Opening to Grief

Finding Your Way from Loss to Peace

$14.95

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Imprint: Dharma Spring
Availability: In stock
“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.’ Anyone suffering loss will find wisdom and helpful practices here.”
―Publishers Weekly

Opening to Grief is a wise and gentle companion, a refuge as we move through the pain of loss. We learn to honor and cherish what has passed and to embrace our living moments ever more deeply.”
​―Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion

“What’s special about this book is it offers a way to engage with grief that doesn’t seek to remove or erase it at all. The book helps you meet loss on its own terms, not as a problem to be solved but as a sign of deep love.”
​―Megan Devine, author of It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand

“Grief can hit us as quickly as a bolt of lightning or silently creep up on us before we even know we're in its grip. Opening to Grief is a comforting and elegant collection of healing wisdom that offers differing paths to healing, through poetry, prose, mindfulness practices, art, and professional counseling experience. The perfect book for our times!”
​―Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

Opening to Grief is a compassionate, tender, and lovingly crafted guide for those who have suffered any kind of loss. Full of sage advice, thoughtful suggestions, practical exercises, guided imagery, mindfulness meditations, healing prayers, inspirational poetry, and comforting words of wisdom that are at once both simple and profound.”
―Martha Stark, MD, faculty, Harvard Medical School and author of Relentless Hope: The Refusal to Grieve
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Book Details

Pages

144 Pages

Size

5 x 7

Format

Paperback

Pub. Date

01/14/2022

ISBN

978-1-59003-526-9

Publisher

Red Wheel Weiser

Authors

Claire B. Willis is a clinical social worker working in the field of oncology and bereavement for more than 20 years. She’s a former staff member of the Wellness Community, a national organization, and cofounder of the Boston nonprofit Facing Cancer Together. For more than two decades, she has led bereavement, end-of-life, support, and therapeutic writing groups. She has co-taught Spiritual Resources for Healing the Mind, Body, and Soul at Andover Newton Theological School. She maintains a private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. As a lay Buddhist chaplain ordained by Joan Halifax at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, she focuses on contemplative practices for end-of-life care. For the past five years, she has been a student of Koshin Paley Ellison, a founding teacher at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care.

Marnie Crawford Samuelson is a documentary photographer, multimedia producer, and storyteller. Her photographs have appeared in national magazines and in two books: Lasting Words, with Claire Willis, and The Wild Braid, with poets Stanley Kunitz and Genine Lentine. She has directed and photographed several short films. She lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and Berkeley, California.

“The book helps you meet loss on its own terms, not as a problem to be solved but as a sign of deep love.”—Megan Devine, author of It's OK That You're Not OK

All of us experience loss. Some of us have lost a spouse, a child, a parent, a beloved pet, a dear friend, or a neighbor. In the pandemic, we have lost hundreds of thousands of lives in the US and around the world. Many of us have lost our livelihoods. All of us have lost our familiar routines and textures of work, family, and community. And the losses are not over.
Opening to Grief is a companion to this tender time. With the demeanor and tone of a loving friend, the authors offer an invitation to grieve fully, to turn toward your emotions and experiences however they arise, and to follow your own path toward healing. The book explores the deep truth that grief and love are richly intertwined. Because we love, we grieve. And when we fully feel our sorrow, we open to loving ourselves and other beings more deeply.
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“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.’ Anyone suffering loss will find wisdom and helpful practices here.”
―Publishers Weekly

Opening to Grief is a wise and gentle companion, a refuge as we move through the pain of loss. We learn to honor and cherish what has passed and to embrace our living moments ever more deeply.”
​―Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion

“What’s special about this book is it offers a way to engage with grief that doesn’t seek to remove or erase it at all. The book helps you meet loss on its own terms, not as a problem to be solved but as a sign of deep love.”
​―Megan Devine, author of It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand

“Grief can hit us as quickly as a bolt of lightning or silently creep up on us before we even know we're in its grip. Opening to Grief is a comforting and elegant collection of healing wisdom that offers differing paths to healing, through poetry, prose, mindfulness practices, art, and professional counseling experience. The perfect book for our times!”
​―Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

Opening to Grief is a compassionate, tender, and lovingly crafted guide for those who have suffered any kind of loss. Full of sage advice, thoughtful suggestions, practical exercises, guided imagery, mindfulness meditations, healing prayers, inspirational poetry, and comforting words of wisdom that are at once both simple and profound.”
―Martha Stark, MD, faculty, Harvard Medical School and author of Relentless Hope: The Refusal to GrieveOpening to Grief is as excellent and simple and as clear as a needed glass of water in the desert. I cannot think of a better companion for our current time of losses, named and unnamable. This trustworthy and poetically-written handbook of solid, helpful practices is a wonderful guide to the landscape of grief and the rites of passage of mourning. Without ever suggesting that grief is something to ‘get over,’ it points the way to the reconstitution of identity that can follow a great loss. May it help you grieve with an open rather than closed heart.”
―Katy Butler, New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven's Door and The Art of Dying Well

Opening to Grief invites readers to approach and be with their grief, rather than turn away and try to avoid it. The authors mix reflections with simple yet profound practices anchored in mindfulness. It’s easy to read and a wonderful addition to the grief literature.”
―Sue Morris, PsyD., director of bereavement services at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

“A wise and sensitive book, this guide to working with grief is a treasure.”
―Joan Halifax, abbot, Upaya Zen Center and author of Standing at the Edge and Being with Dying

“Reading Opening to Grief is like sitting with a wise friend who has walked the difficult road of sorrow ahead of you. Full of gentle and nourishing practices, this kind book offers a supportive hand when the ground beneath you has been shaken by loss. Listen to these two experienced travelers in the land of grief and you will find your way through the darkest of nights. A beautiful gift to all."
―Francis Weller, author The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and The Sacred Work of Grief

“A clear, concise, and tender companion book . . .  Having myself facilitated thousands of support groups, including ones centered on bereavement, I appreciate the emphasis on not trying to shoulder the burden entirely by oneself. The book quotes Mary Oliver: ‘Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.’ The authors gently encourage the reader to accept and fully experience their grief, which ultimately will lead to new discoveries, greater compassion, and a deeper understanding and appreciation for life. Included are many helpful suggestions and guidance on turning to art, nature, meditation, and writing to aid in the process.”
―Bob David, Manager, Cancer Support Programs, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA