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Unattended Sorrow: Recovering from Loss and Reviving the Heart

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  157 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Unattended sorrow is unresolved grief that has never been given a chance to heal. This lovely, spiritual book from one of the nation's most trusted grief counselors offers a series of techniques to help heal this pain so readers can lead full and joyful lives. The book not only guides those who have experienced a fresh loss to face the hurt before it settles in, but it als ...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Rodale Books (first published February 5th 2005)
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Nov 08, 2008 beauregard rated it it was amazing
why we should be sweet with ourselves and others: "we are not alone in our feelings of sorrow. we are part of a worldwide community of loss. if sequestered pain made a sound the atmosphere would be humming all the time"

this is one i will be reading and rereading.
Nov 10, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing
Embrace your sorrow, breath into it, forgive yourself, be compassionate, serve others. By recognizing your great sorrows and living openly with them, they will not take over your life.

"May you be free from suffering, and may you be at peace."
Sep 23, 2007 Scott rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grievers and those who love them
This book was almost too raw for me. It is rich, dense writing and very very hard to face the statements being made here. But the reality is, his observations are true and real. It's hard to see your tortured self so clinically laid out in print. And accept the recommendations being made. I want to talk with this author and understand where he is coming from. Some place as painful and dark and depressing as me, I am certain.
This isn't the best book on grief I read. But it leaps out as one of br
Jan 21, 2008 Kala rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book of 2007. I picked it up while looking for background about a film I was working on that deals with grief and loss. EVERYONE who has experienced loss (umm, that would be you and me) and is looking for a way to work through it should read it. Levine's writing is beautiful, too.
Wednesday Green
Jun 21, 2010 Wednesday Green rated it really liked it
Love this book. It came to me at a time when I really needed to learn this "Buddhist type" detachment. The information is explained in such a clear and thoughtful way - I think Levine is totally inspired.
Andrea Stoeckel
Jan 17, 2016 Andrea Stoeckel rated it it was amazing
The long- range impact of unresolved sorrow flows along a hidden spectrum...The work throughout this book does not purport to stop grief from arising, but only to help process the grief in whatever way it manifests..." (from the Introduction)

As an ordained minister, I was a skeptic regarding some of the practices of this book. I had been taught and in turn shared with others e aspects of grief, how it manifests, how it physically, emotionally and spiritually cripples us. However, it has taken ma
Jan 04, 2014 Cindy rated it it was amazing
A deeply moving, emotional book about loss and recovery. There was so much here that it took me some time to read this. I would read only a small section at a time and allow it to sink in before proceeding. It is very intense and there was so much that spoke to my heart and soul. I liked the author's suggestions for days devoted to different practices to speed healing - a day of walking, a day of loving kindness, a day of silence, a day of forgiveness, a day of singing, a day of compassion, a da ...more
Sep 30, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
This book is unique among books on grief that I have read. It is full of profound insights about the role of grief in self-growth; Unattended Sorrow helped me make sense of grief in new ways. Levine's writing is fantastic; in fact, since I borrowed my copy from the library I want to purchase a copy so I can highlight favorite passages and quotes.

Levine's discussion of "unattended sorrow" is insightful - how we accumulate many losses over a lifetime, and how to gently approach them with love and
Linda Bloedau
Jan 13, 2013 Linda Bloedau rated it it was amazing
The MAJOR book of 2007 for me.....

Quote --"Memories may always be bittersweet, but we may also find peace flickering at the edges of what once caused us agitation. Healing, the, becomes not the absence of pain but the increased ability to meet it with mercy instead of loathing."
Nov 26, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book to help you through a tough and emotional process. I enjoyed it very much and feel like I'll want to drag it off my shelf a time or two to reread parts as I get through this 1st year without my mother.
Aug 22, 2011 Ayah rated it really liked it
I little bit sappy at times, overall helpful to me in my grief process.
I've picked up, read and skimmed through a few books on grief over the past few months. The title of this one caught my eye in the library, as my current grieving process is so mixed in with grief that I haven't really come to full terms with.

This book is so much more than many of the others I've poked through. Brutally honest and yet compassionate, the author explores the many reasons for grief, such as the death of a loved one, the effects of a major illness, the loss of one's way of life, et
A gem. Grief, writes Stephen Levine, is "an innate response to loss in a world where everything is impermanent." The longer we live, the more we will grieve; Levine acknowledges this on every page, and applies, for every wound, a balm of mercy. "How merciless we can be with ourselves," he says, and then he invites us to understand the minutae of grief ... our countless, often mindless reactions; so many of them our "need for denial just to feel sane." He offers a loving "Yes" to every nuance, to ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I primarily used this book as a daily dharma reading, and it's suited quite nicely to that. There's so much distilled wisdom in these pages that I know I'll keep this book in the pile of those I refer to regularly.
Feb 12, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-nf
Not what I really needed right now, nothing wrong with it just not for me.
Dale Kushner
Oct 23, 2015 Dale Kushner rated it it was amazing
The author, Stephen Levine, has been working with issues of death and dying for years. What’s really interesting is this book is about the sorrows we all carry, from disappointment in life to the loss of a human being. They’re all locked inside us and affect us in painful ways. We are better off if we’re able to express grief, acknowledge loss. This book gives us ways to work with grief. It shows us how to open our hearts in hell.
One of my favorite quotes: “Unresolved grief is like a low grade f
Jan 23, 2016 Ariel rated it really liked it
This book was a huge comfort to me, helping me shift from ruminating on the specifics of my own loss to bigger picture concepts of grieving and recovery.
Apr 06, 2015 Charlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read if you're in the counseling field or looking how to cope with your own emotions of feelings. The Author displays a phenomenal understanding of how other people feel and was able to describe very heart felt emotion with kindness and warmth. Kudos to Mr. Levine for having such a brilliant, poetic way of putting words. I will take his ability to empathize for other people with me as I begin my own career in the counseling field.
Jun 14, 2016 Jmp rated it really liked it
Lovely book. Tender & gentle
Jackie Jameson
May 18, 2013 Jackie Jameson rated it it was ok
I agree, in part, with Tara's review...a little too "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" for me. I don't need to know what grief feels like. I already do. I read this for some help in trying to get past it and for advice on healing. I came away empty. I guess there was some validation of sorts, like a doctor giving you a diagnosis of something that you knew you already had.
Feb 13, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
I really liked this book and found it to be quite informative. He has interesting concepts on how to work through grief and loss that many may not have heard about before. My only wish for Stephen Levine is that he would write a little less formal, though this book was better than some of his others
Mar 16, 2012 Tara rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
I found this book irritatingly too long. He repeats the same exercises throughout the book. Its far too wordy, and feels like its never ending. I get the mindfulness of it, but being mindful during grief is a lot to ask, and i was unable to really get into it because of that.
Nov 20, 2009 Janet marked it as to-read
I can't really rate this until I read it, but everything by Stephen and Ondrea Levine is wonderful.
Jun 04, 2009 sarit is currently reading it
one of the best books i've read in a while, at least in this genre.
Nov 18, 2012 Tara rated it it was amazing
A deep read
Jul 21, 2007 Lychee marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Hitting the spot.
nicole marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2016
Carol Sulyma
Carol Sulyma marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
Jen rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2016
Krista marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2016
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American poet, author and teacher best known for his work on death and dying.
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