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Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss
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Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Grief is a personal journey, never the same for any two people and as unique as your life and your relationships. Although loss is an inevitable part of life, how you approach this fact can make the difference between meaningless pain and the manifestation of understanding and wisdom. This book describes a mindful approach to dealing with grief that can help you make that ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by New Harbinger Publications (first published January 1st 2005)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who is experiencing a great loss.
Recommended to Wendy by: Found it at Border's.
I bought this book 3 days after my mom died and it took me more than a month to get through it. It was hard for me to read about what I was going through while I was experiencing it, but I'm glad I did.

Although this book comes from a Buddhist perspective, it presents a way of looking at loss and grief that can be helpful for anyone.

A few things that really stood out for me:

1. The amount a person is able to feel grief is the same extent a person is able to feel love. We grieve because we have lov
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first grief book I've encountered that paints grief as something that possesses transformative power rather than a bevy of horrifying feelings to be gotten over as quickly as possible (which God knows is also an accurate description). I don't know why such a simple concept hadn't occurred to me before I read this, but it eluded me completely. Not much in the way of specific prescriptive advice - i.e., what to expect in the first month, the first six months, etc - but advice on how to integra ...more
Angela Campbell
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book and completely helped me calm my emotions during a very difficult time. You can't unlearn this stuff. I'll be able to use what i've learned forever. ...more
Dan Secor
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a difficult book to read. But that's OK, it's meant to be.

I found myself in need of a book to read to help me make sense of my grief after losing my Dad this past January. I never expected to need a book of this sort - I am a Mental Health Counselor that has worked with countless people who have grieved all types of loss, including deaths of close ones ... these losses have included sudden and tragic events. Mine shouldn't be that difficult, right?

But it was. Even though it was a little
Laura Siegel
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: grief
I liked the Buddhist/mindful approach in this book but I disliked the psychological/approach. In fact I only skimmed the last 10 pages because I was feeling so horrible while reading it. I'm hoping that thoughts have changed in the 10 years that the author wrote this book. I'm saying this because I'm currently listening to an interview with Megan Devine, a grief therapist, Who suffered her own for profound loss, and her approach is so much more compassionate. This author definitely does not spea ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this book tone very compassionate and helpful. It approaches the grieving process from a Tibetan Buddhist point of view. Very basically, mindfulness plus grief equals opportunity for growth.
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Aside from Tear Soup, this is the best book I have read on the subject.

I intend to buy this one for my reference library.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful , insightful,conforming book.
✨ Anna ✨  |  ReadAllNight
It's been over four years since my dad died, and I'm having real problems with grief despite a lot of work on it. This book is the first I've found that describes what I'm experiencing and explains that it can happen and how to work with it. The author might sound a bit dry on the audible version, but he is very thorough. I kept thinking, why couldn't my therapist just have read this book and then worked with me? It's obviously not new information since it was published in 2005. I've had major d ...more
Kimberly McArdle
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this read. Worked through it a chapter or two at a time. Book is repetitive, which is intentional due to the nature of the book. Compares grief to a spiral staircase instead of stages because grief itself is repetitive. Gives you tools to cope with upcoming triggers, acute grief, and the importance of realizing the impermanence of everything and being mindful that the good and bad don't last forever. Great read and has really helped me shape grief into a spiritual growth tool instead of dr ...more
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't know why I found this book, I'm starting to believe I was led to it deliberately. I wasn't ready to read some of it, or rather capable of having a clear enough mind to really be able to process the content. I am very thankful I pushed through and picked it up again when I was ready. It has changed my life! ...more
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I found so much insight into my life and the grief process. I highly recommend this book!
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
needs to be in your book collection
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend for dealing with any type of loss.
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an excellent book. It combines reassurance with opportunities to change. It asks relevant and appropriate questions and reminds us of why grief hurts and happens.
Apr 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Comforting text with the Buddhist perspective on suffering.

Grieving mindfully can be understood as being consciously aware of the intense pain of love after loss. Awareness is allowing yourself to accept the pain of grief, not running away from your loss. Using your emotional vulnerability to toward your growth as a human being. Come in full contact with yourself and learn to ride the waves of grief. Your thoughts, feelings, identity after loss all become vehicles for your own evolution.

