"Heather Stang offers those who are grieving a wise and practical guide. The stories, teachings and meditations in this book will help you find your own inner strength and awakening heart in the midst of great loss."
- Tara Brach, Ph.D. Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge"Intellectually we know we must release that which dies. But how? Mindfulness and Grief can accompany you in your grieving, providing wise and compassionate guidance that will support you in this profound and intimate process of letting go."
- Jonathan Foust Former President, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
"Heather Stang offers considerable hope for those who might be lost to the process of grief. Not only does she offer hope - she offers ways to be with grief that are effective and that transform it at the same time. Embracing the moment and being present to what is happening rather than despairing in it are just one small but powerful aspect. I highly recommend this book."
- Michael Lee, M.A.
Founder, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
From the Author
This book is based on the 8-week Mindfulness & Grief Group that I developed and facilitate. Each week is now a chapter in the book, and combines easy to understand mindfulness instructions and stories with relevant exercises. There is also a day-long retreat to help you dive deep into mindfulness practice.
As you probably know, grief does not follow a schedule. Rather it shows up when you expect it - such as holidays, birthdays and anniversaries - and it also shows up when you don't expect it. This book will lead you through mindfulness-based exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home, as well as exercises that you can draw upon at work or in the grocery store if you unexpectedly feel difficult emotions arise. Readers of the book you can also access audio recordings of key exercises on my website at mindfulnessandgrief.com.
When I sat down to write Mindfulness & Grief, I quickly realized that although I provide the structure for my groups, it is the participants that bring heart to the work. It only makes sense to include their stories alongside the practical exercises that you will find in this book. Although each of us grieves in our own unique way, I imagine you may recognize some of your experience in theirs.
Most of the stories included in this book are a result of interviews I conducted with individual participants from groups I facilitated 4 years prior. I wanted to give you a longitudinal view of how mindfulness can be applied to grief over time. It was very heartening to find that each person I spoke to still uses one form of mindfulness or another - even four years later - and that each person found the practice to be life-changing. While it may be difficult for you to imagine what your life will be like four years from now, I hope their stories provide you with hope and inspiration.
Mindfulness & Grief is accessible to anyone, regardless of physical fitness or spiritual beliefs. You don't need to be flexible of calm to benefit from this book. It is my deepest hope that the practices within this book will help reduce your suffering and contribute to a healthy life after loss.