Lessons Learned from Sukhema: The Usefulness of Ritual

In speaking with Sukhema I was struck by two ideas – the beautiful way in which he used poetry in our discussion about loss. And the fact that he has helped others in their grief journeys by providing them with the type of ritual that they needed.

He has such a talent for bringing the right poem at the right time.

Many of us, perhaps most of us need rituals in our lives. We use rituals to mark occasions of all types. And Sukhema uses poetry in his rituals, and perhaps it is reasonable to say that poetry can be a form of ritual. When we lose something or someone, ritual can help us to acknowledge the loss and let go of some of the things that we cling to.

Ritual and poetry, or poetry as a ritual is something he led his circle of writers to do. Creating, Living our Dying . This work carries forward the poetry of his deceased friend and allowed others to share their grief and their thoughts around death and dying. 

And in this way, poetry is an expression of the shared experience of losing this friend, the writing was part of the ritual of letting go of the loss.

His own poem, written after helping his granddaughter bury her hamster ties ritual and poetry as a natural response to loss. And this shows us the usefulness of ritual.

 

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