Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief

Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief

by Elaine Mansfield


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Gold Medal Winner, Independent Publisher Book Award in Category Aging, Death and Dying

"Magnificent, profoundly moving . . . gives encouragement and solace to all." —Naomi Shihab Nye

"I'll find a way to be all right," Elaine promised Vic, her dying husband and best friend of 42 years. Leaving the hospital after he passed, she had no idea how. Her uplifting story of love, hope, determination, and triumph is a gift to the half million women who lose spouses each year.

Leaning into Love captures the heart—from the extraordinary closeness of Elaine's marriage to how she and Vic transform their struggle with cancer and despair into a conscious relationship with mortality. After Vic's death, Elaine leans into her ongoing love as grief leads her through overwhelming emotional and spiritual depths on a journey beyond their time together into her new life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936012725
Publisher: Larson Publications NY
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Elaine Mansfield is a nutrition, exercise, and women's health counselor, longtime student of Marion Woodman and the Dalai Lama, and hospice volunteer. She blogs on grief, loss, environmental issues, and leads hospice classes on bereavement. She lives on 71 acres near Ithaca, NY.

Table of Contents

1 Gone Beyond. Oh, What an Awakening 9


2 Organic vegetables and tofu. Cancer anyway 25

3 Monster snarls. The warrior battles on 55

4 Grace heals. Hope sputters. Love sustains 73

5 Waiting for death. What about me? 83


6 The first year. Husband dead. Still married in dreams 103

7 The second year. Drowning in sorrow. Rescued by friends 127

8 The third year. Inner bonds sustain. Life takes root 147

Epilogue 165

Acknowledgments 171

Endnotes 173

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Magnificent, profoundly moving . . . gives encouragement and solace to all.”
—Naomi Shihab Nye
“An instructive guidebook for readers confronting their own losses. . . . Deeply spiritual without being preachy, a comforting guide to mourning for readers of any stripe.”
-- Kirkus Reviews

“Elaine Mansfield knows far more than most people about love and loss, and she tells it with admirable honesty and clarity. —Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
“Not only a touching and courageous memoir about love, illness, death and grief, Elaine Mansfield's Leaning into Love is a manual for healing that offers us the emotional and spiritual tools needed to grow and even flourish through life's deepest crises.
—Dale Borglum Living/Dying Project

“A powerful account of the journey of grief.” —Roshi Joan Halifax, abbot, Upaya Zen Center, author of Being with Dying

“Reading this beautiful memoir of love and loss and triumph felt to me like a sacred journey into the very heart and soul of the courageous woman who writes it. With finely crafted, poignant as well as powerful prose, Elaine Mansfield tells the moving and inspirational story of her husband's valiant battle with a rare form of incurable cancer and her own emotional struggles to support him throughout their shared ordeal. . . . Overall this is an uplifting story of courage, hope, determination and triumph—and a very compelling read. Highly recommended!”
—Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC (www.griefhealingblog.com. Nationally certified grief counselor, bereavement counselor, and moderator for online Grief Healing Discussion Groups for Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix; author of Finding Your Way through Grief: A Guide for the First Year.)

“Some books are so original they could only have been written by one person. This is one of them. If you want to know what real love looks like, read this page-turning testament to the exquisite beauty and tragedy of life, death and rebirth. You won't come away unchanged. Mansfield is a masterful storyteller whose prose is as spare and meaningful as poetry and whose integrity is as intrepid and inspiring as the most magnificent heroine or goddess.” —Jean Benedict Raffa, author, Healing the Sacred Divide

“Elaine Mansfield's book with her extraordinary husband through sickness, death, and then on to grief and renewal is heart-breaking and healing at the same time. It is a spiritual as well as an emotional journey, a good companion, a beautifully written story of a woman's journey through bereavement.” —Lama Tsultrim Allione, author of Feeding your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict and Women of Wisdom

“This is a book which captures the heart from page one and continues to hold us even when we must put it down, and so it mirrors the undying connection between Elaine and her beloved Vic.” —Patricia Campbell Carlson, Executive Director, A Network for Grateful Living

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