I wanted to share a concept with you that was introduced to me last week in a course I'm taking that focuses on compassionate approaches in bereavement. This concept is practiced all around the world, including the USA, but I feel isn't talked about or internalized enough. This concept is:
Compassionate communities are communities that comprise of all types of organizations and people within a community and their purpose is to work together consciously to help care for the most vulnerable, isolated, sick, impoverished & elderly. This community recognizes that caring for one another during a crisis or time of loss is not just left to health and social services, but is the responsibility of the community as a whole.
This newly introduced concept really made me see the correlation to the care & support of the newly bereaved and grieving person. There are many times that our immediate community (family & friends) shy away from us when we are grieving mainly because they don't have the capacity to hold pain or grief. We as grievers are many times left to hold this on our own and it becomes an isolated expereince. This isolation causes a lot more pain and can result in un-touched grief because the capacity of an individual is much less than a whole community, especially when that individual is experiencing loss. If we as a whole society were told of compassionate communities and learned how to be an active member of one then maybe we would feel the collectiveness that is in grief. Just because people may turn away from pain does not mean it hasn't already been internalized. Learning to lean towards the discomfort with active compassion will produce a more harmonious and healed community.
Spaces like Nurturing Death is a compassionate community because it is comprised of people who are experiencing grief and providing their resources and time to hold space, so they can build a larger capacity to process and heal for themselves and those in the community. I find the power of compassionate communities so profound and necessary. I love the one we have created here and I believe the healing that takes place in this space emits into our larger communities that we live in. I encourage all of you to share with those around you how they can become a compassionate person to your grieving journey as well to the community they reside in. This isn't just an exercise for those who know and understand loss, but every person living near it. We are a collective people and the more we prioritize our healing, the more we will see its effects in our community and in our world.
I love you all.