"There is a good deal of evidence that supports our need to work with the difficult emotion of grief, which inevitably finds its way into our lives. An apprenticeship with sorrow offers us the chance to build our capacity to stay present when the intense feelings of grief arise. Through meaningful rituals, a community of friends, some time in benevolent solitude, and effective practices that help us stretch into our bigger selves, we are offered the opportunity to develop a living relationship with loss. We can recover a faith in grief that recognizes that grief is not here to take us hostage, but instead to reshape us in some fundamental way, to help us become our mature selves, capable of living in the creative tension between grief and gratitude." -- Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow
Drawing on her experiences of simple and powerful ritual in her own life's apprenticeship with sorrow, Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin began a six-month series on the sacred work of grief (the first Wednesday of each month, September through February). This Wednesday, she invited us to consider the importance of intentionally making space and time to ritualize life's bidden or unbidden transitions, some key elements of rituals in general and grief rituals in particular, and possibilities for transforming grief into beauty and loss into life.
Solveig Nilsen-Goodin offers spiritual direction and coaching, as well as support and accompaniment for leaders, activists, organizers, healers, and anyone longing to "heal-the-whole" on any level. Grounded in a liberative Christian faith, Solveig also brings experience with shamanic healing, wisdom from Buddhist teachings, and a deep appreciation for indigenous worldviews and all life-giving spiritualities and faith practices. She is committed to practices that cultivate courage and joy, deep-feeling and open-heartedness, humility and fierceness, tenacity and imagination in the struggle for healing and wholeness. Solveig received her Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1994, where she studied feminist liberation biblical interpretation. She was ordained in the Lutheran Church (ELCA) in 1996 and received her certificate in the Art of Spiritual Direction from Namasté with Sister Pat McCrann in 1997. Since then, Solveig has been a spiritual director and grief ritual leader; pastor of a Lutheran Church and founding pastor of the Wilderness Way Community; climate justice activist / organizer / teacher and leadership coach through EcoFaith Recovery; as well as an author and musician who LOVES dancing, Zumba, and reading. She is currently interim pastor/spiritual director for Salt and Light Lutheran Church/Leaven Community and is working toward her Professional Coaching Certification (PCC) focusing on accompanying people in the many ways we experience death and grief throughout our lives. With her family, Solveig co-authored the book For Everything A Season: 75 Blessings for Daily Life (also published as For Everything A Season: 75 Blessings for Life's Milestones).