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The Sacred Work of Grief

Saturday, Nov 2, 2019 | Corvallis, 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

There are many gateways into grief - from the loss of someone or something we love, traumatic events, difficult life transitions, economic insecurity, ancestral wounds, chronic illness, or for the overwhelming concerns of our world. When grief has no safe place to find full expression and be heard, witnessed, and welcomed in community its powerful energy can manifest as illness, anxiety, depression, rage, and numbness. Yet modern Western culture tends to pathologize pain, devalue difficult emotions, and encourage the suppression, avoidance, and bypassing of our natural responses to loss and sorrow, adding further deeper layers of grief by creating a sense of isolation, confusion, even shame about how we feel. But what if grief was a pathway to enlarging our sense of wisdom and compassion, and to discovering and reclaiming our true power and purpose.

Many traditional cultures throughout the ages have understood the alchemical power of grieving in community and within a ceremonial context to honor the depth of love and longing that gives rise to our sense of loss, and to metabolize its bitter taste into gifts of beauty, meaning, and belonging. By engaging cross-cultural grieving practices, and exploring the work of teachers, poets, ritualists, and wisdom carriers such as Michael Meade, Francis Weller, Martin Prechtel, and Sobonfu Somé, this gathering offers a brave and sacred space to share, honour, and transmute our sorrows. Through communal ritual, storytelling, poetry, sound, music, and song we will explore the idea of grief as a journey toward cultivating and developing greater presence in and with our lives, deepening meaning and belonging, and strengthening our hearts innate capacity for vitality and joy.

“ 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 weaves group ritual, earth-based ceremony, poetry, music, song, storytelling, and ways of council to guide and support healing and transformation in community. 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 rough initiations through grief, loss, and trauma, leading to a hard-won respect for the alchemical journey of transmuting pain into medicine for the world.


Saturday, November 2, 2019 | 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

@ First United Methodist Church, 1165 NW Monroe Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330

Registration required to attend



Sliding Scale: $50 - $125

Work trade and scholarships are available.

No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Space is limited. Early registration recommended.

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


from previous Grief Rituals and Retreats 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

"This work was very powerful and transformative for me and I highly recommend it. Thank you Lara for sharing such a

beautiful, ancient, communal way to tap into this universal well of grief we all drink from, giving access to new

perspectives, through deeper understanding of and befriending of our grief. I cannot say enough about

you and the safe space you held communally. You are masterful at what you do, and so clearly and

beautifully committed to helping heal the planet with this work. Deep bow of gratitude.”

~ Laura Ghiringhelli Knutson, San Luis Obispo, CA

"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

"Lara’s insight, knowledge and compassion to serve people through the process of grief is so powerful and wise.

It’s very evident she has devoted herself to this much needed practice of healing. The love and

acceptance she evokes in this work is truly moving and powerful."

~ Gina Shuman, 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

"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​

"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

"I found myself feeling amazed the morning we parted ways, as tears sprang up. I had come to know and care for my fellow Villagers,

made friends, heard stories, saw inside their hearts briefly. A true community holds the capacity to experience many things

together without busting at the seams. Grief bonds when held with compassion and understanding. Grief shows us

our capacity for Joy as well. A community that learns to hold both is strong, resilient, and capable

of changing the world. Thank you, Lara Lwin Treadaway, for guiding us."

~ Michelle Madgett, San Luis Obispo, CA

"Having a strong leader who kept structure, time and process in check made me feel safe and secure and helped ease any tension

about the day. I feel like the ritual took off another “layer” of stress and tension that I was experiencing and I was

able to let go of some things I was holding onto, thinking and feeling I needed to deal with it on my own.

I have recommended this event to many friends already and I have told them

it was deeply nourishing and healing on many levels."

~ Jeanean Rauch, Corvallis, OR

"I would absolutely recommend this ritual for anyone who is longing for authentic, safe, and reverent engagement

of our deepest most profound emotions. This is profound experiential work for both personal

and communal nurturance and therefore healing.”

~ Richard Leversee, Morro Bay, CA

"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 Drinking from the Well Retreat opened up the pain of deep unresolved guilt, resentment and anger I held for my mother and

allowed me to see who she was and why for the first time. It was a true epiphany that I wouldn't have had without

being present in this beautiful circle Lara gave us. I feel I am at peace for the first time in my life."

~ Robin Clark, Coos Bay, OR

"I cannot suggest enough how much this event changed me. For anyone feeling the loss of another or loss of a dream.

This event helped me, in my darkest time, to begin my healing process. Sign up, you will not be disappointed."

~ Scott Roberts, Ashland, OR

"Each time I tell of the experience I had of "Drinking from the Well" to a friend who didn't get to experience it they are amazed

and my story becomes a little more complete and clearer to me. You blessed us all with this gift. You truly created a sacred

space, of trust, holiness and safety. What a combination. Thank you so much, Lara."

~ Lois Williams, Coos Bay, 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

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