Help Beyond Humans for Grief and Life

Help Beyond Humans for Grief and Life November 25, 2022

Last week, I wrote about grief and about supporting yourself.  

But I missed one thing: the non-human help.

Sure, I talked about magick, but I’m aware that not everyone has people, trustworthy and available people in their lives. This might be intentional or unintentional. Some folks don’t have people they can turn to. Or they don’t want to turn to them.

Or they don’t want to turn to them as much as they do.

So, what else can be done? This is where the non-human realm steps up. And they are stepping up all the time, in small and big ways. In ways that may go unrecognized and underappreciated.

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Your Grief Needs More Hands to Make a Lighter Load

A while ago, a friend of mine asked me if I thought the ancestors are bothered by people asking them for help. After all, it seems that ancestors are often called into a ritual for wisdom, to help with grief, to answer questions, and to witness growth and struggle.

While I don’t know for certain, I do know that my ancestors seem to be ready for anything I ask. They seem to be eager to support and to witness. This doesn’t always mean they have the answers I want, nor does it mean that I always understand their answers. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I don’t hear back.

I share this because I think this tendency to immediately think someone doesn’t want to help us is some sort of injury from modern society. DO THINGS FOR YOURSELF. WEAK IS THE ONE WHO HAS TO ASK FOR HELP.


None of us have been completely self-sufficient in our lives, in our grief, in our successes, and in our failures. We can’t be. It’s too much to do on our own.

Who You Gonna Call?

As I grow older, I’ve noticed my grief doesn’t always begin with calls to my friends and my family. They certainly know, but I lean more toward the arms of nature to hold me in the first stretch of time. I go for walks until I am tired. I go to bed early to sit with dreams and silence. I sit at altars to wait with the godds until I know I need to do something else.

It’s not that my humans are bad with grief (though I think we all are at times). It’s that I know I need non-humans to be with me as I figure out how I feel and what I might need.

  • Trees
  • Water
  • Trails
  • Nature sounds
  • Bird calls
  • Cat purrs
  • Deities
  • Energies
  • Stones
  • Grass
  • Moss
  • Wet/dry leaves
  • Snow/ice
  • List the ones that hold you ____________

I try to sit in the curve of the elements around me. It doesn’t have to be for hours, it doesn’t have to mean you put on a big pair of boots and a puffy jacket. You can just sit by the window and stretch your awareness out, far enough to tap into the energies of those who have seen it all before.

The bend of the tree has swayed through death and destruction. The rush of that water knows how to break down and through. The song of the birds who call out to each other, to find each other, to warn each other.

Turn to the places and spaces and beings that are a part of this world around you. A world that is so big that it holds your grief (and so many others).

Sit with the godds you know and the ones who call to you. Let them hold you too. Let them be there for you

And in learning to sit with the world, you will likely learn to sit with humans again.

Or not.

But you’re still not alone.


About Irisanya Moon
Irisanya Moon (she/they) is an author, witch, international teacher, and Reclaiming initiate who has practiced magick for 20+ years. She wrote 7 books (so far), including Pagan Portals (Reclaiming Witchcraft - 2020, Aphrodite - 2020, Iris - 2021, Norns - 2023), Earth Spirit (Honoring the Wild - 2023, Gaia - 2023), and Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Health & Well-being - 2020. Irisanya cultivates spaces of self-care/devotion, divine relationship (whatever that means to you), and community service as part of her heart magick and activism. You can read more about the author here.

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