“Ireland needs to grieve before we can move on.” That's the view of Lydia Kiernan, founder of National Grieving Day, which is taking place in Ireland and around the world next Tuesday, December 3.
The Day is aiming to incorporate Ireland’s rich heritage around grieving, with events around the country, including a keening session, giving people an opportunity to sit with and move through their hurt, loss and grief towards celebration, hope and light.
Since it launched in Ireland two weeks ago, it has quickly spread with over fifteen grieving events now being held across seven countries including Ireland, England, France, Netherlands, Australia, USA and the Philippines.
“In contemporary culture, unless you’re religious or engaged in regular spiritual practice, there’s no place for people to work through their grief in daily life, we’ve lost that richness,” Ms Kiernan pointed out.
National Grieving Day is looking to address that void with a series of grassroots events where all are welcome to engage in whatever feels right for them, be it individually at home with a candle, prayer or meditation (there is an audio meditation available), attending one of the grieving events or by hosting an event themselves.
The National Grieving Day team are encouraging people to do things like invite friends to their fireside for chats, spend time reminiscing with family or play music with friends.
Ms Kiernan went on: "It does not have to be massive or official to be meaningful. Around the world there are grief circles, concerts, walks and workshops and with such a rapid spread of the Day, it seems a collective consciousness is really being tapped into here."
Key to the ethos of National Grieving Day is the honouring of grief in all its forms, mindful that people’s loss might be that of a loved one, or an expectation, a home, a way of life or a period in our life, personal dreams being dashed or national identity having to radically change course.
There is a full day of events in Dublin, starting at The Lantern Centre on Synge Street at 12 midday and then moving to Martello Tower on Killiney Hill for a Remembrance Walk at 5.30pm.
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Lantern Centre, Synge Street, Dublin 8, 12-2pm (Grieving, Keening - Karen Ward) and 2.30pm – 4.30pm (Grief Healing Workshop - Sarah Bird).
Martello Tower, Killiney Hill: 5.30pm – 7.00pm (Remembrance Walk on Killiney Hill) and 7pm – 9pm (Truth Mandala, Fire Ceremony -Christine Hadekel, Enda Donnellan)
8.pm – 10.30pm Song, Tai Chi, meditation.
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