The natural response to grief is a process that involves the externally visible signs of crying & sobbing 

It is noticeable that this process is quick, spontaneous & abundant in very young children, and also it is observable that we are quickly socialized (especially boys) to repress this discharge.

By the time most of us are adults, we shed very few tears.   Given that we are witnessing heart-braking things (human disasters, as well as the destruction of entire ecosystems, at the rate of 200 incredibly precious species every day), and "the news" mostly delivers the bad & very bad news to us daily ...

The 5 Stages of Grief

Vídeo de YouTube

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Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross did pioneering work on death & dying, and this included the 5 stages of the grief process described above.

Taken from the 1981 video, Understanding Unconditional Life. Dr. Kubler-Ross talks to high school students about death & dying. Specifically talking about the best way to approach a dying patient, as well as suicides in young people.

Part 2

Joanna Macy

Macy did some important work ("The Work that Re-Connects") where she 'mapped' the need for social activists to grieve, & preferably together, in order to be able to do our work more effectively.     

Despair Work: Owning and Honoring Our Pain for the World

This crucial stage is also the most politically subversive
; here group members experience, express, and explore what mainstream culture persistently denies: our inner responses to the suffering in our world.  Methods for despair work range from simple sentence completion exercises to ritual forms, like the Truth Mandala, which are structured to allow and contain intense emotion.

The Work That Reconnects video series

Grief & Reverence


Charles talks with Francis Weller about grief as a gateway to joy, to reverence, and to community, and the power of public grief to bring healing on a personal, community, and political level.

Kahlil Gibran on Pain, Joy & Sorrow

And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain.
      And he said: 
      Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. 
      Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. 
      And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; 
      And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. 
      And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. 
      Much of your pain is self-chosen. 
      It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. 
      Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity: 
      For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, 
      And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

 Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow." 
      And he answered: 
      Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. 
      And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. 
      And how else can it be? 
      The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. 
      Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? 
      And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
      When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. 
      When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. 
      Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater." 
      But I say unto you, they are inseparable. 
      Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. 
      Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
      Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. 
      When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall. 


Why people who cry often are actually mentally stronger


I tell you, Chickadee
I am afraid of people
who cannot cry
Tears left unshed
turn to poison
in the ducts
Ask the next soldier you see
enjoying a massacre
if this is not so.

People who do not cry
are victims
of soul mutilation
paid for in Marlboros
and trucks.


Violence does not work
except for the man
who pays your salary
Who knows
if you could still weep
you would not take the job.

Alice Walker

Cries of the Spirit
(Edited by Marilyn Sewell)