Yesterday we announced our first annual retreat which we have called the Griefkeepers Gathering 2018. Hopefully this will be the first of many. The “gathering” seems to me to be happening anyway, generally, perhaps it is as we become ever more conscious of our role in this life as stewards of the sacred thresholds and holders of the grief of the world that we are ever more meeting those kindred spirits. Aided, of course, by the miracles of this technological age; which never mind what its ills and pitfalls; it joins the “dots” in ways we could never have dreamed of in generations gone by. These “dots” are us; the griefkeepers. No mere dots are we either, zoom into that one person, that one life, and we discover an inner landscape carved out my sorrow, stretched by great highs and lows, an infinite horizon and savage wilderness contained within the beating heart. Look into the eyes of a griefkeeper and you are looking into the ancient soul; lines at the corners of those eyes tell tales of personal and vicarious agonies; journeys alone through the darkest of nights; and of triumphs over, or maybe peace accords with, the most tenacious of demons. We are not guilty of spiritual bypassing; sparkling away the grit and dirt of life with “love and light”. We are the daughters and sons of Autumn and Winter; the Sacred Dark, the hibernation, the time of Jule, solstice. Having been through so many long nights and sacred rites of running dry of tears we have also come to laugh wildly like only survivors of that darkness before the dawn can; for we no longer fear grief; or maybe we do but we have the courage to look it in the eye; for it is the birth pains of joy and liberation; a rite to enter into in knowledge that it will forever change you, it will not leave you, but it will grow you and increase towards that starkly infinite horizon your capacity for joy and for complete and unconditional Love.