Books: The Masculine Side of Grief Lesson 3


The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief 

– Francis Weller,  2015

the-wild-edge-of-sorrow-bookNoted psychotherapist Francis Weller provides an essential guide for navigating the deep waters of sorrow and loss in this lyrical yet practical handbook for mastering the art of grieving. Describing how Western patterns of amnesia and anesthesia affect our capacity to cope with personal and collective sorrows, Weller reveals the new vitality we may encounter when we welcome, rather than fear, the pain of loss. Through moving personal stories, poetry, and insightful reflections he leads us into the central energy of sorrow, and to the profound healing and heightened communion with each other and our planet that reside alongside it.

The Wild Edge of Sorrow explains that grief has always been communal and illustrates how we need the healing touch of others, an atmosphere of compassion, and the comfort of ritual in order to fully metabolize our grief. Weller describes how we often hide our pain from the world, wrapping it in a secret mantle of shame. This causes sorrow to linger unexpressed in our bodies, weighing us down and pulling us into the territory of depression and death. We have come to fear grief and feel too alone to face an encounter with the powerful energies of sorrow.

Those who work with people in grief, who have experienced the loss of a loved one, who mourn the ongoing destruction of our planet, or who suffer the accumulated traumas of a lifetime will appreciate the discussion of obstacles to successful grief work such as privatized pain, lack of communal rituals, a pervasive feeling of fear, and a culturally restrictive range of emotion. Weller highlights the intimate bond between grief and gratitude, sorrow and intimacy. In addition to showing us that the greatest gifts are often hidden in the things we avoid, he offers powerful tools and rituals and a list of resources to help us transform grief into a force that allows us to live and love more fully.

Giving a Voice to Sorrow: Personal Responses to Death and Mourning 

– Steven J. Zeitlin, Ilana Beth Harlow, Teresa Jordan, 2001

giving-a-voice-to-sorrow-bookGiving a Voice to Sorrow is a heartwarming and healing look at the unique ways many courageous individuals have shaped and enacted their grief through storytelling, personal ritual and commemorative art. Authors Steve Zeitlin and Ilana Harlow provide an inspiring look at the creative and personal ways individuals and communities confront their own deaths, come together to celebrate the lives and memories of those they have lost…and find a balance between remembrance and letting go.

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief 

–Martha Whitmore Hickman , 2014

healing-after-lossFor those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, here are strength and thoughtful words to inspire and comfort.

From Grief to Growth: 5 Essential Elements of Action to Give Grief Purpose and Grow from Your Experience

–Paula Stephens M.A  , 2016

from-grief-to-growth-bookThe loss of a loved one can be the most life altering event we experience. But how do we ensure it alters our life for better and we don’t get stuck in the dark emotions grief brings up? In ‘From Grief to Growth’ Paula Stephens, will lead you through the five game changing elements that will give you a road map to a joyful life after loss. Paula tells you how she went from hiding in the shadow of her son’s death to living in the sunshine of his life. With humor and wit, she shares the stories of the death of her father, her middle son’s drug rehab, and her own struggles to heal. Her practical tips and examples of how others have healed she will light the way for anyone wanting to find the sunshine after the loss of a loved one. This book will help you discover: • How to identify what’s keeping you from a happy life after loss • Why you can’t only rely on friends and family for support and who you need to add to your support system • What it means to give your grief a purpose and how that heals you • How to hold both grief and joy in the same moments – without guilt You still have one wild and precious life to live. If you are still hiding in the shadow of your loved one’s life this book will show you how to step into the sunshine and let the memory of your loved one shine bright!

Grief Is a Journey: Finding Your Path Through Loss

– Dr. Kenneth J. Doka, 2016

grief-is-a-journey-bookIn this groundbreaking book, Dr. Kenneth Doka explores a new, compassionate way to grieve, explaining that grief is not an illness to get over but an individual and ongoing journey.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” way to cope with loss. The vital bonds that we form with those we love in life continue long after death—in very different ways. Grief Is a Journey is the first book to overturn the prevailing, often judgmental, ideas about grief, and replace them with a hopeful, inclusive, personalized, and research-backed approach. New science and studies behind Dr. Doka’s teaching upend the dominant but incorrect view that grief proceeds by stages.

In doing so, he helps us realize that our experiences following a death are far more individual and much less predictable than the conventional “five stages” model would have us believe. Common patterns of experiencing and expressing grief still prevail, yet many other life changes accompany a primary loss. For example, the deaths of parents, even for adults, modify family patterns, change relationships, and alter old family rituals.

Unique to this book, Dr. Doka also explains how to cope with disenfranchised grief—the types of loss that are not so readily recognized or supported by society. These include the death of ex-spouses, as well as non-fatal losses such as divorce, the end of a friendship, job loss, or infertility. In addition, Dr. Doka considers losses that might be stigmatized, including death by suicide or from disease or self-destructive behaviors such as smoking or alcoholism.

Since no two people experience grief in the exact same way, Grief Is a Journey offers a variety of self-help strategies for coping with grief. It delineates the many ways we can create personal and private therapeutic rituals throughout our grief journey. This book also offers counsel on when—and where—to seek professional assistance. And finally, Dr. Doka reminds us that, however painful, grief provides opportunities for growth.