Posted by Marjorie U. Sokoll

Hands in a circle“There is nothing so wise as a circle.”
~Rania Maria Rilke

When Sue Stellick, Director of Day Programs, Services for People with Disabilities, shared with me the sad news of a young staff member who had died, she asked whether I might provide a healing circle for people who knew him. Healing circles offer a source of support in sharing rituals for healing. For the past 15 years I have been privileged to facilitate a monthly healing circle for JF&CS staff members. Sue was familiar with the healing circle and thought the participants in the residential disabilities program would benefit from one at this time.

I was moved by Sue’s compassion and concern for people in the program and her wish to provide solace and comfort. Our staff healing circle follows an open format that creates space for reflection and contemplation, and fosters an opportunity for self-care. I was honored to bring this healing ritual on the road to these participants living in our residential homes in Brighton and Norwood.
In one of these unique healing circles, one of the participants offered a beautiful song in memory of the young man. We listened in awe, his voice exquisite. We spoke of the participants’ sadness over the loss of their staff member and shared fond memories. They also shared memories of other painful losses in their lives; sadly most were very familiar with terminal illness and its impact on their loved ones. The participants were also interested in the ritual objects I brought, and as our time together was ending, I invited several who were familiar with the Tibetan singing bowl to strike the bowl. A beautiful healing sound was created as we closed the circle of support.

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