Grief Ritual

Hosted by Grief Ritual South West
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A two and half day non residential grief ritual in Devon to be with our sorrow as we replenish in community together. 


“There is a price in not expressing one’s grief. Unexpressed hurt and pain injure our souls.” - Sobonfu Somé

The Invitation

Do you feel the deep place in your belly and bones where your grief and sorrow is stored? Do you feel the need to let it flow? To find ways to be with your grief, to understand and become intimate with it so that it can lead you to feel the depth of your love? 

Life creates grief. And we are swimming in it, especially in these times of global unrest, upheaval and planetary crisis. 

Our grief needs spaces to be released, to be composted and allowed to flow so that we can feel replenished by the well of being alive. 

A culture without grief rituals, the Dagara culture of Burkina Faso perceives, is like a home without a toilet. Once grief is released, the heart can replenish once more with joy and love. And this needs to happen with some regularity.

“We can’t emote, so we sedate”, wrote Malidoma Somé of Western Culture (in his book, The Healing Wisdom of Africa).

Hey folks. Let’s put the sedation down. 
Let’s come together and emote, within a container that really holds us.


About the Grief Ritual

Briony Greenhill assisted Dagara leader Sobonfu Somé with several grief rituals before Sobonfu’s death, and has since co-led several Dagara style grief rituals in the USA with co-facilitators such as Lawrence Cole and Zahava Griss. The ritual format was adapted by Sobonfu Somé from the Dagara funeral ritual format, for Westerners not attending a funeral. 

The ritual uses singing, drumming, dancing, alters and structures of support to move the energies of grief through. We use words before and after, but not so much during the ritual. We drop into the non verbal and use the body, arts, emotion, energy, to enable the grief to express, digest, and re-organise itself, which it does naturally, given the chance.

"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." - Sobonfu Somé


Friday night we’ll have a talk, introduction, orientation and meet one another.

Saturday morning we’ll go deeper and set up the ritual.

Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, the ritual will run.

Sunday afternoon we will pack up and integrate together.

The extended time for the ritual gives space for layers of grief to be accessed and digested.

Further Information 

  • This is a non-residential event. If you're not local to the South Hams / Devon area and would like to attend you will need to find accommodation for the weekend. If you struggling to find somewhere then please reach out and we will see if we can support. 
  • Please plan to bring a packed lunch with you on the Saturday and Sunday as there are limited shops locally and will be limited time to leave the venue.
  • While this work may have therapeutic benefits, this is not therapy or a replacement for therapy. If you are seeking therapy then we encourage you to seek 1-1 support from a qualified psychotherapist. If you are experiencing significant mental health challenges please contact us in advance so that we can have a conversation about whether this event is right for you at this time.
  • To best support yourself in this experience we suggest that you do not make other plans outside of the stated timings of the weekend and allow yourself space and time to rest and digest on the Saturday and Sunday evenings. This might include supporting yourself with a digital detox over the weekend.
  • We need several drummers! Please let us know if you are a drummer and are planning on attending.
  • Harbertonford is wheelchair accessible and with a full access disabled toilet. The kitchen is not wheelchair accessible. Our venue for Friday night is not wheelchair accessible.
  • There will be further information sent about what to bring on the ticket confirmation email.

If you have any further questions queries please email

Timings & Location

Friday evening: 7.30 - 9pm @ Angel Hall, Bowden House 

Saturday: 9am - 7.00pm @ Harbertonford Hall 

Sunday: 9am - 6.00pm @ Harbertonford Hall 

Please note that we are a different location Friday evening, and that Harbertonford Hall is different from Harberton Hall. Please go to Harbertonford Hall only. 



Standard - £160 

Supporter - £200 

Bursary places - £100

15% of ticket sales go toward Wisdom Spring a charity founded by Sobonfu Somé to support access to water and education in her home of Burkino Faso.

Please note that these bursary places are limited to five and are for people who have financial insecurity and would otherwise struggle to access an event like this.

There is a non-refundable deposit of £50. In the case that you have bought a ticket and are unable to attend this deposit will be kept to support the administration and overheads of running the event. You will be refunded the cost of your place minus this non-refundable deposit. 


  • We ask that all attendees take a lateral flow test 1 day prior to attending the retreat.
  • In the case that someone develops symptoms during the weekend, we will ask that person to isolate and we will adjust accordingly.
  • In the case of another lockdown in which gatherings are banned we will cancel the event and you will receive a full refund.
  • Please do not come if you develop symptoms, or come into high risk contact with someone who has COVID, in the days before the event.

About the facilitators

Briony Greenhill is at core a Ritual Singer whose being seems to be designed for holding the drumming and singing for a ritual of several hours. She’s a musical artist, music teacher, and ceremonialist. She worked for years with Rites of Passage group Stepping Stones Project, trained as a SomaSource leader with Dr Melissa Michaels, apprenticed to Sobonfu Somé and Cherokee ceremonialist Nunutsi Tenipe, and holds deep, safe spaces for transformation.

Alana Hyde Bloom is an artist, facilitator and activist. Her work is focused on stewarding an eco-centric culture and she guides experiences for people to cultivate their relationship with the more-than-humans and their inner wild one. She works with ritual, embodiment and many practices inspired by her theatre & dance training. She has a background in deep nature connection and cultural healing through 8 shields and has apprenticed to Grief with Azul Valerie Thomé. She is curious about rites of passage, the journey of soul and what the world needs in these times. She currently offers women’s immersions and retreats, grief rituals, courses on cyclical living and rewilding, plus eco-centric mentoring. 

John Scaife was lucky enough to stumble upon the nascent mytho-poetic men’s movement 30 years ago, learning from Robert Bly, Michael Meade, Maildoma and Sobonfu Somé, Robert Moore, James Hillman and Martin Prechtel. He then studied extensively with Prechtel and the Somes, from this he developed own deep sense of ritual and the sacred which he now seeks to weave with the traditions and stories of this land, tapping into his skills as storyteller, ceremonialist, writer and coach. He is also exploring ‘life-stage marking’ events, offering grief rituals and building on his experience as a men’s work facilitator. A sportsman and lover of the wild and outdoors, he is also very aware, from 35 years in business and banking, of the need to ground these learnings in the practicalities and realities of the day to day world.   


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This event started 3 months ago

Standard Cost £160
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Supporter Ticket £200
Bursary £100 Sold out
Please note these tickets are limited. Please only select this option if you truly need it.
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