For Joseph Campbell in his Monomyth or Hero’s Journey, the hero cannot fully transform until he or she has ventured into the Underworld. In many myths this can be the form of a dark forest, barren desert, mountain, cave, and even Hades or Hell itself.
For many of my clients, the death of a loved one is often described as a dark forest, a black hole, or a wilderness.
Death educator and grief counselor, Alan Wolflelt in his book The Wilderness of Grief, speaks of this:
“Think of your grief as a wilderness-a vast, mountainous, inhospitable forest. You are in the wilderness now. You are in the midst of often brutal surroundings. You are cold and tired. Yet you must journey through the wilderness.”
Before this descent, most clients come into sessions feeling “raw” or as if they are living in another realm. They don’t feel part of this world anymore. They might feel “numb” or dissociated. Memory gaps often occur. Some might not believe the death is not real even though their loved one was ill for many months, even years. This, of course, is quite normal.
You are in the wilderness of grief. I am here to help companion and walk beside you in your journey.
I truly believe we carry the wisdom & stories of our ancestry in our blood because we are humans and as humans we often want to forget. It is there so the wisdom can never be lost only forgotten. The body is the vessel that stores these records like one would store on a computer or in a filing cabinet but instead it is imprinted on our bones, blood and flesh.
Along with the wisdom there is violence, abuse and shame. But even more frightening is what we don’t know in the shadow of shadows; those dark family secrets. One of the ways in which we can heal this trauma is to begin with our own ancestry for this is where the holes and breaks in our family tree can be mended.
As part of our work together, we can explore ancestral wounding, tend to the trauma but more importantly locate & cultivate the gifts passed down by our elders.