Lisa Irish has been offering retreats and presentations for over 25 years and served as the bereavement counselor at two New Haven hospitals. In this welcoming and down-to-earth resource Irish describes what she calls "conscious grieving." For her, the painful experience of losing a loved one begins in courage, takes hope as a companion, and learns through the process to make good use of all those who are there to help.
Taking a cue from Understanding Your Grief by Alan Wolfelt she describes mourning as a journey into the Land of Loss with excursions to being alone, surrender, and being changed. Along the way, we may encounter landmines, such as guilt and anger.
Grief is hard inner work and often there are few individuals around to experience the Land of Loss with us. Irish presents a fine mix of exercises and spiritual practices to make the most out of our efforts to be resilient in the face of so much change. Francis Weller describes one of the chief benefits of conscious grieving:
"Grief pulls us into the underworld, where we discover a new mode of seeing, one that reveals the holiness of all things."