March 9th, 10th, & 11th at Unity

Host: Shanti O’Connor

“Surrendering to your sorrow has the power to heal the deepest of wounds”

-Sobonfu Some-

In life it is necessary to grieve those things that no longer serve us in order to let them go. Grief is a common human emotion that impacts us all. It can come to us through divorce, illness, loss of dreams, conflict, death, change and so much more. Grief is an invitation to feel. It invites us to come into the body to shed light on those things that are ready to be released in order to heal. Because of this, we must have ways to move our pain. Grief needs to be regularly felt and released or it begins to smother our joy, creativity, and our ability to connect with our self and others.

Community Grief Ceremony is a safe way to learn how to lean into grieving within and among community. Communal grieving offers something that we cannot get when we grieve by ourselves. Through validation, acknowledgement and witnessing, communal grieving allows us to experience a level of healing that is deeply and profoundly freeing. Each of us has a basic human right to that genuine love, happiness and freedom.


-People feeling grief for the loss of a loved one, a pet, a partnership, or job

-Anyone stuck in unhealthy relationships or emotionally unhealthy situations

-People in transition of any kind, whether through divorce, illness, accidents, or disappointed dreams

-People in recovery

-Front line workers such as therapists, educators, nurses, social workers, hospice caregivers, police men or women, activists


-Those feeling the collective grief of a violent world, or the environmental harm of the earth

-Anyone with sadness and pain to release

-People dealing with a chronic illness

-Those who have lost a loved one


This ceremony is inspired by the work of Sobonfu Somé who took the teachings and healing practices from her tribe–The Dagara tribe of West Africa to America. Over the course of her life she traveled all over the US and Europe, teaching people how to grieve through the Dagara tradition. Dagara rituals offer profound healing, making spirit tangible by preparing the mind, body and soul to receive the spirituality that surrounds us. 

Her website to learn more about Sonbonfu

This ceremony will be facilitated by Hillary Hurst and Barbara Largent and will be supported by various community members. Hillary Hurst is a mental health therapist who spent many years working with Sobonfu at grief rituals. Before Sonbonfu’s passing she asked Hillary to continue this work within her community. Barbara Largent is physician and energy healer who does deep emotional and trauma release work.

Supporting Clean Water in Africa:

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Wisdom Springs.

Wisdom Spring is a non-profit started by Sobonfu Some who mission is to support leadership skill in youth and raises money to help countries in Africa access clean water.

To learn more about this organization please go to


Hillary Hurst, Barbara Largent, and Shanti O’Connor


Thursday, March 9, 2023

6:00PM Arrive/Register: 

7:00 – 9:00 PM Opening Ceremony

Friday, March 10, 2023 

8:30am Arrive/Settle in

Grief Ceremony: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Dinner: 5-6

Saturday, March 11, 2023

8:30am: Arrive/Settle In

9am-2pm: Integration/Closing Ceremony


The Grief Ceremony will be held indoors at…

Unity Community: 

63645 Scenic Dr, Bend, OR 97701


Snacks, tea, and coffee will be provided. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own lunch, dinner, and extra food. We will not be feeding you lunch and dinner. Unity has a very small kitchen to warm food, but not cook it. Please bring your own cooler to store your food and food that is already cooked.

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Our Meeting password is (case sensitive): UnityBend
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Our Meeting password is (case sensitive): UnityBend
Click to continue to Zoom