Each experience of grieving is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all version of how we are affected by grief nor of what steps to take to heal as best we can from losing someone through death. Pondering these thoughts a couple years ago led me to issue an invitation for writers to share their personal stories of loss.
Living Through Grief: Love Revealed is the book that was formed when seventeen authors shared from the happenings in their own lives.
In a certain way, I see Living Through Grief as a kind of self-help book. New possibilities open to me in how I might respond in various situations due to reading of all these life circumstances and how the authors reacted at the time and what their reflections were during the writing process. The self-help action is simply reading their stories of real life.
Losses of children, parents, husbands, siblings, grandparents, in-laws, friends, and an animal companion are represented with honesty and respect, mystery and compassion. Yes, these are accounts of grief; they are, also, accounts of the ways love is revealed.
Excerpts from a few reviews of the book:
~ “These are the stories to be shared around the fire, the ones that release the ‘elephants of the unspoken.’ Living Through Grief: Love Revealed, a jewel to be held close to the heart for its tender rendering of life.” Sharon Strouse, author / Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing
~ “Each story in Living Through Grief has its own flavor. I enjoyed and found all of the stories meaningful. Many of the writers reflected my own experiences with grief in various ways, sometimes lending words or meaning to my experiences. Differing ways of dealing with grief and processing the loss of loved ones are validated within the stories of this book, as well as the acknowledgement that we do not necessarily ‘get over’ grief. All of the stories related to loss through death, but the natures of the relationships of the lost loved ones cover a wide range.” Linda Rae Mays
~ “Diane Younkins’ narrative, ‘A Mother-in-Law’s Love’ . . . brings to life the practical perspective and life ways of a farm community. With just enough personal history, Diane’s anecdotes about her mother-in-law and their relationship give the reader empathy with the family . . . By the end of the story, a sense of not only comic relief, but ‘cosmic comedy’ describes the way Diane’s family remembers their loved one and acknowledges her continuing influence, perhaps even presence, in their lives.” Salinda Magdalene
To give you a further taste of what the writers share, I am reprinting a segment of the book’s Preface. A brief peek is offered into each account.
- “Recognition” – Years after her son’s death, Marie observes a young mother’s fear that she might lose her own precious child.
- “A Place Beyond” – tells of Marcia’s concerns and denial of losing her mother and the transforming glimpse into a deep connection with her at the Source.
- “Drawing Grandmother Home” – Nancy supports her grandmother through her fear of death as she develops dementia, bringing an extraordinary moment of clarity and connection.
- “Two Mothers” – Lindi shows us that when a mother dies and leaves behind a young daughter, the journey through grief can lead to boundless love.
- “One Word, Ten Years” – Irene traverses paths of darkness and light through her husband’s dying time and ten years of widowhood.
- “Leah’s Gift: A Mother’s Story” – Nancy investigates the changes that took place at each year mark as she met those milestones following her daughter’s death.
- “Leah’s Gift: A Father’s Story” – A father’s grief finds expression as Dan shares from his heart.
- “Trampled by Elephants” – Recalling the shock of her beloved uncle’s death, Sheila looks beneath the surface of time at the tender care and tutelage this father figure bestowed on her as a small child.
- “Decisions” – Barbara shows that each possession of a lost loved one is a treasure and letting go can be so difficult, even if it is just one paper clip.
- “A Silver Lining” – Moo balances her grief over her brother’s murder with the joyful acceptance that a puppy brings into her home.
- “Absence” – Corby shares her experiences of losing her grandmothers and her fears of the unknown regarding her children and husband.
- “Magic, at Last” – Susan asks, “What magic is left after the death of a daughter? How can the worst day of the year be remade?”
- “The Decision to Love” – Two years after her husband’s death, Beverley looks back at choices and transformations during his illness and in her new life.
- “Nana’s Divine Love” – Nana’s love and devotion quietly helped Linda walk through the door to Divine Love.
- “Let’s Change the Subject” – Years after her death, the unfinished conversation with her mother continues to haunt Anita until her own daughter clarifies why it had to wait until now.
- “A Mother-in-Law’s Love” – Diane recalls herself as a young woman who grows in awareness as her mother-in-law expands her definition of love.
- “An Unexpected Grief” – Alison explores the layers of her grief after the unexpected deaths of her sister and a close friend.
I believe you will be charmed by this book, that its true stories will captivate and inspire you. As is written on the book’s Amazon page, “On the journey through the depths of wrenching loss and the heights of spiritual awakening, love is revealed.”
You can link to the Amazon page of Living Through Grief: Love Revealed by clicking on the highlighted title and in the left margin of every page on this site. For $2.99, it can be read on your computer or any e-reader.
Do you have memories you would like to share here about your own experiences with grief?