Earthanatology: An Emerging Meme


Thanks to Earth Caregiver Naima Shea for sharing this spot-on opinion pages piece from the Grey Lady, a.k.a. the NYT: When Climate Change Floods Your Heart  By

Anna almost seems to be writing in response to the subject of my last post, the piece from the Science Editor at The Observer about Miami FLA starting to go under.  What’s especially noteworthy in her essay, though, is the she connects the psychological displacement we are feeling to ways we are beginning to acknowledge our grieving process in relation to climate change.  She includes this beautiful quote from Chris Saade, a therapist who has treated kids anxious about climate change:

“We tell them grief is a normal response of the human psyche when a loss is happening, whether it’s personal or, in this case, a global loss in terms of the environment. If we don’t feel grief, at the end of the day, we won’t do anything.”

This is so reminiscent of the Griefwalker Stephen Jenkinsen, referenced in my most recent paper, who stresses the importance of grieving on the path of awakening, of accepting loss as an integral part of the things we love, in order that we may avoid the kind of debilitating grief or spiritual numbness that comes from not honoring impermanence every step of the way.

She also includes a nice quote from an essay in Utne by Katharine M. Preston, a preacher and writer, who fears that our unacknowledged feelings of grief may be immobilizing many of us, and calls upon us to “adapt to an environment in which our traditional relationship with the Earth has been replaced with a new one. ”  She asks, “Instead of guilt, fear, and depression, can we face our profound loss, talk about it, acknowledge our grief, and move forward within this new community?”


As I have said, we are a movement – let the Earth be our witness…


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