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Within a 20-month period, Elizabeth endured the loss of her stillborn son and the subsequent death of her husband on active duty in Afghanistan. She found herself a 27-year-old widow whose life had been shattered. Her story of vulnerability and courage will help you find your own creative way of moving through grief to hope – uncovering gifts along the way.
About the Book
Grief is often perceived as a dark and lonely journey; as a result, it is a topic we avoid in today’s society. Within a 20-month period, Elizabeth endured the loss of her stillborn son and the subsequent death of her husband on active duty in Afghanistan. She found herself a 27-year-old widow whose life had been shattered.
In this book, she shares the experiences, the wisdom, and even the joy she gathered on her journey from grief to hope. Creative Grieving offers support and encouragement while acknowledging that there is no “right” way to grieve. Elizabeth tells you about the emotions she experienced while grieving in an ”instant gratification” society, the importance of self-nurturing, the balancing of grief and motherhood, the redefining of community and relationships, and the discovery of new passion and meaning. Her authentic account of grieving will empower you as you cope with loss.
Along with Elizabeth’s personal stories: pieces of “Hip Chick Wisdom” from a community of women, “Creative Hip Chick Ideas,” and a list of helpful resources. By reading Elizabeth’s story of vulnerability and courage, you will learn how to find your own creative way of moving through grief to hope—uncovering gifts along the way.
I loved this book so much I gave my copy to a friend and bought another one! I find Elizabeth’s path inspiring and I like her candid outlook on the events she’s experienced after her tragedies. I’ve taken a lot of her advice and found creative outlets for my grief.
– Tiffany K. Kovitch
A very moving book about some of the most difficult experiences a human can go through. The book is “raw,” meaning that it does a phenomenal job of capturing the full range of (often inexplicable) feelings, emotions and actions that come with grief. As Elizabeth takes us through her journey, we can see that embracing and moving through grief is the healthiest way to move forward and live a happy and productive life. it’s also helpful to know that all of your “irrational” thoughts and behaviors are totally normal and even encouraged to help get through the process. A very touching and extremely helpful book for anyone experiencing any type of loss.
– Jennifer B.
There are no rules. This book is a straightforward approach from someone who’s been there…doubly hard! I would recommend it to anyone who has had a loss…whether parent, spouse, child, anyone close, and even a pet! Great outlook and wonderful advice that you don’t get in most other books on grieving!
I have found Elizabeth Berrien’s book extremely helpful in helping me to work through some very difficult times in my recent past. I can relate so closely to her deepest feelings and have no doubt that many others will find her work meaningful and comforting. We are not alone in what we have experienced and Elizabeth, and others who are included in this book, are helping to create a bond that has been needed – especially for young widows. We have permission to move at our own pace to go forward and trust that this is possible. Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing and getting this out there.
– Patti Russell
Elizabeth’s story is moving, heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. Anyone who has experienced significant loss in their lives can relate to the myriad of emotions she is beautifully honest about. In the midst of your grief, you may feel very alone and isolated. This book is the companion you need. You’ll realize there’s an amazing group of women who understand your experience and can provide the type of advice you really need, not the kind people think they “should” give you. The tools Elizabeth provides throughout the book are a wonderful way to work through your grief, and ultimately help you find some silver linings. I highly recommend this book. Elizabeth has a lot to share from not only her own personal losses, but the many women she has helped through her non-profit grief center, The Respite.
– Faye S.
This book is truly helpful for someone coping with any type of loss. I really appreciate how honest and raw the writer is when it comes to her experiences. It really makes you feel less alone in your own grief. I found it very uplifting and comforting.
Creative Grieving is certainly a wonderful resource to read for ANYONE grieving. Elizabeth Berrien lost a child and then less than 18 months later, her husband died. She shares her story with wonderful heart and humor, but mostly an obvious passion to help others who are grieving–at whatever stage of grief the person may be. I’d love to meet this amazing woman who has walked such a tragic walk, but who is coming through her grief journey with a renewed purpose. She has opened a grief, trauma, loss support group program in Charlotte, NC called “The Respite.” I am hoping to attempt to go visit one day.
– Polly Watson
An amazing story giving hope and encouragement to all those who are grieving. Not just empty words, but each advice is strengthened by an example. Many addresses of places where to look for help. I would go as far as saying it may be useful not only to grieving women but also to those with depression who try to find their space on earth.
You might assume from the summary that Creative Grieving is a hard or troubling read, but, in reality, it’s quite the opposite. Berrien describes periods of tremendous sadness and hopelessness following the loss of her child and husband, but she also includes moments shared with her daughter Ella, and other members of her loving and supportive family…
The overall message of Creative Grieving is that there isn’t one specific way to grieve. There’s no paint-by-numbers solution to feeling like yourself again. While Berrien’s book offers advice to anyone experiencing grief or depression, she specifies that people need to listen to their own bodies and make their own decisions in dealing with their emotions; don’t let anyone bully you into acting a certain way: only you know how you are feeling today. A relatable read, this will undoubtedly serve as a great resource for a grieving friend or family member.
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…
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.
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