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Wilderness Bereavement Celebrations

Clearly, the title in it-self is a contradiction in words and about emotions. Or is it?  There can be no doubt that the grieving and bereavement process for any individual or family, is a time of negative emotions and feelings coming to the surface. Feelings and emotions such as sadness, anger, emptiness, loneliness, confusion, disbelief, guilt among many others are an intricate part of any grieving and bereavement process. But so is, gratefulness (for the end of suffering of a loved one). Relief (from the endless daily routine of feeling hopeless), and for some, a time to remember the positive aspect of the life of the one who has passed.

Personally, when I lost my soul mate, best friend, confidant, business partner and wife, I went through all these emotions on a daily basis asking the familiar questions many ask when faced with the sudden loss of a much loved one. Why them? Why me? Why now? Why anything seems to be the overriding question that those suffering the pain and anger of loss continually ask themselves. After two years of this process, I realised that life is not fair. Life does not pick and choose whose turn it is next. Life does not have to explain itself as things just are and so I started to think of the positive things about my loved one who I had lost. I thought of her smile, her ability to be calm and to spread this onto me. I thought of the things we liked doing together and places we liked to visit.

One morning whilst walking through a wilderness forest in Madrid, I realised that something was missing from my bereavement process. It was Celebration.

And so I started to celebrate her life in as many ways as I could. I visited ours and her favourite places. I listened to the music she loved to hear and I put back up on the walls those pictures that were her favourite but not necessarily mine. Given my work as a Wilderness Therapeutic Practitioner, I started to do rituals and ceremonies in the wilderness places I was visiting that celebrated her life, her laugh, her love and her sense of just being who she was. I started to feel good about myself and less sorry for the fact I was left alone when we had planned our retirement years together. Life became easier for me and my body started to feel less aches and pains.

Now today, I see the real value of celebrating the passing of a loved one for the many positive qualities and affects it can have on the individual and on families and so have included this into my repertoire of activities that I offer individuals and families in Nature and the Natural Environment.

If you are interested in celebrating the life of a loved one who has passed, then please get in touch and we can arrange a suitable place and time to do such a wonderful and beautiful thing. It normally takes a full day but I am open to doing it across a weekend or a few days during mid- week.