Ten years ago, Kate Braestrup and her husband Drew were enjoying the life they shared together. They had four young children, and Drew, a Maine state trooper, would soon begin training to become a minister as well. Then early one morning Drew left for work and everything changed. On the very roads that he protected every day, an oncoming driver lost control, and Kate lost her husband.Stunned and grieving, Kate decided to continue her husband's dream and became a minister herself. And in that capacity she found a most unusual mission: serving as the minister on search and rescue missions in the Maine woods, giving comfort to people whose loved ones are missing, and to the wardens who sometimes have to deal with awful outcomes. Whether she is with the parents of a 6-year-old girl who had wandered into the woods, with wardens as they search for a snowmobile rider trapped under the ice, or assisting a man whose sister left an infant seat and a suicide note in her car by the side of the road, Braestrup provides solace, understanding, and spiritual guidance when it's needed most. Here if You Need Me is the story of Kate Braestrup's remarkable journey from grief to faith to happiness. It is dramatic, funny, deeply moving, and simply unforgettable, an uplifting account about finding God through helping others, and the tale of the small miracles that occur every day when life and love are restored.
As seen in THE NEW YORK TIMES - READER'S DIGEST - SPIRITUALITY & HEALTH - HUFFPOSTFeatured on NPR's RADIO TIMES and WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO When a painful loss or life-shattering event upends your world, here is the first thing to know: there is nothing wrong with grief. Grief is simply love in its most wild and painful form, says Megan Devine. It is a natural and sane response to loss. So, why does our culture treat grief like a disease to be cured as quickly as possible? In It's OK That You're Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides--as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner--Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, happy life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it. In this compelling and heartful book, you'll learn: - Why well-meaning advice, therapy, and spiritual wisdom so often end up making it harder for people in grief
- How challenging the myths of grief--doing away with stages, timetables, and unrealistic ideals about how grief should unfold--allows us to accept grief as a mystery to be honored instead of a problem to solve
- Practical guidance for managing stress, improving sleep, and decreasing anxiety without trying to fix your pain
- How to help the people you love--with essays to teach us the best skills, checklists, and suggestions for supporting and comforting others through the grieving process Many people who have suffered a loss feel judged, dismissed, and misunderstood by a culture that wants to solve grief. Megan writes, Grief no more needs a solution than love needs a solution. Through stories, research, life tips, and creative and mindfulness-based practices, she offers a unique guide through an experience we all must face--in our personal lives, in the lives of those we love, and in the wider world. It's OK That You're Not OK is a book for grieving people, those who love them, and all those seeking to love themselves--and each other--better.
Five years after its first publication, with more than 150,000 copies in print, Final Gifts has become a classic. In this moving and compassionate book, hospice nurses Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life, drawn from more than twenty years experience tending the terminally ill. Through their stories we come to appreciate the near-miraculous ways in which the dying communicate their needs, reveal their feelings, and even choreograph their own final moments; we also discover the gifts--of wisdom, faith, and love--that the dying leave for the living to share. Filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and helping them prepare emotionally and spiritually for death, Final Gifts shows how we can help the dying person live fully to the very end
A classic work on grief, A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moments," A Grief Observed an unflinchingly truthful account of how loss can lead even a stalwart believer to lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and the inspirational tale of how he can possibly regain his bearings.
Noted 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.