REVIEW and INTERVIEW
Walking in Grace with Grief:
Meditations for Healing After Loss
Meditations for Healing After Loss
by Della Temple
Author Della Temple joins me for an interview about her book Walking in Grace with Grief, a deeply personal memoir written following the death of her son. You can also read my review and an excerpt from the book.
Walking in Grace with Grief combines Della's story of loss with teachings of energy awareness, mindfulness, and conscious living. Filled with stories of hope and profound confidence in life after life, Walking in Grace with Grief includes many practical skills such as grounding to the earth and "filling in" with life-force energy. The easy to follow meditations provide comfort and nurturing for anyone dealing with loss.
Excerpt from the chapter Conscious Grieving
I believe that we choose how we react to life. Every moment of every day we have a choice. Do we walk the path of longing for what was, or do we accept with Grace what is? Do we allow ourselves to step out of the fog of grief and bask in the sunlight of the now: friends, family, and community?
Conscious grieving is just that. Being in the present moment with all the pain, all the heartache, and allowing it to be. There are no "shoulds" here. It just is. Walking your own path is not easy. Friends and family, though well-meaning, may try to push you back into the normal - or at least what they think of as a normal - and respectful way to grieve the loss of a loved one. Only you know what is best for you.
A number of years ago, my teenaged niece and nephew lost their parents in a car accident. My husband and I brought them into our family for a short while. My niece turned to me one day and asked if it was OK to laugh. At that particular moment, she was surrounded by her school friends and felt such a groundswell of happiness that she burst out laughing. Then she remembered her mom and dad and felt guilty for enjoying a moment with her friends. "Of course it’s OK to laugh," I told her.
There are no "shoulds" about how to behave during times of loss. If you feel like laughing, then laugh. If you feel like crying, then cry. Forget what "they" say. You are in charge of your feelings. Use the Golden Sun Meditation (see chapter 3) to fill you with peace and comfort. If that means that you fill your golden sun with happiness, then do so. Do what is best for you. Be mindful of how you want this period of sorrow to unfold.
In addition, be mindful of when well-meaning friends and family inadvertently try to dump their grief in your lap. Yes, unfortunately it happens. As two people relate, they unconsciously exchange energy with one another. Underneath your friend’s encouraging words of love and support may be some suppressed feelings of guilt, abandonment, or pity. Of course your friend is not consciously aware of sending you these mixed messages - in fact, she or he would be horrified to discover they had! But it does happen. Part of being a conscious griever is understanding how to prevent these twinges of unresolved grief from encompassing you.
Praise for the Book
"Della Temple has given the world a treasure with her book, Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing after Loss." ~ Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
"As a healer, teacher and loving mother, Della Temple, speaks to a wounded heart with depth, wisdom, and compassion. Her soulful guidance will help replace sorrow and pain with joy and deep understanding. An essential tool for anyone on a path to healing after loss." ~ Deb Snyder, PhD Author of Intuitive Parenting and Ignite CALM
"Beautifully written and profoundly moving." ~ Jack Magnus, Readers' Favorite
"The meditations are indeed healing! I found the peace and stillness I was looking for."
"Filling in with Golden Suns right this minute – thank you Della Temple! I will use these meditations for years to come."
"I read Walking in Grace in one sitting yesterday and enjoyed it very much. It is remarkable on several levels. First, I think it is a beautifully written memoir and, in itself, a fine tribute to resilience. No less important, it is a spiritual tool that can reach even the most hardened realist (like me) and offer meaningful recovery for those in need."
By Lynda Dickson
Della Temple's 29-year-old son Rick died instantly in a car crash. She describes how she coped in the weeks and months following his death, especially during the holiday season. At the time, Della was already undertaking a psychic awareness program. Her belief that Rick's Spirit lived on allowed her to accept his death and enter a state of Grace. She discovered her purpose is to be a teacher, and she tells her story in order to help ease the pain of other people who have lost loved ones. One of her major messages is not to focus on the what-ifs but to remember what was. She discusses the concepts of reincarnation, Life Contracts, and cites meditation as a way of quietening the mind and opening ourselves up to receiving messages from our dead loved ones.
Meditations she describes include:
- Grounding Cord
- The Golden Sun
- Blowing up a Rose
- Releasing Sorrow and Pain
- Keeping Pity Energy Away
- Releasing the Cord that Binds
- Honoring Your Journey
I suggest performing the meditations in the order presented, as they build on each other.
