Lessons of Loss, Lessons of Life

Glimmers August 28, 2018

Dear Friends,

 After I offered an update on my 2016-17 writing project, my friend said, “It sounds like the book is writing you.” He was right. Each time I dipped back into the words to rework, edit or add source material, I re-entered sacred space. I returned to a place of waiting and deep listening. I hoped my message was authentic and true, at least from my point of view, and that it might help others. At the same time, the process of writing opened a place of honesty and humility that feels like home.

Thus began my journey back into the Land of Loss. My intention was to describe the landscape of Loss and offer tools to navigate it’s various territories. I knew the Well of Sadness and the demands of Surrender. I had traveled through the agonizing forests of Passage and was painfully familiar with Secret Yearning. But I also knew the Fountain of Hope, it’s waters had soothed my journey and I believed it could offer hope to other travelers in the Land of Loss.

I did not understand, however, the impact that writing a book to help others would have on me. I did not fully appreciate the influence of the writing process on my inner life. Each time I returned to Alone, Passage, Surrender and Changed – the four territories in the Land of Loss – I entered an emotional experience of feeling stranded, of surviving, of letting go, of allowing transformation. My work deepened after each revision, my heart claimed what I was learning.

My personal story is not woven into the body of the book, instead I shared stories of those I worked with at the hospital bereavement program to illustrate how I have come to understand grief. But my story is, of course, the place I return to retrieve wisdom and insight, to find my ground. It is the counterpoint to fellow grievers’ stories, the bereavement research and grief theories that I learned in my work as a chaplain. My story is my teacher. My friend’s suggestion that the book was “writing me” led me to a felt-sense of my own transformation and a return to my soul.

Writing and grieving are similar. They each provide a reliable, yet mysterious, template for movement through the unknown. As a writer, I may have a sense of where I am headed, but at the same time, I remain open to new ideas or shifts that ask a little more of me. Grief, too, offers a path to follow. But if I listen carefully, I might find myself asking questions or facing fears that come forward unexpectedly. While painful, grief guides me through loss toward healing.

Grief is my ally in the ways of Loss, just as writing is my companion in the mystery of Life.

The light that each provides shines just as far as I need to make the journey, one step at a time. My task is to keep going and to trust the great Wisdom that underlies the human story, that holds all of us in the arms of Love.

Peace to you, friends –

Lisa

Summer ponderings…

Glimmers

Dear Friends, I’ve been thinking of you. I miss reaching out from my sacred space on Lake Beseck, to you.  As I write these words, the world around us seems to be moving at a faster pace than I like, not sure about you.…

July 23, 2018

Do you hear Love’s Invitations?

Glimmers

Dear Friends, I’ve been thinking about Love, lately. I see it in the separate moments of my life, like beads on a necklace. Each glimmering sphere a window into Love’s gifts and promises. There are some moments where Love’s presence is palpable…seeing my sons…

July 5, 2018

Let Love into the Room

Glimmers

Dear Friends, For the past several weeks, I’ve been stepping into new rooms to share my thoughts about grief. Some are filled with books, others are more vacant, all-purpose rooms. Some rooms are set aside to allow quiet reflection… to support the travels of…

June 3, 2018

Spring’s Invitation to Hope

Glimmers

    “We have no guarantee what will happen in the future, but we have hope. That’s what keeps us going.” Tweet from the Dalai Lama May 7, 2018 Dear Friends, A New England Spring is a feast for the senses! The slow greeeeening…

May 10, 2018

Launched!

Book Updates

WE DID IT! The book and I are officially launched! With the support of my loving family, my message of hope became a reality.  The anthem? “Grief is our ally in the Land of Loss” has been met with positive and supportive response from…

April 17, 2018

Let Love Heal

Glimmers

“Grief, our ally and companion, reminds us of a central truth that is hidden in our tears and fears: The one whom we grieve loved us – we are lovable.” Lisa Irish, Grieving – the Sacred Art: Hope in the Land of Loss   …

April 10, 2018

Guest Blog on Grief and Memoir

Book Updates

Emergence From The Land of Loss: The Sacred Art of Grieving by Author Lisa Irish Posted by Kathleen Pooler/@kathypooler with Lisa Irish/@lisairishlight “You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but…

March 19, 2018

The sweet pain of remembering…

Glimmers

Dear Friends, Yesterday, March 1, was my father’s birthday. If he were alive today he would be 93, instead he died at age 36. I lived a full and connected day yesterday, in honor of him. And, I’m coming to realize, because of him.…

March 2, 2018