“To be human is to know loss in its many forms. Rather than hearing this as a depressing truth, our ability to acknowledge this reality enables us to find our way into the grace that lies hidden in sorrow. We are most alive at the threshold between loss and revelation; every loss ultimately opens the way for a new encounter…”
– Francis Weller
A few months ago, I wrote about grief in this space, specifically in reference to a book I had read by Francis Weller. Since that time, I see and feel how much we have collectively lost – creative artists, people we loved who were very close to us, losses associated with natural disasters, and proposed policy changes which create much fear for so many. Many of us feel, very deeply, a connection to what is happening on our planet even as we are coming to grips with all of the losses we are personally facing.
Grief and loss are a part of our human experience and we seem to be seeing and feeling it more and more…unless we are not. So many of us have spent a good part of our lives burying the pain of many losses from early in our lives through our adulthood. I became very good at burying mine…and I know that efforts to heal all of the traumas of past losses is essential to living a more full and open, loving life. Until or unless we successfully begin to mine the depths of our sadness, the very roots of our traumas, we will not get to the core of who we are…to our truth, our joy. I am also confident that we have many experiences which we may not necessarily see as a loss which needs our attention to fully feel and grieve. A change in life circumstances – the loss of a job, a geographical move, the ending of a relationship, estrangement from one(s) that we love, etc., all remind us that we have feelings…and these feelings need our loving attention.
I didn’t realize that the journey I’ve been on these last months has been one of deep healing. As much work as I thought I had done on myself, I truly had not plumbed the depths of my grief. In fact, I wasn’t fully aware that I was carrying so much grief.
What started as a referral for Francis Weller’s book by dear friend, has become an unexpected unfolding of books showing up that I either stumbled upon or found myself seeking. It’s as if bread crumbs were dropped for me to follow a path. Today, I am deeply grateful for the amazing and wonderful resources which have found their way to me. Each one has offered a beautiful gift of the very power of diving into our pain and sadness and embracing the grief that we feel as a step forward into the deep peace within that is and always has been always waiting for us.
Below is a list of the books which have found their way to me. I am fortunate to know two of the authors; one of them is a former colleague and friend, and the other is a fellow blogger. I’m grateful that these authors have shared their experiences with grief so that there are options for so many of us to find our way forward.
- This Too Shall Pass: A Journey Through Grief to the Other Side by Cathy Bamji – This is a book and a journal replete with stories, prompts, poetry and quotes. This peaceful journey into processing grief, soft and beautiful, is a personal journal for your own journey through the loss of a loved one. Cathy is a former colleague and trusted friend and I am so very happy that she published this lovely gift to share with us all. Cathy’s website is filled with resources!
- Courage: My Journey Through Grief After the Death of Our Child by Karen Lang – This book was written by a fellow blogger who blogs at “Healing Your Grief – How to Walk Through Grief After Losing a Child”. Karen’s book chronicles her journey through grief which began with the loss of her dear son, Nathan. Her journey of reclamation of her true self is inspiring. She offers strategies, practices, meditation guides, journal exercises, in this beautifully written book. Her blog is another gift to her readers that I enjoy very much.
- The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller – This book introduces the Five Gates of Grief. Powerful, profound, educational. Warning…it will cause introspection…and I encourage you to go there. You can read my blog post in which I expand a bit more on the five gates.
- The Threshold Between Loss and Revelation by Rashani Rea and Francis Weller – This book is a beautiful work of art. The art of Rashani Rea along with some beautiful words by Francis Weller inspires, opens and soothes.
I’m sure that many of you have found the resources you need when you have experienced great loss. As I become more and more comfortable with the blurred lines between life in body and that which continues when we leave these bodies, I find these writings to be soothing…healing…comforting…and life affirming. Yes….Life Affirming.
I bow in gratitude to these authors and artists for their gifts. I hope you will consider checking each one out, if not making the choice to purchase one or more of them.
“When a great heart breaks, as it must, we gather the pieces into ourselves and are made whole thereby.”