This is an eye-opening and enlightening book that will bring comfort to those who have lost a loved one. Della reminds us that our loved ones are with us always. Hopefully, I will remember Della's words when I suffer a loss of my own.
Thank you, Della, for sharing this most personal account.
Interview With the Author
Hi Della Temple, thanks for joining me to discuss your book, Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing After Loss.
Your book is about recovering from devastating loss. In Walking in Grace with Grief, you chronicle the first year after your son died. Why did you pick that title for your book? Is there some extra meaning in it for you?
A few days after the unexpected death of my son, I found myself in what I refer to as a state of Grace. I don’t know how else to explain it. I didn’t feel anger or rage against God. I experienced sorrow; a deep, fathomless sadness; grief; love; acceptance; compassion; and happiness - yes happiness - all at once. I felt the Divine surrounding me, in what I call the energy of Grace, offering me comfort and support.
I lived in this protective coating of Grace for most of the first year. It went wherever I went – and it literally felt like I was walking in a bubble of Grace. I wanted to include that in the title of my book, but there was also another part of my experience that was equally important. I don’t believe we walk through grief because grief isn’t something we get over. We walk with grief for the rest of our lives. We will always feel the hole in the heart left by the death of our loved one. The pain lessens, but grief is with us always. Walking in grace with grief is a very literal description of how I felt that first year of loss.
This is more than just a personal memoir, it’s a meditation guide too. Most people find it hard to share about their deep personal experiences. What drove you to want to share your story?
I am a teacher at heart. I experienced a different kind of grief – one full of both sorrow and joy. I wanted to share my experience with others because I think it’s time we broadened the discussion about death and dying. I don’t believe we have to walk the path of anger, denial, and bargaining to reach the final destination of acceptance. I believe that others too can start at acceptance and stay there throughout their journey of recovery. This might fly in the face of what’s considered "normal grieving" but what I found true for me was an amazing feeling of ease, comfort and nurturing – what I refer to as Grace – that kept me from drowning in the mire of doubt, wishful thinking and regret.
Can you explain in a little more detail what you mean?
For me, the pain of sorrow was particularly intense when I allowed myself to descend into the "what ifs" and "if he’d only lived" stories. That’s when I experienced a sadness that was full of self-pity, agony, and despair. So every time my thoughts wandered to the what-if-my-son-had-lived stories, I pulled myself back. I literally would not allow myself to experience those thoughts. I forced myself to think of something else - to remember a time from the past when he made me laugh, or to remember his voice or his smell. Anything but a what-if-he’d-lived story. This took energy and effort, but I think it made the difference in how I healed. I shifted the thought and experienced my sorrow in a different vibration if that makes any sense. It was a higher, cleaner vibration - a healing vibration full of love and mercy. This vibration felt full of acceptance, kindness, and gentleness. I knew that if I could stay in this vibration - if I could surround myself with thoughts and feelings that resonated there - I could heal this deep wound. I had tools to help me stay in this vibration, and I share those tools in the various healing meditations in the book. In fact, the meditations have become a standard part of my everyday life and continue to help me maintain a profound acceptance of life as it is, not as I wish it might be.
What would you say are the most common misconceptions about loss and grief?
I think one of the most common misconceptions about loss is that there’s a certain way we "should" grieve, and that after a certain period of time it’s time to put away our mourning and move on. I think these "shoulds" cause us a lot of unnecessary pain. It’s my belief that there’s not a right way or a wrong way to grieve. Each person deals with their grief as best they can. What I found worked for me was being aware – staying conscious – of how I felt each moment. If I felt like laughing I laughed, if I felt like talking about my son, I did so. If I felt like crying, I allowed myself a good cry. This is what I call Conscious Grieving. Being consciously aware of how we feel and allowing all the emotions of sorrow and pain to exist while simultaneously taking a step forward on our path of being something new. I share some practical skills such as grounding to the earth and "filling in" with life-force energy so that you can stay healthy as you move through this time of becoming something new. Because that’s what we are doing; becoming something new. Our world has changed – our life is in upheaval – and we will never return to the "before" times. We are moving forward into this state of being without, a time of honoring what was and wondering what will be.
What advice would you have for someone who feels like they don't understand certain aspects of why things happened the way they did in a relationship with a loved one who they've lost?
