced the healing and transformative power of grieving in ceremony and with community as a safe and sacred way to honour, metabolize, and transmute grief. Sharing our sorrows and losses in a circle of loving remembrance, mourning, celebration, and praise of life strengthens our capacity to respond to the challenges of our lives and our world with courage, compassion, and wisdom.

This daylong gathering draws inspiration from the work and teachings of Francis Weller, Sobonfu Somé, Michael Meade, Martin Prechtel, and Joanna Macy. Through the ancient cross-cultural technologies of communal ritual, rhythm, movement, storytelling, poetry, sound, and song, we will create a brave, sacred, and alchemical container within which we can travel deeply into the dark river of grief, welcome each of our emotions as honoured guests, and open our hearts up to the mystery of transformation. Metabolizing our grief into gifts of beauty and meaning brings renewed strength, vitality, and joy and enables us to become fully present with ourselves, for each other, and to our world during these turbulent times. 

“ Grief has always been communal, always been shared and consequently has traditionally been regarded as a sacred process. Too

often in modern times our grief becomes private, carrying an invisible mantle of shame forcing our sorrow underground,

hidden from the eyes that would offer healing. We must restore the conversation we need to have concerning

the place of grief in our lives. Each of us must undertake an apprenticeship with loss."

~ Francis Weller


Lara Lwin Treadaway facilitates healing and transformation in community, weaving earth-honoring ritual, experiential group work, ways of council, poetry, storytelling, and song. She believes that sacred grief work, ancestral healing, earth reconnection, and the creative arts are pathways to restoring deep belonging within ourselves, between each other, and with the other-than-human world. Lara’s personal story includes many deep initiations through grief, loss, and trauma, leading to a hard-won respect for the alchemical journey of transmuting our pain into medicine for the world.

DATE/TIME: Sunday, September 22, 2019 | 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

LOCATION: The Little Church, Portland, OR 97211

RECIPROCITY: Suggested Sliding Scale $50 - $150

In the spirit of the gift economy, you are invited to give what you are able to.

Work trade and scholarships are available. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

If you are able to contribute more than suggested please consider doing so to support this work.

Space is limited. Early registration recommended.


If you have any questions please contact Lara:  |  541-740-3933


from previous Drinking from The Well Grief Rituals led by Lara Lwin Treadaway

"The ritual cleared and cleansed me, the next day I felt a great capacity to hold life and things that were unbearable before.

It was a life-changing practice that I intend to make a part of my life on a regular basis. Lara is an extraordinary

spirit and a skillful facilitator. The container she created felt incredibly safe and inclusive allowing me

to do very deep work. This ritual is a much-needed balm for healing the collective."

~ Jana Holm, Portland, OR

"I found that we are all grieving and we all want and need a community to share and release this and feel the embrace of love.

I’ve been needing, wanting, searching for a way to process my loss and grief and I found this Grief Ritual to be perfect

for my needs. I found more layers of past grief bubbling up and I was able to let more go more than just

what I thought I was grieving. Thank you so much for this amazing work and healing gift.”

~ Cathy Jamieson, San Luis Obispo, CA

"Grief work is such a vital part of our lives as full humans, and something so missing from our Western society. Lara brings

this sacred technology and offerings back into our remembrance, awakening it from our deep ancestral knowledge.

It is amazing what a strong practice these rituals can be for cultivating our capacity to love and

hold ourselves and each other through life's waves of grief."

~ Alexa Lindahl, San Luis Obispo, CA

"Everyone has something to grieve. I went specifically to grieve about the Earth and all we are losing. Those of us who love the

earth and are awoke to what is happening are carrying so much grief. Taking the time to feel and express grief for

disappearing species, desecrated places, and our difficult future does not mean we are giving up, but rather

it can re-energize us to continue our activism. Grief is the other side of love and we can’t have one

without the other, yet there are so few places where our grief is welcomed and

accepted and can be fully expressed in community."

~ Sharon Blick, Eugene, OR

"Lara is a gifted guide through the deep well of sorrow and grief. She is receptive to the needs of each participant being aware

of the community as a whole. Lara holds a safe container in which participants can let go in ways many of us

have never been able to before. The deep joy which follows the out-pouring of grief is truly profound.

These rituals have been life-changing for me."

~ Oshi, Coos Bay, OR

"So much gratitude Lara for leading this life changing event. The village we created was stronger than I imagined possible,

and carried me to depths I've not reached in so long. Gratitude to all my villagers too, for embracing my

grief and beauty and strength. May all share in this powerful healing."

~ Öcean MacConnell Liff-Anderson, Corvallis, OR

"The songs. The jubilation. The celebration. All in front of the villages Altar. It was beautifully put together in a way that made

it easy to do the work with everyone. The poetry was profoundly moving. I believe this was just a beginning and still a

palpable lesson I have been waiting for, to share my tears with others. To be seen. And to be thanked for doing so.

I felt very present. I felt connected. You must experience this ceremony to whatever capacity you can. 

It is simple. It is powerful. And it is moving."

~ Blake S., Corvallis, OR

"If you want a deeply poignant and absolutely beautiful experience, I most highly recommend this sacred work. If you

at all interested, go. If you are curious, go. If you are doubtful, go. If you think this is for you or if you

think this is not for you, go. You will be forever blessed and eternally grateful."

~ Chante Dao, Hugo, OR​

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