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

Introducing the 5 gates of grief, psychotherapist Francis Weller explores how we move through the waters of grief and loss in a culture so fundamentally detached from the needs of the soul.

• The first gate recognizes—and invites us to accept—the painful truth that everything we love, we will lose. With this acceptance comes beauty and responsibility—and an openness into which we can pour the full love of our hearts. At the first gate, we meet the sorrow of losing a loved one; the grief of illness; and the unique and profound pains that accompany loss by suicide.

• The second gate helps us uncover and tend to the places that have not known love: the neglected pieces of our soul that need restoration and care. These “places” can be our secret shames, or the parts of us that we feel are undeserving of love. At the second gate, we face our shadows and heal our most tender wounds.

• The third gate meets us at the sorrows of the world, inviting us to open to the grave pain of our planet: the destruction of ecosystems, the harms of extractive capitalism, the unfathomable pain of war and occupation. We learn to honor and hold this grief even as we move through it, recommitting ourselves to the actions our souls call upon us to perform in service of healing and renewal.

• The fourth gate, what we expected but did not receive, is present in each and every one of our lives. We may need love from a parent or partner unable to give it; we may lack the language to ask for the care we deserve. Each is a loss that must be acknowledged and grieved to move toward wholeness.

• The fifth gate opens to our ancestral grief: the traumas, pains, losses, and unrealized dreams of those who came before us. Weller invites us to reconnect to our bodies, our communities, and the ancestral knowledge we hold in our bones...but may have forgotten.

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by   Brené Brown

In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through 87 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances - a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.

Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.

Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman

After the loss of a loved one, once the services are over and the relatives and friends have gone home, we are left to enter a strange new land, where someone who has given meaning to our life is gone. Drawing on her own experience as well as that of others, author Martha Whitmore Hickman presents a year's worth of meditations for people dealing with this profound loss, offering solace and illuminating a way forward. From January 1 to December 31, each day's meditation considers a meaningful quotation or passage on grief or suffering, with sources ranging Shakespeare to Emily Dickinson, from the Christian Bible to Hindu proverbs. A thoughtful, sensitive collection, Healing After Losswill comfort and inspire listeners on their journeys through grief toward recovery.

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