«Return to Blog List Cremation and the Healing Power of Ritual

Ritual and ceremony is an intricate part of some people’s life or culture, while other people may not even know they are doing some aspect of these disciplines. Ritual and ceremony does not have to be religious and may not even seem spiritual. Brushing your teeth before you go to bed is actually a ritual as it is something you do every night. Your body gets used to certain rituals that give a beat or cadence to your life and helps allow one to walk through the rituals of the day. Ceremony is the opportunity to take all the rituals of your day and bring them together to glean the wisdom from that day, month or event and begin to start to release anything that may not be serving you in the future. 

Ritual and Ceremony gives one a sense of order, a place to be present with yourself, as well as others.  It can be a spiritual practice such as yoga, meditation, exercise, prayer, being in nature and other ways that you choose to connect to a higher power of your understanding. You may find this through a certain religious practice that can be a wonderful vehicle to connect to that Higher Power. It can also be a way to commune with like-minded people and have a community that supports the rituals and ceremonies of the religious affiliation.

In emotional healing from loss, ritual and ceremony can play an enormous part in supporting the healing process. It helps you avoid delayed grief, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), disenfranchised grief and long-term adverse effects on you emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually. After a loss, people have a tendency of coming together to gather. When someone dies, usually there is a home where food is offered and where people gather to share stories, look at pictures, cry and laugh while finding ways to connect and be a community/family. These are all rituals that seem to happen naturally and do not force any expectations of someone to be anything or do anything a certain way. There is often only raw love of hearts being shattered and coming together to bring their splintered hearts back into a way of coping and stepping back into the world again. 

Ceremonies are kind of like taking all the ingredients from the events in life with the rituals within that life and putting them into an oven to express a sense of solidarity of substance to all that has happened. It allows the psyche (with or without words) to be present and have presence. It can make life a bit more tangible and can give you a moment to stop, absorb, feel, have introspection and heal. Taking the time to be seen, heard and valued by yourself and others can lead to new hope, more wisdom and a higher quality of life for you and the community at large. Until next week, take care.

Golden Willow Retreat is a nonprofit organization focused on emotional healing and recovery from any type of loss. Direct any questions to Ted Wiard, LPCC, CGC, Founder of Golden Willow Retreat at (575) 776-2024 or GWR@newmex.com

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