Life 3 Life-Changing and Necessary Strategies for Processing Grief

3 Life-Changing and Necessary Strategies for Processing Grief


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Over coffee one afternoon, a friend asked if I’d read Mirabai Starr’s latest book Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics. Starr’s first book, a new translation of Dark Night of the Soul, came out the day her fourteen-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. Today, Starr speaks globally on contemplative practice and the transformational power of grief and loss. A certified bereavement counselor, she helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. No, I had not read Wild Mercy, but the title immediately grabbed me. It seemed to me that with so many of us facing struggles in this era—loss of loved ones, betrayal, abandonment, family estrangement—we could all use some Wild Mercy and not a moment too soon. Myself included.


In the past five years, I have suffered all of the above, as well as the loss of a beloved uncle, named Jan. He had contacted me a year or two before his death and though we had little contact the decades prior, we found we were kindred, and not just by blood. He was a gifted poet and we shared a spiritual affinity. We were both misfits, misunderstood in our families. We were both recovering alcoholics, sobering up within a year of each other, our respective recoveries unknown to each other until the short time we were able to share before he died. Once reconnected, he called me every week. He listened to my poems, read my writings, talked spirit with me. My uncle’s death and multiple other recent losses had brought a lifetime of trauma and complicated grief to my door. I knew there was no easy fix.

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