Opening to Grief: Finding Your Way from Loss to Peace

Dharma Spring. Oct. 2020. 144p. ISBN 9781590035122. $18.95. spiritual/personal growth
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.
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