Earth Grief

Stephen Harrod Buhner

The Journey Into And Through Ecological Loss

News reports appear every day now on the ecological state of our planetary home and the news is not good. Ecological systems are in terrible peril, species are dying by the millions, and global warming is getting worse. Increasing numbers of people feel the impact of this, feel some form of what is being called climate grief, ecological loss, or sometimes even solastalgia. Our species is entering a time of difficult and deep mourning. As environmentalist Leslie Head has said, "œGrief will be our companion on this journey"•it is not something we can deal with and move on." Buhner draws on his studies with Elizabeth Kubler Ross and others who worked with the dying, his years as a psychotherapist, extensive work with the chronically ill, and deep immersion in and relationship with plants, wild ecosystems, and this living planet that is our home. At journey's end what arises is not the optimism of false hope (as Greta Thunberg calls it) but a deeper and more realistic hope, one that is intimately entangled with gravitas and the journey through loss. It's born from the heart's integration of grief and a deep faith in the green world, in this planet from which we have emerged, and in the new life that comes with every spring.