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Grieving. It’s one of those taboo topics that everyone tip toes around. You don’t know what to say, and anything you do say seems inadequate. We’re afraid we’ll become contaminated by loss and grief, so we shut ourselves off from getting too close to anyone grieving, and shut ourselves down when it becomes our turn to experience loss. And yet, there are incredible opportunities to heal through the grieving process.

 

Author Deborah Morris Coryell has worked in the healing field for over 30 years and started the Shiva Foundation, an organization dedicated to the education and support of those dealing with loss. “Grief is the experience of not having our love received; of not having anywhere to put our love. Healing our grief means to continue to love in the face of loss”. Ms. Coryell takes you gently through the nature of grief, and allows you to see the healing transformations that are possible.

 

Ms. Coryell has written a compassionate and quietly inspiring book explaining why we should grieve, how to grieve without getting lost in despair, and what healing can occur when you grieve. I was relieved to read her say that you cannot place loss in a hierarchy. One person’s loss should not be ranked against another’s loss. All loss is worthy of grieving and the more we honor the small losses, the greater will be our ability to grieve fully and heal, through our larger losses. In my opinion, this book compliments the groundbreaking work On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

 

I highly recommend this book. It’s exceptionally well-written, with a gentleness and strength that supports those experiencing loss, as well as their friends and family members who wish to help, but need direction to do so.

 

~review by Karen Phillippi

Author: Deborah Morris Coryell

Healing Arts Press, 2004

pp. 134, $12.95 US

www.goodgrief.org

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