Unraveling the Myths of Grief: Sign Up for this Free Online Retreat Led by Mirabai Starr and Willow Brook


One of the great joys of my work has been the opportunity to meet other writers, teachers, retreat leaders and spiritual directors who are also engaged in the heart-centered work of calling people into a deeper relationship with the Mystery-with-a-capital-M. And of the many wonderful people I have met in the contemplative community over the years, few have touched me as deeply as Mirabai Starr.

I first “met” Mirabai through her amazing and beautiful translations of mystical classics like The Interior Castle and The Dark Night of the Soul. When Mirabai came to Atlanta while promoting her book God of Love, we had the chance to connect through a mutual friend. We discovered a bond that truly made me think of her as a sister of the heart — for at that time, my wife Fran and I were parenting Rhiannon, who was terminally ill with kidney disease. She died not long after we met Mirabai, who herself was no stranger to the excruciating grief of losing a child, having suffered the death of her own daughter a few years earlier — a story she recounts in her memoir Caravan of No Despair. Nobody wants to bond over the loss of their children, but it’s a reality that some of us face, and those of us who walk down that harrowing road learn more than we ever could imagine about the landscape of loss, bereavement, and grief.

Fast forward to today, and I am so honored to share with you news that Mirabai, in partnership with her colleague Willow Brook, has put together a four-day online event that I believe will be a blessing to everyone — because grief, sooner or later, visits us all. Unfortunately, we live in a society that is often afraid of grieving, and too many people get caught up in myths or misinformation about this all-too-human reality. I’m pleased to invite you to participate in this free program, which is called Unraveling the Myths of Grief. It will take place online, over a four day period March 28 through 31, 2023 for an hour each day at 11 am Pacific time. You can trust that it’s led by these truly loving and wise women who intimately know the terrain through which they will guide you.

Click here to learn more about this event and to register. You can also watch this a video of Mirabai inviting you to the event, and scroll down to read her own description of what you can expect:

You may have been conditioned to judge yourself when certain feelings arise in the process of grieving any kind of loss, such as: emotional numbness, irritability, and exhaustion. These are natural and universal responses to shattering loss.  We invite you to join us for a 4-day free online event, Unraveling the Myths of Grief, as we dispel the false notion that you are meant to “move on” from your loss and affirm that grief is a lifelong journey. While the landscape changes, and your capacity to carry your loss expands, your relationship with that which you have lost is ever-unfolding.

Unraveling the Myths of Grief will leave you with a renewed sense of trust in your own authentic process, courage to reenter the stream of life with grief as a loving companion rather than a terrifying adversary and support you to discover the sacred wellspring at the heart of your loss. You can register for free at www.wildheart.space/griefmyths.

Whether you are currently meeting grief in the topography of your life, or know someone else who is grief’s companion, or simply recognize that sooner or later you will encounter this most human of experiences, this retreat is for you.

Now, just for fun: here’s a throwback picture from the 2016 Wild Goose Festival, the last time I saw Mirabai in person (hmmm, it’s been way too long). Fran took this picture of Mirabai, myself (yes, with short hair!) and a young Brandan Robertson (if you’re not familiar with him, he’s someone else well worth getting to know).

Mirabai Starr, Carl McColman, Brandan Robertson, at the 2016 Wild Goose Festival.
Mirabai Starr, Carl McColman, Brandan Robertson, at the 2016 Wild Goose Festival.


Once again, here’s the link to learn more about, and register for, Unraveling the Myths of Grief: www.wildheart.space/griefmyths.

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About the author

Carl McColman

Soul Friend and Storyteller. Lay Cistercian, Centering Prayer Presenter, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker, Teacher, Retreat Leader.

By Carl McColman



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