Lost Rites: The Community of Grief

Winter Webinar Series

Sign up here: https://szhmu0zqs19.typeform.com/to/tSgHeyOK

Join Alexandra Derwen through Winter 2021 in workshopping their latest book “Lost Rites: The Community of Grief”. This is an incredible opportunity to receive the raw material of the book in its final draft form before anyone else gets to read it; over 12 weeks we will meet together weekly to explore the topics of each chapter with a talk from Alexandra and workshop space in small groups to help deepen and integrate the content.

Whether you already hold space for grief in your communities or if you wish to do so; whether you are interested in the power of shared grieving as a tool for community development or if you just want to know your own grief better; this is a space where all find a warm welcome.

NB: while wholesome catharsis is welcome this is not intended to be a therapeutic space; you remain fully responsible for your own health and healing and we can signpost you to therapists, experienced listeners or group support if you need it (these services will not be included in the cost of the course). By embarking on the 12-week course of workshops you are agreeing to hold and take responsibility for your own process.


Sign up here: https://szhmu0zqs19.typeform.com/to/tSgHeyOK

The cost is low because the material is raw and by participating you are helping to fund this book to completion (publication due April 2022).

Even so, there is still a sliding scale:


(£60 deposit, payment in 3 monthly instalments of £20 thereafter / feel free to pay in full) (max 150 places)


Bursary open to anyone honestly on a low income who feels called to this work (payment can be made in 3 x £20 monthly instalments or feel free to pay in full) (max 50 places)


There are limited places available for Work Exchange – you can work to help administer emails, update the community networks and facilitate the zoom breakout rooms (max 12 places)

What you get for your investment:

  1. 12 Weekly Webinars with Alexandra Derwen (talk and workshop)
  2. Recordings of the Talks to access as often as you like
  3. An e-Book chapter week by week (12 chapters plus introduction and postscript)
  4. Access to a “Community of Grief” Mighty Network for sharing and mutual support

About Alexandra Derwen

Alexandra (pronouns they / them) is the founder and lead facilitator of Sacred Circle Training Co CIC a social enterprise dedicated to holding space for shared learning through story rooted in the field of death, dying and grief. Sacred Circle hosts the Red Tent “End of Life Doula” preparation courses and the Lost Rites: Ceremony and Ritual for Death and Dying course in celebrancy and ceremonialism.

Alexandra’s first book Lost Rites: Ceremony and Ritual for Death and Dying was published by Wysewoman Press in 2021. The course of the same name has run online through the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 and is now undergoing a review and restructure to be relaunched in 2022.

Alexandra had a background in youth and community work and in social policy, specialising in community engagement in public policy before leaving the institutional world of work behind to retrain first as an interfaith minister and later birth doula; having always been in the field of death and dying Alexandra was called to bring their experience into “sacred circle” to develop community and education around death, dying and grief.

Through the process of recovering from the burnout caused by working within a broken system Alexandra has been on a profound journey of unpicking and unpacking their own internal systems of oppression.

This continuing process of de-colonisation of self has resulted not only in the release of gender (and multiple layers of) identity but also a crystal clear vision of the scale of what is facing this iteration of human civilisation; systemic collapse, the fall of institutions and the collapse of our eco-systems. Alexandra feels that it is imperative at this time to go deep and remember, reimagine and reinstate the collective act of grieving in community to support humanity to not only face what we have to face but to hospice all that is being lost at this time.

Sign up here: https://szhmu0zqs19.typeform.com/to/tSgHeyOK

The Book – Lost Rites: The Community of Grief

Chapter Headings and Key Points


• Grieving at these times (Sorrows of the World)
• Decolonisation
• Unpacking “Spirituality”
• Who gets to lead us in Grief?
• Let’s not Appropriate other Cultures
• But mourn the loss of our own Culture

Also: Glossary of Terms as per Lost Rites 1 Book

Chapter 1
Understanding “Community” in Relationship to Land, Place and Space

• What do we really mean by community?
• Axis of Belonging (or otherwise)
• The impact of belonging / not belonging on identity

Chapter 2
The Wealth of Human Stories (Stories harm, stories heal)

• Cultivating value in our lived experiences
• Learning and practising deep listening
• The impact of trauma on the currency of story

Chapter 3
Traumas of Land, Place and Space (Grief is the Medicine)

• Stories heard and unheard of displacement
• Loss of ground, loss of roots
• Listening, not just to people, but all voices

Chapter 4
The Nature of Grief (Essentially Love)

• Grief as Vertical, Grief as Horizontal (wave and the particle)
• Key component of true love
• Foundation of humanity

Chapter 5
Consume! (The cultural impact of individualism and isolation)

• The void at the heart of modern life
• Addiction and the grief of separation
• Wounded heart of capitalism and colonisation

Chapter 6
Call to Ceremony and the Thresholds of Grief

• What lines do we cross in grief?
• The forgotten lines in the sand
• What is ceremony, really?

Chapter 7
Grieving the loss of Communal Grieving

• The ancient ways
• The lost village
• Bone memories

Chapter 8
Organic Ritual and the Wellsprings of Grief

• Spontaneous community outpourings
• Remembered Love
• The gift of tragedy

Chapter 9
Vigils, Shrines and Circles; Song, Sound and Silence

• Places and spaces where grief is welcome
• The power of sound, the gift of silence
• Coming together and breaking isolation

Chapter 10
Safe Space and Safe Time

• Cultural Competency
• Mutual Respect
• Exclude to Include

Chapter 11
Common Unity (that which unites us gives us hope)

• We find our selves, mirrors
• Hope is not about the future, it is Now
• Weaving the threads of human story of Grief

Chapter 12
A Revolution for our Times

• Decolonisation
• The Fall of our Institutions
• Hospicing our Civilisation

Postscript “Dancing at Dusk”