Opening to Grief: Finding Your Way from Loss to Peace

Claire B. Willis and Marnie Crawford Samuelson. Dharma Spring, $18.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-59003-512-2
Clinical social worker Willis and documentarian Samuelson (coauthors of Lasting Words) provide a succinct, comforting reference for those dealing with the loss of a loved one. The authors weave clinical observations, consolations, and practices (such as blessings to repeat and guided journaling prompts) into short chapters that explain the process of “opening to grief,” which happens through embracing kindness and gratefulness, finding joy in nature, and using “writing as a refuge.” The authors acknowledge the influence of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s work and stress that periods of grief can provide opportunities for growth and change, and also allow one to “become more authentic with yourself and with other people.” Meditation is recommended, and each chapter offers a guided practice; in a particularly helpful section, the authors unpack the meditation process (which “can open a doorway into compassionate awareness and understanding”) and relate it to the uncomfortable emotions of grief: “When we bring an attitude of mindfulness to grief and suffering, we try to look clearly at, and experience directly, everything that has happened, just as it is.” This accessible guide will be most useful for those who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. Anyone suffering loss will find wisdom and helpful practices here. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/29/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Religion
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