Grieving Womanhood

What does it mean to be a woman in a world that desperately needs us? What does that actually look like? I foresee that the answers to these questions mean monumental change for everyone. For everyone to reflect on the importance of not what this means for womankind but what this means for everything of this world. For all those that were once part of and those not yet of this earth. How not only important but desperately needed it is for us to hold all of the loss and need in our hands at once.

It is so difficult to live inside the loss and so much easier to answer with what we believe the world needs. However, it is in holding and honouring of loss that we understand the granularity of our need. What is behind it and what we can do to serve it.

Our beautiful grandmothers were tenacious, strong, and courageous. They kept hearths warm on the coldest of days, they made food last when there wasn’t any, they traded, they birthed and they buried. Their grandmothers and all of the grandmothers before them did the same. And, if you are of the belief that our ancestry doesn’t just include those that show up as humans, the plant mothers and animal mothers in our ancestry do this as well.

This, is what has fed us.

This lineage, this honour, and this back-breaking unrelenting spirit is what has guided humanity. This work was often done without complaint or despite bigger dreams and perhaps that’s why humans no longer believe this is important work. We no longer believe that the role our ancestors once held in such high esteem is important. We need to grieve this loss to honour its place in who we are. To see a maple seed flutter to the ground and think, that Maple mother has tended to that seed, protected it from disease, held on tight through each storm only to see it helicopter away and gods willing, that seed may one day be the tree that my grandchild stands under for shade or climbs for fun.

What have been the consequences in a world without us? What is the result of us not having a seat at the table? What are we grieving on behalf of the world? What are we asking for forgiveness for? What are we forgiving? What have we forsaken in order to chase our egos?

It is in this grief that we will find what it means to show up for our world. What it means to show up for the earth, our ancestors, and our children. It may not be to become the CEO, it may be teaching our sons to bake bread. It may mean taking your children to a march or volunteering for a cause. In fact, it may even mean being whole in the exact spot you are in today and realizing that equity is the first step to equality.

That we need to honour who we are and where we came from in order to understand how we can show up. That whatever this represents, a cunning mind for tactical negotiation or the instincts for birthing babies that these both deserve a beautiful and glorious seat at the table. And the moment we understand that tending to humans is as important (if not more) as running a country, we can ensure that the way we show up in this world is for the sake of everything.


Sarah Hines
Sarah Hines
I met a man one blurry night in Manhattan, and little did I know, he would be the soil in which my passion for grief work was to be planted. He had been rejected by his family for his life choices and was preparing for death without them. Helping him through his struggle to come to terms with his love for them and in turn his forgiveness while going through treatments, rejection, and coming to terms with his own death and grief was an unimaginable amount of stress and it literally set me in activism mode. It was shortly after his death, I completed training in Palliative Care Home Hospice. I volunteered in men’s homes for 5 years before the medications became reliable and being gay wasn’t always breaking family ties. Some of the most amazing times I have had in my life have been in the homes of dying. Strange, yes.. but so beautifully honest and raw. I then completed the Children’s Palliative Care Training and dove into the heartbrokenness of dying children. It is in these years I really came to understand just how fickle death can be and how much we embrace death and our grief. It seems that in times of what we would consider the most unimaginable, we are able to find glimmers of beauty, cracks of light and the nourishment in tears. Over the last 20 years, I have carried on with my education in a variety of ways including Coach and Leadership Training, Orphan Wisdom School and Grief Groups. My connection into corporate grief has been slow. It’s something that most organizations do not want to think about. I am inspired by those that see value in bringing grief work into the way they lead teams through uncertainty and the trust this work builds.

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  1. I cherish the words you’ve written here, Sarah. Mother Earth, motherhood, womanhood, the Divine Feminine all seem like they’ve been suppressed for far too long-how essential the qualities of birth, nurturing, tenderness, Presence, quiet kindness, even sensuality–and they seem to have gotten lost in the cacophony of the demands of the ego personality. I’m still amazed that motherhood is not honored in our culture. Money is honored, but not motherhood or parenting-and yet, consciously parenting children into adulthood so they become emotional mature, relationally mature, healthy creative thriving beings takes wisdom, understanding, knowledge, maturity on the part of the adults involved in the nurturing of those lives. And I’m not talking about working out of the home, not working out of the home-but the people-parents, grandparents, foster parents, nannies, day care workers, teachers–all involved in nurturing babies, toddlers, children, teens- I love the metaphors you use-I love everything about this heartfelt essay-and I do believe we are grieving the out of balance-the disharmony that has occurred. May each person do their very best to find balance inside themselves and make room at the table for the lost ones, the actual people and voices that have been silent for much too long.