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Other Rites: Unresolved Grief
Unresolved Grief ...  a sample ceremony
and there was no terror
~ only stillness
and I was wanting nothing and
it was fullness and it was like aching for love
and it was touch and warmth and
darkness and no time and no words and we flowed
and I flowed and I was not empty
and I was given up to the dark
And in the darkness ~ I was not lost
and the wanting was like fullness and I could
hardly hold it and I was held and
you were dark and warm and without time and
without words and you held me.
Janet Morley

Multi-Coloured Balloons
Now it is time to let go of your grief –
Now it is time to let go of the pain and hurt

[release a balloon]

Now come back to today – imagine how you felt as a new mother
As a grandmother -Now let us release your hopes and dreams

[Release more balloons]

Behold this is Hillary.
She has come into new being.
She has come forth with the Spirit of Love surrounding her
She has come forth from the pain of her grief
With the rush that life holds promise
With her heart beating out her hopes for tomorrow
With a shinning in her eyes like the sunlight
Behold,
beloved Hillary,
free from pain of the past
free to be herself

Today we gather here with sadness because the hopes and expectations you held in your heart since you were a small babe in arms have been dashed.
We come offering our support to you Hillary, knowing that there are no words that will heal your loss and console your pain. Only the comfort of those you love and those who love you will ease your hurt and help to carry your sorrows.

Resurrection is the awareness that death need not be an end in itself but become a part of the process of living.
In remembering things painful to us, we weep, we rage, we look, and we too, can see resurrection. In getting down and looking into the black places of our lives we sometimes find angels.

Today we are letting Hillary grieve. We are here to acknowledge that once you was vulnerable small child and that child still lives on within you; the hurts and pain of your separation from all that was familiar to you especially your mother at such a tender age has left you with a pain that knows no way of diminishing especially now in the light of your mother’s death.
By acknowledging Hillary’s pain we will begin the process of helping her to let go of her unresolved sorrow

The candle is a symbol of the light, warmth and the hope of love.

Lighted Candle

See this light [light candle]

It is the love of all those who love you.
It is the light of love which will move ahead of you
and lighten the path of this sorrowful journey

It will light the way as we travel into the dark tunnel of years of unresolved grief.

It will meet you at this journeys end as you emerge into the light of the present and move ahead of you as a light to the future.

Fear not for love surrounds you. First spend a few moments picturing the love of friends and family surrounding you now.

We feel so strongly the unresolved grief of you as a six month old child being parted from her mother. The heartache you now feel at the death of your birth mother is very real because with her death the last hope of reconciliation has been buried.

And now at last you must mourn her loss.
And now you must also grieve for the six-month-old child whose unrelenting hope has been so cruelly dashed.

So much unresolved grief that it takes the very breath from your body and wracks great sobs of grief from the depths of your heart.
Stop thinking as an adult, stop rationalising the emotions and actions of the adults involved and find courage, through trusting in the light of the love that surrounds you today, to accept the raw emotions as they emerge.

There is so much grief that it is overwhelming:
Knowing your hopes of ever seeing you mother again are finally and fatally blowing in the wind.
But deep within you there is a baby who is holding her breath just waiting for her family to return.
And now you know that coping will not bring mummy back; that by being ‘good’ will not restore your family

Now you grieve for a child that will never be free from the anxiety of hoping.
Now you grieve for the young mum that will never know her natural mother’s proud smile as you achieve your goals in life.

Now you grieve for the mother you could never show off your babies to. You will never be able to ask ‘was I like that, did I do that?’

Imagine yourself as baby Hillary. Picture little Hillary being handed over to Jean.
You are being handed over from all that has become familiar to you – brother, sister, relatives, family, friends – say good-bye to each one in turn.

What would you like to leave today in this place?
The pain of separation?
The hurt?
The aloneness?

Within you burns the pain of these emotions.
Let us set fire to the pain of separation.
Within you is buried hopes and dreams that can never come to fruition.
Let us bury them in this place for all time remembering that seeds are the detritus and the hope of dying .

Say farewell – although the feelings will never be forgotten they are now cleansed by fire and buried with the knowledge that even though your hopes are gone that there is a future that holds out promise and hope through the love of family and friends.Now pick up baby Hillary and love her, cuddle her, talk to her – now gradually bring her up until she was a mum herself …

Clouds in a blue sky


… and you held me and there were no words
and there was no time and you held me
and there was only wanting and
being held and being filled with wanting
and I was nothing but letting go
and being held
and there were no words and there
needed to be no words
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Croning and Crowning
Healing Hurts
Home Farewell
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