In a world of increasing isolation and deep sorrow, Opening to Grief offers the medicine needed: a companion of voices, deep reflection, and masterful guidance.
"Opening to Grief affirms that expression and self- compassion in grief are soothing to the soul and that allowing our feelings to simply be is the most helpful way to move through and integrate them, no matter how painful. In this lovely book, Claire Willis and Marnie Crawford Samuelson invite the bereaved to meet grief with compassion and intention and lovingly show the way.
Opening to Grief is a comforting and insightful companion for anyone navigating life after loss. During a time in life when so many of us feel lost and disoriented, Opening to Grief offers validation, solace, and compassionate insight into the universal yet very personal experience of grief. Chapters on art and writing, as well as meditation practices, empower readers to do important grief-work, while simultaneously cultivating self compassion and coping skills that will last a lifetime.”
In a relatively compact book, you've packed a lot of gems for practice, support, wisdom, companionship and even an honoring of the celebration of all the gifts that have come our way. I can see this book being a wonderful companion as we grieve, regardless of the reason or the circumstances, or where we are in the timeline.
Opening to Grief is a little treasure that invites us to read a chapter at a time, little by little, allowing the blank pages to remind us to give space to whatever we may be experiencing and to pause a minute before passing to the next chapter, as tempting as it may be. Beautifully written, Opening to Grief is a jewel waiting to be discovered.”
Opening to Grief is a gift to anyone who is bereaved. With beautiful language, comforting thoughts, useful suggestions, and accessible practices, Willis and Crawford Samuelson bring healing and community.”
“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.
Opening to Grief is a simple and profound book for all who grieve. The authors are sure-footed, trustworthy guides on this complicated journey, and they lead with loving-kindness. This small book brims over with compassion, mindfulness, gentle guidance, permission and well-chosen poetry to enhance the lessons of each chapter. A helpful appendix lists the often-asked questions about grief with respectful and accessible answers. I will have more than one lending copy on my office bookshelves.
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.
"Any time we make a change, there’s grief on some level. Leaving a job, a relationship—even a toxic one—can be painful. Losing a beloved companion can be insufferable. With the support of a spiritual friend or the guidance of a book like Opening to Grief, we can learn to be mindful in the midst of it all. And eventually, when we stand up after all we’ve been through, we can see the beauty of it all."
A wise and sensitive book, this guide to working with grief is a treasure.
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.
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.
Never have I seen this much useful information about grief presented in such a clear and inviting way, in so few pages. Opening to Grief is carefully and exquisitely structured to include grief education, easy to understand meditation techniques, simple actions, inspiring poems and quotes, and blank pages for personal writings. Generously filled with resources, it’s a practical book of wisdom that I will recommend above all others.”
Opening to Grief is a treasure— a book destined to support and inspire anyone living with grief, whether recent or from the past. The authors, skillful and experienced guides in lighting the way through grief, have assembled a sensitive, caring approach to one of life’s greatest challenges. Written as a companion or guide for handling grief, the poems, meditation guidelines, and many creative suggestions contribute to making this a reassuring, beautiful, and heartwarming book.
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!
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."
Opening to Grief is 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.”
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.”
"A wise and sensitive book, this guide to working with grief is a treasure."
This simple and powerful book is an invitation to let the light of awareness touch, love, and heal our deepest and most impossible sorrows. In this warm and supportive guidebook the authors lead us through practices that tend to our broken hearts and illuminate the unseen places we keep grief locked away.”
This concise, approachable guide offers those experiencing grief ways to understand and process their feelings using mindfulness as a foundation. Social worker and Buddhist chaplain Willis (Lasting Words) draws on years of experience leading bereavement groups, in collaboration with writer and photographer Samuelson. Willis sees grief as an opportunity to grow and rebuild one's life, and she offers gentle guidance on how to experience that transformation. The first part of the book offers various practices and exercises that one might use to understand and accept the varied emotions of grief, including meditating, connecting with others, spending time in nature, and making art. The second part addresses common questions and misconceptions about grief, in which Willis affirms that there are no correct ways to feel or express grief. A more thorough explanation of meditation follows along with an extensive resource list. While the death of a loved one is most commonly addressed, Willis acknowledges many types of grief, including the losses felt as a result of life-changing events. VERDICT While drawing on Buddhist influences, this excellent complement to collections for the bereaved will be a comfort to those of many faiths experiencing grief.—Anitra Gates, Erie Cty. P.L., PA