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This event is free of charge and open to the public. Spiritual practices and contemplative activities include opportunities for kite flying and a luminary walk. To conclude the evening, the labyrinth will be available inside Dominican Center Marywood to assist participants in personal introspection and integration.

Both of these upcoming explorative experiences are opportunities to honor and acknowledge the gift of grief as a completion of a connection we will never forget.

Grief is the intense emotional response to the pain of loss. It is a connection that has been broken. Most importantly, grief is an emotional, spiritual, and psychological journey to healing. We transform and transcend our losses as we feel our emotions and express them in ways that feel safe, sacred, and intimate.

The length and time needed to mourn is different for everyone. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross identified the five stages of grief as denial, depression, bargaining, anger, and acceptance. There is no predictable schedule, and progression through the stages of grief are not necessarily orderly, nor does everyone experience all of the stages. We do travel through grief in stages and it is hoped we are able to come to a place of peace-filled acceptance where grief can not only be transformed, but transcended.

Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not attempt to do so. For the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled, one remains connected to the other person through it. God does not fill the emptiness but precisely leaves it unfilled and thus helps us preserve even in pain the authentic relationship. But gratitude transforms the memory of torment into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within. A hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.”