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Grief and Gratitude Ceremony



Facilitated by

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Our next retreat will be held in fall 2024. Details coming soon! Get on our list.


Erin Quies Wild &

Hayley Shannon

"Grief and love are sisters, woven together from the beginning. Their kinship reminds us that there is no love that does not contain loss and no loss that is not a reminder of the love we carry for what we once held close."

Francis Weller

The Five Gates of Grief

We invite you

to step out of linear time and gather with other compassionate souls on beautiful land to explore the layers of our human experience at this time on planet Earth. 


Together we will nourish our deep selves by giving our grief, rage and love a space to be free and restoring our sense of wonder, aliveness & gratitude for this miraculously complex life.

Image by Unma Desai
Image by Reubx

We are living in 

unprecedented times where loss and grief is pervasive to the human experience. Unprocessed grief can manifest in many ways such as a heaviness, anxiety, sadness, anger or a longing to feel more alive and connected.


At this ceremony, we rekindle the power of moving through the many shades of grief so that we may deepen our capacity for resiliency and aliveness.

You have radical permission to move through any feelings that arise including: numbness, apathy, sadness, rage, confusion, despair, frustration, joy, gratitude and anything else that is alive for you.

The medicine

of communal grief is not only to allow ourselves to release emotions that keep us from feeling fully alive, but to also learn how to hold space for others and awaken deep empathy, compassion and a sense of shared humanity that is essential in these times.  True community comes with vulnerability.

You are welcome in this space as you are, whether you are actively grieving or not. For some of us, we may not understand why we feel called to grief tending and community ceremonies, yet we trust that the medicine we need will be revealed.

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Image by Prateek Gautam
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Our practices include

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Drumming & Song

Wailing Ritual

Embodiment & Meditation

Sacred Witnessing

The lineage

We are grateful to the wisdom keepers and elders who have paved the way for communal grief work including:

Malidoma Patrice Somé

Sobonfu Somé

Joanna Macy - The Work That Reconnects

Francis Weller - The Five Gates of Grief

Laurence Cole

Nala Walla 

Alexandra Blakely

We are also grateful to our grief literate ancestors who are guiding us in each ceremony, and the sacred lands who inform us how to connect with them in a reciprocal way.

Image by BBC Creative

What you receive

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Two days of ceremony with embodiment practices, wailing ritual, singing & more

Camping on beautiful land in community

Nourishing lunches & dinner

Integration support

About Erin

Erin Quies Wild experienced her first grief ceremony with Sobonfu Some in 2002 after her dad died suddenly and she has been tending to her personal grief as well as collective and planetary grief ever since.  The depths of loss have brought her exquisite humility, empathy and an abundance of gratitude. 


She now weaves regenerative grief coaching into her work with others. Erin currently co-facilitates community grief ceremonies around the PNW. She is a mother, a ceremonialist and a doula of birth and rites of passages of all kinds. 


She has had a private practice on Orcas Island since 2008 specializing in therapeutic & ceremonial bodywork and healing. Erin has been facilitating retreats, doula trainings and workshops for 20 years.

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About Hayley

Hayley Shannon  is a somatic healing arts practitioner and dancer who is devoted to a path of embodiment and healing. She has been guiding Dance Healing for eight years where she supports others to connect with their body's authentic wisdom, oftentimes processing grief that leads into more resiliency and wholeness. Her own grief path deepened while studying somatic expressive arts therapy at Tamalpa Institute in California, as she connected with the stories in her own body. This path deepened as she participated in grief and gratitude ceremonies with her friend Ahlay Blakely and mentor Nala Walla.


As it became clear that grief tending was a part of her path, she began coordinating grief ceremonies for her community on Orcas Island and eventually stepping into facilitating. She's studied the Five Gates of Grief with Francis Weller and continues to be humbled by the lessons that emerge when we commune with nature and others in an honest and embodied way. 

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“It felt like it has awoken a deep bond of sisterhood and understanding. I felt like it was not my first time but it definitely was. I am learning to sit with grief and express it healthily while having more focus on gratitude for what I do have. It was magical, primal, ancient, type 2 awesome fun!” 

- Participant in 2023 Women's Retreat with Hayley & Erin

"The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe."

Joanna Macy

The Work That Reconnects

Image by Lina Trochez

Do you feel the call?

Space is limited to 20 participants.
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