Other Helpful Resources

These are other resources which helped me during my breakup.

Advice from Rhonda Besaw, Speaker for the Abenaki Nation of New Hampshire. She was kind enough to respond to me when I asked her Native American traditions on grief and healing:

“After my husband died, which might be more relevant to your loss, I limited traveling, and limited being around people. Our teachings are that we do this, so as not to burden others with our grief. During this grief time, we are considered not to be in our right minds, but this is not a bad thing, because we are also considered most holy and sacred. During grief, much is stripped away from us, tearing us down to our basic self. In this state of being so open hearted, it is said that the creator hears our prayers more than at any other time. So this is the time you pray for others. During this grief time of a loss of a loved one, we do not speak their name for a year and we give away or burn all their belongings.  Yes, it is hard and painful, but this is so we let go and move on.  Yes, smudging is very good, smudge yourself and your home. Open windows when you smudge, to let the cleansing smoke out. Smoke a pipe with good tobacco and send your prayers up on the smoke too.  Get up in the morning and great the sun. Practice gratitude with every breath and step. There were times with chemo, that I could hardly breathe. But I would get my boots on and walk a short distance out in the woods, and say thank you creator, that I can still see, as many cannot. And then I would pray hard, not for myself, but that others would be free of suffering. There is always something you can find to be grateful for.”

Advice from Chief Nathan Pero, of the Koasek (Cowasuck) Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation of New Hampshire, and Kathleen Blake, the Spiritual Leader of the Tribe. She was kind enough to forward a message from Chief Nathan as well as some insight from herself:

“Grief is so hard, especially when it is new.  I'm sad that you are hurting. I am going to caution you to be very careful about Native American "healers" that you find on the internet.  There are a lot of frauds out there, people who make false claims.  Those of us who are indigenous here are mostly removed from traditional grieving processes.  The learning that I have done has been through the teachings of other tribal people.  Most tribes do not share their spiritual practices with others, but some medicine people work with people from outside of the tribes. I wish that I could say more to help, David.  Sadly, grief is something you go through at a time like you are experiencing.  I know it sounds trite, but as an elder woman, I will say it anyway.  In time, the grief will become less raw and less painful.  It always does. Please hold on, reach out, and trust that, in time, your path will become less of a burden and more of a joy.”