Over the past five years, grief has been a pressing matter within society - not just any grief, but collective grief. We have grieved celebrities, public figures and musicians who have suddenly passed away; we have grieved political changes that have brutally taken us unawares; we have grieved - are grieving - a change to our Mother Earth so intense that we have lost 60% of the world's wildlife since 1970. This will have a damning effect on us all, and some say we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, and this time, we humans are the cause. For anyone who is new to this concept, I will leave this article by Catherine Ingram here for you to read, but be warned: it is long, and it is bleak (though there is a slight perking up towards the end, if one can call it that). Whether you choose to take it on board or not is entirely up to you - it's a theory, after all.
Even if just a theory and not an actuality, I have been feeling this kind of sorrow for about eighteen years now - on and off at first, but consistently over the past five years. I feel a pressing need to address this grief because it is an indescribable, heavy sorrow that is not the same as that of losing a loved one (and I have lost loved ones). This sorrow runs much deeper because it spans lifetimes and cultures; it spans species, and civilisations. I know that I'm not the only one feeling this grief; I also know that many do not know how to face it; how to manage it and get on with life, when life is ... ending.
As I embark on my new projects, how to grieve Earth Extinction is going to be on the forefront of my mind. I would like to find a way to enable us to grieve as a collective and find comfort in that - this may involve workshops and events where we can meet up and talk it out, cry it out, and put in place positive ways in which we can move forward. It is a cause that's needed - it really is. I feel quite strongly about it. It could be months before I have something in place for this, but if you are feeling what I'm feeling, and are interested in the concept of collective grief for Earth Extinction - or collective grief for anything, like prominent societal changes - then drop me a line and let me know. We are a global world now, and I think there's a place for learning how to deal with, and manage, global grief.