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A Joyful Path, Year Three – Week 26: Grief Is A Part Of Living And Loving — Story: I Grieve Because I Love

For Classroom or Home School

Week 26: Spring
Lesson 22: Grief is Part of Living and Loving/Tree Visit 2 (Optional)

I grieve because I love.

Getting to the Heart of the Lesson

In lesson 6, we explored death and its natural place in the cycle of life. The story was about Billy and the death of his grandfather. In this week’s lesson, Billy’s story continues so we can recognize the grief that accompanies death. Grief comes in many forms and we grieve many losses in addition to death. Although the story focuses on death, it could be important for you to expand the conversation to include other losses and the grief that comes with them.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If any of the children in your class have recently lost someone or you are aware of circumstances causing them grief, be sure to provide extra space for them to participate in ways that feel comfortable. They always, of course, have the right to pass. There are many ways to grieve. Different cultures and religions provide practices — some of which might feel supportive, and others less so. The important thing to convey this week is that, so long as we are keeping ourselves safe from harm, it is ok to grieve in the ways that feel right for us.

(NOTE: If you wish to focus more intentionally on the Christian calendar, Lent and the time before Easter, this lesson lends itself to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the grief felt by all who loved Jesus.)

Teacher Reflection/Activity

Some reading and a 10-20 min exercise (more if you have time and wish to take it) so you are able to experience the teachings offered through this lesson.

Option One — In your journal or during your morning contemplation or afternoon walk, reflect on times in your life when you have been in grief. Maybe you are grieving right now. If you are, be extra tender with yourself in preparation for this

lesson. Notice the various forms of grief you have known in your life. Consider the different losses you have experienced and recall what brought healing. Just like there are many ways to grieve, there are many paths to healing.

Option Two — This week’s Activity/Exploration One (below) is the third of four tree visits. When we grieve, the natural world helps us hold our sorrow. Has this been true for you? Review the questions in Activity One below and consider how your Tree friend (or other favorite outdoor spot) has been a support for you in times of grief.

Read through the lesson before your time with the children. Decide which Activity Exploration will work best for your class (There are usually two options; choose one.). Just below the heading, “Children’s Lesson and Story” you will find the preparations checklist for this lesson so you can collect any needed materials or make arrangements to support your selected activity.

Sacred Text Quotes

Christian Scriptures. John 11:35 (NRSV)

Jesus wept.

Christian Scriptures. Matthew 5:4 (NRSV)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Hebrew Scriptures. Psalm 30:5 (NRSV)

Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Wisdom Quotes

We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. ― Pema Chödrön

It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it. ― Mister Fred Rogers

His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom. ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Be sure to click here to download the Teaching Introduction and Instructions.

Review & Commentary