Eco Grief - Extinction Rebellion UK

Eco Grief

Death is an everyday occurrence and yet death is incomprehensible in the mind of the living. An old person dying is an ordinary event, but it is extraordinary if it is someone you love. The impact of grief can be so overwhelming that it can strip a person’s life of meaning and rinse them through with a renewed intensity of love, but with nowhere to enact it.

Eco-grief is as overwhelming as, and maybe more intensely incomprehensible than, the loss of a loved one. If you fully accept the science and everything that we may lose as a result; a stable climate, a fertile planet, our children’s security; a tsunami of emotions ranging from despair to disbelief swiftly follow.

Acceptance of the scientific truth means you then have to process a fatal diagnosis. With eco-grief the diagnosis is not just for you but for every single living thing.

Who wouldn’t struggle with this? Hopelessness is an aspect of grief and if you retreat, hopeless grief will grow darker. It is too much for anyone to deal with on their own.

Do nothing and the anxiety and grief may spiral. Your love puts you in the perfect position to create change, to create hope and a new internal landscape for yourself and those around you.

If you take action, hope may be released in you. You may find others like you and together you can project possible new futures. There are so many ways to act, from your home, in the streets, at work and through engaging those around you in conversation. Every little thing that you do counts, for you and for the future of all living things.

Joining Extinction Rebellion helped me. It gave council to my grief, plugged me into a community and helped to release the pressure of what I was carrying. I’ve taken grief walks in nature, understood the culture and potential of regeneration, and felt seen. My action as a conscientious protector is by turns, sad, hilarious, and buzzing with appetite for life. Grief is still there but distracted and often very practical – to remind me of my loving connections with others and why I need to act.


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