Creative Grieving: A Hip Chick’s Path from Loss to Hope

I recently had the honor of being interviewed by a wonderful writer and NY Women in Communications colleague, Deanna Utroske for Digital Book World (you can read that piece here). Even if I hadn’t known this great lady, when a really special piece on an important topic comes my way, I am happy to share it. In this case, the subject is one that has lately become more personally significant. Therefore, I am honored to post Deanna’s latest review on a book anyone who has ever suffered loss should check out.

Unchained Memories

a review of “Creative Grieving: A Hip Chick’s Path From Loss to Hope” by Elizabeth Berrien

Widowed at 27, while still grieving the loss of her first child, Berrien gently intertwines the wisdom of experience with patient compassion and uplifting energy in this self-help memoir. Berrien shares the truth of her own pain and along the way empathetically divulges the value of humor, friendship, counseling, self-care, and a respectful, lasting connection to lost loved ones. Through her journey, she came to appreciate the value of grieving as a whole person (mind, body, spirit) so completely that she founded the web-based support organization Soul Widows and later a non-profit, called The Respite: A Centre for Grief & Hope.

A few passages feel like product placement spots for the centre, and you might find yourself with questions about her daughter’s experience and her new family. But Berrien, in the comfortable and calming rhythm of a friend’s voice, affirms your personal grieving process. And, she’s sprinkled the pages with nourishing letters to the reader and with sage quotes from other women who have learned from their own journeys through loss: “It’s important to feel whatever you are feeling and allow yourself to move through it. But that is the key — to move through and not dwell.”

While grieving her son and husband, Berrien discovered she could be assertive and “that in order to function and maintain healthy relationships… I had to make decisions based on what my own reasoning told me.” In the telling, Berrien patiently retraces her path through grief and you notice her emerge as an old soul with a resolute sprit and a new found vitality that embodies hope. — Deanna Utroske

Deanna Utroske writes about women’s career issues, work/life balance, social media and communications for the New York Women in Communications’ ALOUD blog. She works as a Content Producer for F+W Media on webcasts, social media marketing, content marketing, writing on digital book publishing trends and more. Follow Deanna on Twitter @DeannaUtroske.

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