Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Exploring Grief through Poetry, Prose, and Song

with Claudia Love Mair, Simon de Voil, and Christine Valters Paintner

Friday, June 10, 2022

11-12:15pm Pacific

2-3:15pm Eastern

7-8:15pm pm Ireland/UK time

Program Description

Join us for a communal gathering to honor our losses through words and song. We all carry grief with us for lost relationships, lost dreams, lost abilities, and the loved ones who are gone. In a culture that tries to get us to move on quickly and get back to work, it is a powerful act of resistance to stop and weep together. When we lift up grief as part of our human reality, we also lift up the tremendous love that is behind that grief, a love that endures even when who we loved is no longer in physical form.

Psalm 56 tells us that God counts our every tear and stores them in a bottle and Jeremiah tells us that Rachel was weeping because she lost her children and would not be consoled. The tradition of lamentation is powerful and invites us into a communal space of honoring our places of deep grief.

Christine will read some of her poems about grief and the loss of her mother, Simon will offer soulful music as a container for our mourning, and Claudia will read both prose and poetry about her recent loss of her adult son. There will also be sacred pauses in which to breathe and weep together and an invitation to name those we love who have passed on.

All are welcome, whether your grief is old or new. 

The retreat will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

Your Guides for the Journey


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE​

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is the online Abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery and global community integrating contemplative practice and creative expression. Her programs draw on the wisdom of the desert, Celtic, and Benedictine spiritual traditions as well as the joy of the expressive arts, embodied practice, and Earth-cherishing wisdom. Christine is the author of numerous books on spirituality and creativity, including three collections of poetry. She lives on the west coast of Ireland with her husband John and dog Sourney. Find out more about her here.

Claudia Love Mair (1)

Claudia Love Mair

Claudia Love Mair, MFA is a writer, artist, and Ringmistress of the Beautiful Soul Circus, a private Facebook group for creatives, queers, and tender souls. She’s an Inspirationalista who, when she’s not creating something herself, helps other creatives tap into their deepest intuition and longings through writing and painting. Claudia is the author of the God Alone is Enough, the critically acclaimed novel, Zora and Nicky, and her memoir, Don’t You Fall Now. She is a Certified Intuitive Painting and Expressive Arts Facilitator and the Coordinator for the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative. Claudia lives in Lexington, with two of her adult children, and three cats, including one who thinks he’s a dog.

Simon de Voil playing guitar

Simon de Voil

Reverend Simon Ruth de Voil is an interfaith-interspiritual minister, sacred musician, spiritual counsellor, and chaplain.

His sacred work—both musical and interpersonal—explores themes of the inner landscape of the soul, the enchantment of the natural world, and the healing power of spiritual practice. As a chaplain and counsellor, Simon helps individuals and groups connect sacred presence with everyday life. Simon is also a transgender activist and a luthier in training.

Visit Simon’s website here>>


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee for those who have lost their income and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!
Please be careful to enter your correct email address when you register. 
All prices displayed in USD.


REduced Fee


Regular fee


Sponsorship fee

If you need a different payment plan or a greater scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

These videos are made available to registered participants and may also be included in future versions of the program including self-study. If you choose to speak during a recorded gathering, you are giving us your consent to record that contribution. If you prefer not to be seen or heard, you can of course switch off or mute your camera or microphone at any time. Chat sessions are recorded and posted as well. Participation in the chat function is also giving consent to their recording. Breakout groups are never recorded.

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.