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    An Introduction to Francis Weller's Five Gates of Grief

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    Event description

    Hello and welcome

    This course explores generative and life-giving possibilities within grieving. It is not psychotherapy; it is the work of upskilling, belonging, kinning, tending; a mingling of the human, the mystery, the arts. It is a re/imagining of living with loss and love.

    Grief is a natural and normal part of being human. 

    Life happens: people we love die, we fall in and out of love, we achieve, fall flat and fail to achieve, we feel let down by people and ourselves, pets die, the planet suffers, war continues, wild places get plundered and developed... grief is older than we are, it lives where love lives and permeates the landscape of our lives. 

    This 7 week series invites your participation as we make our way through a comprehensive introduction to Francis Weller's Five Gates of Grief.  
    Participants will learn practical tools for working with grief so that in right relationship, we neither push it away, nor draw in it. 

    This is the authentic and accountable work of ripening as adults and Elders. 

    This course explores how ritual, community, and compassion provide ballasts and resources in our life-long apprenticeship with grief. This course is for you if you wish to better understand the landscape of grief in life, deepen human relationships and bonds with the wider world, and strengthen your own muscle of grief supports.


    Course Objectives:
    • Understand the Five Gates of Grief framework by Francis Weller.
    • Explore how grief can be a transformative and integrated experience.
    • Learn practical tools and rituals for working with grief.
    • Cultivate a deeper understanding of one's own grief journey.


    • Week 1: Introduction to Grief
      • Overview of the course and its objectives.
      • Introduction to Francis Weller and his work.
      • Exploring grief and its role in our lives
      • Exploring the cultural context of grief in modern society.

      Week 2: Gate 1 - Everything We Love, We Will Lose
      • Exploring the inevitability of loss in life.
      • Honouring love and shared connection.
      • Remembrance: Reflecting on personal experiences of loss.

      Week 3: Gate 2- The Places That Have Not Known Love
      • Understanding unmet needs and unhealed wounds.
      • Exploring how past experiences can affect our grief.
      • Reflecting on areas in our lives that need love and deep care  

      Week 4: Gate 3 - The Sorrows of the World
      • Understanding collective grief and its impact on individuals and communities.
      • Exploring ways to engage with and transform collective grief.
      • Reflecting on personal responses to global or societal issues.

      Week 5: Gate 4 - What We Expected and Did Not Receive
      • Exploring the nature of unfulfilled dreams, hopes, and expectations.
      • Reflecting on personal experiences of disappointment and how they shape our grief.

      Week 6: Gate 5 - Ancestral Grief
      • Understanding how ancestral patterns and traumas influence our grief.
      • Exploring ways to honour and heal ancestral grief
      • Reflecting on personal connections to ancestral stories and legacies.

      Week 7: Integration and Rituals of Renewal
      • Reviewing the Five Gates of Grief and their significance.
      • Exploring rituals and practices for working with grief.
      • Developing a personal plan for integrating the teachings of the course into daily life.

    Facilitator: Emma Beattie [she/her] - Before & After Life
    Emma has worked, studied and volunteered in caring and deathing since 2020.  She brings an animistic, creative and poetic lens to caring, deathing and grieving. Her death and dying work and studies intersect a long line of lived experienced with personal loss. Her professional origins reside in strategic thinking, storytelling and social impact. She offers practical supports, education and facilitation for people, families, and groups via term courses, workshops, community meets and retreats. Emma is a member of Palliative Care NSW, the Natural Death Advocacy Network and an advocate for Compassionate Communities Australia.

    We look forward to your company.


    We possess the profound capacity to metabolise sorrow into something medicinal for our soul, and the soul of the community. The skill of grieving well enables us to become current—to live in the present moment and be available to the electricity of life.

    - Francis Weller

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