“A ritual is actually the words of a "rite", which are said as a part of a ceremony which is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value.” – Wikipedia
The Story of Co-Author
Linda Ann Smith
y women friends stood beside me as I buried my son. They then helped me learn how to live again through the unspeakable grief of a mother’s shattered life and heart. As friends they stood with me in my pain. As mothers they felt my pain. As women they helped ease my pain. Without my friends, I would not have been able to find a pathway back into a life where I was able to experience joy.
was inspired to write a book on rituals when I needed an idea for a 55th wedding anniversary celebration for my parents. Their anniversary came just seven months after I lost my only son in a car crash.
had created rituals to raise my son, strengthen bonds with my family, enrich relationships with my girlfriends, and just to have a good time. However, my creativity was crushed under the intense grief of losing Andrew. I found no book at the bookstore with rituals to use or adapt for the anniversary. At first, not finding a book made me impatient. Then, struck by a brainstorm, I called Kelly Blair Roberts, one of my best friends, with the idea to write the book. It was a big first step to opening my self up to a life of extraordinary possibilities.
rowing up with brothers, I always yearned for a sister. In lieu of a sister, I had legions of girlfriends. Girlfriends who would say “poor baby” when I needed it, kick me in the butt to get me out of a funk, help me move, paint, organize garage sales and love me unconditionally. When I need the truth, I turn to my women friends. The rituals that Kelly and I have done with our friends are the foundation ofPower of Rituals for Women. I have been transformed by the power of my friends.
The Story of Co-Author
Kelly Blair Roberts
ituals have enriched my life both personally and professionally. As a little girl I enjoyed the rituals of my family life, especially eating dinner around a large oak table and engaging in lively conversations about current events. Those nightly dialogues had a huge impact on my development as a human being. In my work life, I’ve used rituals to bind people together as teams. Providing simple structures for people to share and connect can foster an environment in which they feel valued. And when people feel valued, they are more committed to their jobs and to each other.
hen Linda proposed the idea of writing a book on rituals after losing her son Andrew, I gladly accepted. The notion of having a reason for connecting with her in the presence of her grief wasn’t something I could possibly turn down. Since then I have realized the value of this endeavor is bigger than both of us. Rituals provide the space for us to experience significant support in the face of personal gains and losses. I want everyone to have the tools for experiencing rituals with friends, family and community.
hat I especially love about rituals is their flexibility. They can be tapped for serious sharing and also for fun. I spent several months working with a team of recreation therapists at a nursing care center. Coming together at the end of the day afforded us the chance to share the sublime moments that occur in a long-term care environment. I loved our informal ritual of debriefing our humorous and heartfelt experiences with the residents. Sharing drew us closer as a team and made us better at our challenging jobs.