Unattended Sorrow: Recovering from Loss and Reviving the Heart

Overview

Unattended sorrow is unresolved grief that has never been given a chance to heal. This lovely, spiritual book from one of the nation's most trusted grief counselors offers a series of techniques to help heal this pain so readers can lead full and joyful lives. The book not only guides those who have experienced a fresh loss to face the hurt before it settles in, but it also addresses the devastating impact of tragedies past, when people become "stuck" years after childhood abuse, teen rape, early divorce, or loss...

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Overview

Unattended sorrow is unresolved grief that has never been given a chance to heal. This lovely, spiritual book from one of the nation's most trusted grief counselors offers a series of techniques to help heal this pain so readers can lead full and joyful lives. The book not only guides those who have experienced a fresh loss to face the hurt before it settles in, but it also addresses the devastating impact of tragedies past, when people become "stuck" years after childhood abuse, teen rape, early divorce, or loss of a loved one.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
According to Levine, "unattended sorrow," even years after a loss, casts a shadow over one's entire life, leading to fear, doubt, shame and, more concretely, eating disorders, troubled sleep and sexual dysfunction. These sorrows, he writes, involve not only death but "the ungrieved losses of love betrayed, of trusts broken, and of the repeated bruises left by unkindness" that, unheeded, "sink well below the level of our awareness." In this valuable addition to the literature on mourning and bereavement, Levine writes in a soothing voice informed by many of the principles of Buddhism, but also encompassing all the major spiritual traditions. Levine (A Gradual Awakening), who has done grief counseling with concentration camp survivors, Vietnam vets and many others, points out that a new loss may be intensified by earlier, unresolved griefs about the death or divorce of parents, the loss of a sibling or other psychological traumas. Levine identifies three stages on the path to easing the anguish of loss: softening the pain, cultivating mercy and making peace with the pain. He recommends a number of techniques, including a breathing exercise to loosen a stomach constricted by fear and denial and periods of silent time spent meditating or walking. All of his easy-to-follow suggestions involve extending kindness and forgiveness to the self, which, Levine says, will lead to the practice of dealing with others in the spirit of mercy and love. Although, as Levine acknowledges, the healing process is slow, opening the pain-filled heart can lead to the unfolding of a new life. Agent, Loretta Barrett Books. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594863813
  • Publisher: Rodale Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/7/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

STEPHEN LEVINE 's many bestselling books include A Gradual Awakening and Who Dies? His renowned work in grief counseling has been featured in television programs on PBS and CNN, in radio segments, and in magazine articles. He lives in Chamisal, New Mexico.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi
Introduction 1
1 Unattended Sorrow 3
2 Every Day We Lose Something 9
3 The Heart of Loss 16
4 Softening the Belly of Sorrow 21
5 The Reservoir of Sorrow 27
6 Loss of Trust in Life 31
7 The Meaning of Life 38
8 In the Absence of God 43
9 When the Mirror of the Heart Is Broken 48
10 A Bad Dream 55
11 Opening the Heart in Hell 60
12 The Trauma of Survival 65
13 Connection 72
14 Making Peace with Our Sorrow 79
15 What Is the Body Pattern of Grief? 88
16 Reentering the Body 93
17 Attending the Mindset of Loss 96
18 A Day of Walking 102
19 Heart Breath 106
20 Tapping the Resources of the Heart 111
21 A Day of Loving Kindness 115
22 Trusting Our Pain 119
23 A Day in the Heart of Pain 124
24 Mindfulness: An Invitation to Liberation 129
25 A Day of Silence 135
26 Breaking the Isolation of Fear 138
27 Forgiveness 149
28 A Day of Forgiveness 159
29 Our Most Ordinary Existential Grief 164
30 Overcoming Perfection 171
31 The Ten Thousand Sorrows 175
32 A Day of Singing 182
33 Our Life Is "Just This Much" 185
34 The Map of Our Lives 190
35 Who Are We When We Are Not Who We Thought We Were? 197
36 A Day of Compassion 206
37 A Day as if It Were Our Last 210
38 A Heart Revived into a New Life 217
39 A Day in a Healing Life 220
40 Gratitude 223
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    If you only had time to read one sentence in this book, it would still change your life. 'We find beneath the grief of anger a reservoir of sadness. And beneath that sadness, an ocean of love beyond our wildest dreams.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2005

    Unattended Sorrow

    somebody gave me a uncorrected copy of this book. It was extremely helpfull and i now understand why i have felt so much grief from my childhood and now i feel like i have a great tool to help me get over this very old grief that wasn't any 'huge event' but accumalated pains of general loss. thank you to Mr Levine

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