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Healing Our Grief, Healing Our World
Vol. 2, Number 2February 2003

Welcome to the GriefandRenewal.Com Newsletter. Please feel free to share this newsletter.

What's New at GriefandRenewal.Com:

Dear Reader,

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. GriefandRenewal.Com has been undergoing some changes, slowly but surely. We now have our new opening animated page which I hope you have been enjoying. We worked hard with a wonderful artist, Carter Wentworth, to develop this symbol of grief and renewal. We are now building the home page and reorganizing.

Please remember to visit our GriefandRenewal Store. We have gathered items from widows in India, a video about dreams and death, a comprehensive book on widows in India and healing tapes. We are adding some wonderful relaxing kaleidoscopes to our collection as well. Look for updated photos and our new item in the coming months. These items make lovely gifts as well as offering healing resources. The GriefandRenewal Store proceeds will go toward maintaining GriefandRenewal.Com with 10 percent of all income going to the Guild of Service, a group dedicated to helping widows in India. Please visit our store.

As Valentines Day approaches many of us may experience intense yearning for those we have lost and possibly a renewal of grief. We may feel more loneliness and have difficulty staying connected in new relationships we have developed or in our ongoing relationships. Being sensitive to our feelings and those who are around us can help to make this a positive time. On the other hand, this might be the year to not pay too much attention to Valentines Day. Make a choice that suits your feelings. It may also be a good time to open your heart if you have been shut down for awhile, perhaps by reaching out to others in need. See our article: Valentine Blues and Other Colors in the Articles section.

We also take this moment to honor the memory of the Columbia Shuttle Astronauts, and to hope that events in the Middle East will not yield a new harvest of grief and loss.

Look for articles on bereavement and health in the coming months.

Wishing you peace and hope,

Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D.

Quote of the Month
"Once you shone among the living as the Morning Star;
Among the dead you shine now, as the Evening Star."
Plato (Clise, 1995 See below)

Featured International Article:

This remarkable scholarly research identifies the many facets of the lives of widows in India and compares how they fare in different living arrangements. Must reading for any interested in the plight of these girls and women.

"Status of Widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi: A Comparative Study"
by the Guild of Service


Since the past several years the Guild of Service has been trying to pinpoint various reasons for the large-scale migration of widows from Bengal. Bengal which worships mother goddess has turned such a blind eye to glaring inequalities; on the one hand, worshipping the mother and on the other hand the callous manner in which Bengal has treated unfortunate mothers who become widows is horrifying.

"Nine years after Roop Kanwar was burnt on her husband's funeral pyre, a trial court in Neem Ka Thana acquitted all the accused". The Indian express of Sunday, October 13, 1996. The practice of Sati, of a woman burning herself on her husband's funeral pyre, is considered an outdated and evil practice, which is forbidden by law. But what about the living widows? Are they better off?

For rest of article please click here.

Featured Article:
"Writing Through Grief"
Anne McCurry

Getting through a long, cold, dreary winter in upstate New York seemed impossible after losing my sister, Sara, to breast cancer. She had been my hero and best friend, and I was having a terrible time with her death. Her husband’s surprising behavior – a total absence of grief and an immediate search for a new woman – added terrible hurt to terrible loss. I felt as if I were drowning in a river of grief, anger, despair, confusion, denial that Sara could really be gone and guilt that I was alive while she was dead.

Read Full Article...

Featured Books
"Treasures of Darkness"
By Ken Hekman; Writers Club Press; 2001

Ken Hekman was living the American dream: great marriage, healthy teenage children, exciting, successful career, vacations, etc. until one horrific winter night when the police came to his door with the worst news a parent can ever hear. His daughter, driving at the speed limit, seat belt on, with no alcohol or drugs, had hit an invisible spot of ice, crashed into an oncoming car, and been killed, all in an instant.

Read Full Book Review...

"Momento Solace for Grieving"
Ed. Michelle Durkson Clise; Little, Brown and Company; 1995

A wonderful book of soulful and beautiful quotes, small and beautifully produced, a thoughtful gift for someone who is bereaved and a small treasure of support to have in your pocket for the bereaved.

Featured Connection That Empowers
Guild of Service
4 DeenDayal Upadhyaya
New Dehli-1 10002,
India Tel. 3236204,3239862 Fax.3236270, 3236154
C-25 Qutab Institutional Area
New Dehli- 110016 India Tel. 6562780 Fax.6854529
E-MAIL: gos@bol.net.in

The Guild of Service is a social service organization dedicated to helping the displaced widows of India, many of whom make their way to the City of Widows or Vrindavan. In the year 2000 they were invited to make a presentation at the United Nations General Assembly meeting "Women 2000 Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-first Century". Their topic was "Widows Myths and Traditions." Services provided include medical care, rehabilitation, vocational training, and economic empowerement.

Letter from Dr. V. Mohini Giri of the Guild of Service

Dear Grief and Renewal.Com Readers,

We have to empower 16,000 widows of Vrindavan. We look forward to your sensitized commitment for helping the mothers of Vrindavan. The Guild of Service is on a major fund raising exercise to support the cause of widows in Vrindavan and Varanasi, sisters of Jammu & Kashmir, traumatized victims of Godhra and victims of violence at Sawai Madhopur...

Read Full Article...

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Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world.' ... Mahatma Gandhi