Grieving for a change

An intensive day-long grieving ceremony and call to action.



Olympia, WA - Saturday, October 12, 2019 || 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Eugene, OR - Saturday, November 2, 2019 || 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Grieving For A Change, an action-oriented grieving ceremony facilitated by Rob Miller, will unite us in releasing shared sorrow over the world’s current events, help purge our pent up emotions, and support the establishment of practical steps to be the change we wish to see in the world.

We invite all forms of grief: grief that emerges from loss and strife in your personal life and that of the collective, worldwide grief of injustice, war, and climate change.

Join the community to express the many faces of loss, feel greater clarity and aliveness, and take action for a healthier world.

Tickets and more information below.

Olympia, WA

Meeting House at Priest Point | 3201 Boston Harbor Rd

Saturday, October 12, 2019, 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM


Eugene, OR

Spencer Creek Grange | 86013 Lorane Hwy

Saturday, November 2, 2019, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

why a Grieving Ceremony:

There is so much to grieve! National and global crises, mass shootings, environmental devastation, racism, sexism, societal isolation, anxiety-producing presidential pronouncements…all of these and more affect us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Personal loss and pain due to relationships ending, our children’s suffering, death of a beloved, trauma, squandered dreams, harsh realizations, health complications…so many reasons that we are loaded with the weight of sorrow and anger.

Places to be listened to deeply and compassionately are uncommon. Places to express the visceral sensations of grief in a safe, well-held communal context are even more rare.

Grieving For A Change is just such a space. It is a day-long, well facilitated ceremony to cleanse grief and allow joy, aliveness, clarity and strength to emerge. In this way we become ready to actively create a more sane, sustainable, and healthy world.


This event is based on traditional patterns of ceremonial grieving brought to our community by ritualist, Sobonfu Some. It will include a talk about grief and its impact on individuals and the community, small group sharing, an extended and cathartic grieving time, compassionate witness, song sharing, and support in taking practical steps to make change in the world.

The grief ceremonies we offer at Cascadia Quest are contemporary, bioregionally appropriate grieving spaces. Though a unique creation, they are strongly influenced by the teachings of Sobonfu Somé of Burkina Faso, a pioneer in bringing African healing ritual to the Western World. These ceremonies allow for the safe, healthy expression and releasing of grief. Common results are feelings of ease, lightness, relief, empowerment and smiles. We hope you'll join us.


Our intention is to provide ceremony to as many people as we can who want it. We are a nonprofit organization and we try to accommodate the needs of as many people as possible, while covering our costs. It is the only way we can continue providing ceremony. Please pay more if you are able so that others can pay less if they are unable. Consider making a donation here to advance this work.


  • Take time to reflect or journal on your grief story-- those pains, losses, or changes from past, present, or future-- to prepare for the ceremony.

  • Arrive 10-20 minutes early so there is ample time to check in, settle, meet people, etc.

  • The event starts at 10 a.m. and will be complete by 6 p.m. There will be a snack break and a lunch break.

  • Plan to be self-sufficient with food and drink. Bring any snacks and meals you need. There is a kitchen on-site where you can store or make simple preparations of your food.

  • Water helps flush out grief and toxins. Start drinking extra water beforehand. Tap water is available on-site. If you need filtered water, bring plenty with you.

  • Walk, bike or carpool, if you can.

  • This can be an intense ceremony. We suggest you plan to take it easy the evening after and maybe the next day, too.

Items to bring:

  • Water bottle

  • White, glass-enclosed candle (non-scented)

  • White or blue cloths for the altar (avoid red please)

  • Flowers, ferns or evergreen boughs (small branches)

  • A photo of someone meaningful to you who has passed on (optional, for ancestor altar)

  • Cloth handkerchiefs or tissues

  • Pillows

  • Your grief story (see above)


What is Grief? We define it quite broadly as the nexus of emotions, pains, woundings, traumas and more from our present, past and even future events. Griefs can be personal, communal or global, existential or philosophical, emotional, physical or spiritual. They can be short-term, chronic, and even ancestral. Causes of grief include death of a loved one, accident or injury to self or others, loss of a job, divorce or separation, being the victim or perpetrator of violence, sadness about the environment, fears about the current socio-political situation, and feelings about the state of the world.

Grief affects us in as many ways as there are humans on the earth. Some common experiences are depression, anxiety, low self-worth, mental illness, emotional distress, spiritual crisis, difficulty sleeping, poor appetite or digestion, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, obesity, relationship difficulties, uncontrollable anger, violence, war, early death, even genocide. Unexpressed grief can gnaw away at our insides and shorten our lives.

In the past and even today, traditional cultures around the world have known that people need safe, effective places to let go of their grief. Some Native American tribes would dig a hole, cry and scream their grief into it, then bury it. Catharsis at South African funeral processions is well known. Jews to this day have a practice of "sitting shiva" - visiting the bereaved for a week after a death - where expressions of grief are welcomed and expected. The Dagara people of Burkina Faso in West Africa have three-to-four day long, continuous, village-wide Grief Rituals. Traditional cultures know that the health and happiness of the community is based on the health and happiness of each person. Grief must be expressed for the community's well-being.

Questions? Contact us at 458-201-2868 or