By worki
Christian Lincoln
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Helping find spaciousness and sunlight in what could have been a terrible state of claustrophobia. The concept of "radical acceptance" for example is an unconventional tool in the face of immense pain. There must be unorthodox ways of breathing through and living with loss; namely embracing the sharp pains when they arise, meeting them head-on, instead of letting them get subsumed into dark closets. Sometimes thinking your way out of acute loss and pain and memory is a fool's errand. You literal ...more
Ray Ritchey
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loss in Western Culture is Hard

The book is a useful tool for improving your mental resilience after a loss. One of the better and more useful books out there. The top rated books have too much of here is my experience (with no tips on growing, or perhaps the goal was to emotionally overload you by letting you know other people have gone through this).

It would have been helpful if there were some texts / mantras for meditations.

Such as:

may I be happy, may I be wise, may I be free from suffering.
Karen Trench
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Of the many, many helpful and healing books on grief and loss that I read after the tragic death of my husband, for me, this book was the most inspirational and transformational. It became my bible---my "go-to" book when I found myself in the deepest throes of grief, and then even later on, when my grief became more subtle in nature. Based on Buddhist insights and practices, Dr. Kumar's words became a soothing balm to my scorched soul. ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was one of the most helpful things that I read as a part of my grief journey. It didn't "solve the problems", but it gave me some perspective on how to negotiate tricky thoughts and feelings more successfully.
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
very well put. this captures the way mourning can change from day to day, and reassures you its natural and you are not the only one going through it.
Loretta Rinzel
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Good book to read when going through the grieving process of a loved one. Was helpful to read and realize the emotions I was experiencing was normal.
Susan Oloier
This book simply did not speak to my experience with grief, and it was hard to push through the redundancy of it.
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just what I needed right now in my life!
I lost my dad on 12 Sep 2014 and my mom on 29 Oct 2015 and my life has not been the same. This book is helping me to work through my feelings and grief and know that life can become even more meaningful and rich after grief by learning to accept my feelings rather than avoiding them. You can read much better and glowing reviews at Amazon about this book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly helpful for dealing with my current issues with depression after my mother died last year. She actually meditated regularly and I always felt a connection when she taught me about Buddhism. This has been like a wake-up call to rediscover my own spirituality. Will be reading more about mindfulness and Buddhism, and will be trying to meditate regularly too. :)
Aug 06, 2008 rated it liked it
I read this over the course of a year after my brother died unexpectedly. Good insights, not heavy-handed, and helped me to understand some of the changes I was going through.

From "Grieving Mindfully"
We grieve whenever an anchor in our understanding of our identity is lost. Picture your identity as a necklace of precious stones that comes undone and needs to be restrung. If some stones are lost, new ones must be added to replace the old ones. Grief can be understood as the process of picking up
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book has a very good points to make...and then makes them over and over. It has very good things to say...and then...ditto. This is really a very short pamphlet that has been expanded into the length of a book through repetition and rehashing. I did enjoy Kumar's basic premise (that mindfulness can make grief meaningful as a catalyst for spiritual growth), but he is not particularly skilled in making this premise practical. ...more
J Crossley
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grieving
Rather than trying to ignore the pain of grief, this book recommends that one become mindfully aware of the grief and it provides ways to come to terms with grief.

I just reread this book, and i got more out of this read than the first time. I have heard that you have to go through grief to get to the other side. When you try to ignore your suffering, it doesn’t go away. The grief comes roaring back at another time. By working with your feelings, you can grow from your grief.
Lisa Shultz
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone grieving
Shelves: end-of-life
For the subject of grief, this book appealed to me in my research and I read it more thoroughly than any other on the topic. Like grief itself, I was glad to wrap it up and move on. But grief lingers and so will the positive lessons of the book.
Mar 16, 2011 rated it liked it
I've picked up this book a couple of times when I needed it in recent years, yet I still haven’t finished it. Maybe there’s a secret in its final pages, and I’ll never know. ...more
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“Even though it may be difficult to find meaning in the loss itself, you may still be able to find meaning in your grief—your response to the loss. For example, you may create meaning by advocating for change so that others won’t have to experience what you went through.” 0 likes
“The fact that a certain amount of time has gone by does not mean you should be feeling a certain way.” 0 likes
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