What helped me deal with the unexpected timing of my son’s death was my understanding of Life Contracts. I believe in reincarnation - that we exist as eternal Spirits and come to earth to experience certain challenges and emotions. As we make ready for our trip to earth, we call together the Spirit forms of our soon-to-be-parents, siblings, friends, and colleagues. God is there too. We gather around a big "conference table in the sky", and we design our soon-to-be life. We think about what our main purpose will be in this lifetime, and we design a life that presents many challenges and learning opportunities. This Contract of Life includes many variables, or different paths that a person may take once they come to earth. Some paths are straight and narrow, leading right to the person’s overarching purpose while other paths are full of curves and unexpected dips and bumps. Some life paths are long, and others are short.
Once this Contract of Life is blessed by God, and all parties agree to play their part, we come here to earth to live it. Some souls choose short lifetimes; others choose long ones. Each is perfect just as it was designed. While this is not easy for those of us left behind, we must honor the timing of a death. It is not for us to say whether life was too short. It is perfectly right just the way it is.
Any other books you are thinking about writing? And, Why?
I released two books this year. As I was writing Walking in Grace with Grief, I was also writing a book about stopping the mind chatter, Tame Your Inner Critic: Find Peace & Contentment to Live Your Life on Purpose. Both books utilize the same set of "energy tools" – grounding to the earth, filling in with life-force energy, protecting yourself from the unwanted thoughts and feelings of others. Of course Tame Your Inner Critic isn’t about grief, but surprisingly they overlap in many areas. So after writing two books in short order, I think it will be another year or two before I write another. But, I’m already thinking about a children’s book on losing a loved one. Even children can learn to ride the wave of grief without falling into the stories of what might have been. We will see what next year brings!
Where can we get a copy of your book?
Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing After Loss is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online outlets [see below]. Or call your local bookstore, and have them order it! And, if you want more information about Tame Your Inner Critic, please come say hi at my website. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Della. Best of luck with your future projects.
From the Author
This book has found its way to you because you have suffered a loss. For that, I am so very sorry. I do not know how you feel. Only you can know that. When I lost my loved one, I felt so many different things: shock, sadness, sorrow, and grace. Yes, grace. During the initial weeks after my son died, I felt surrounded by the grace of God. Not a Christian god, or a Muslim or Jewish god. For me, it was the sweet arms of comfort surrounding me, day in and day out. I was more alive in some respects than I had ever felt before. I know that might sound strange to some, but for me, I felt God was with me, and that allowed me to experience a different kind of grief.
This is a spiritual book because I am a spiritual person. I grieved a spiritually based grief. I knew that my loved one was still "alive" in Spirit, and I often felt him surrounding me in love and comfort - especially during the first year after his passing. I accepted this as a natural occurrence, and our talks, Spirit to Spirit, became an integral part of my healing journey. I was also surrounded by some unusual friends who helped me navigate this world of death, Spirit, and life after life.
I would like to tell you my story. Not to commiserate with you, and not to say I know how you feel. I don't. But what I do know is that I have come through this ordeal a stronger, gentler, wiser human being. I am a more patient person, and I am positive that there is a reason for all that happens, even this. I know with every fiber of my being that life is good and that there is life after life, and that is good too.
Interwoven among stories of my journey, I have included some of the healing meditations that made my journey a little less arduous. In fact, these meditations have become a standard part of my everyday life, and continue to help me maintain a profound acceptance of life as it is, not as I wish it might be. I hope they will ease your path of transition, as they did mine.
I offer my story to you as a way of reaching my hand out to yours. To touch you, to offer you comfort and presence. I walk your road with you. And others do too. Namasté - the light in me honors and acknowledges the light in you.
About the Author
Della Temple writes about melding the worlds of the physical and the metaphysical. She combines her love of anything analytical with her wide-ranging interest in quantum physics and the world of energetic healing. She is a certified Reiki Master and has studied clairvoyance and psychic healing at Boulder Psychic Institute. She believes that being psychic is a very natural state of being. It is a skill, just like playing the piano or singing on key. It takes a teacher, a willingness on the part of the student to be receptive to new ideas, and some time spent in practice.
Della invites the reader to experience opening to their intuition on the journey toward discovering their life's purpose.
As a special exclusive for our readers, here's a link to a downloadable excerpt and meditation from Walking in Grace with Grief: