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Healing Our Grief, Healing Our World
Vol. 4, Number 1July 2004

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

What's New at GriefandRenewal.Com:

This has been a very exciting year for GriefandRenewal.Com beginning with Dr. Slap-Shelton's appearance on Crossing Over to discuss handling grief over the holidays and culminating in the showing of the film White Rainbow which depicts the lives of widows in India. Also look for an article by Dr. Slap-Shelton in a new book, Mourning Has Broken – A Collection of Creative Writing about Grief and Healing (Limited First Edition © KOPE Associates: Toronto, 2004). GriefandRenewal.Com continues to work toward helping widows in developing countries and providing information and inspiration to those recovering form grief.

Please help support GriefandRenweal.Com. By ordering books from Amazon.Com through GriefandRenwal.Com you help us pay for maintenance and additions to the website. For a large selection of books on grief please check out the GriefandRewnal.Com Book Store. Any purchase made at Amazon.Com by clicking through GriefandRenewal.Com will yield a contribution to this web site. Every time you click on Amazon.Com through GreifandRenewal.Com and order a book GriefandRenewal.Com benefits. Also please support the GriefandRenewal.Com Store which offers items made by the 'mothers' of Vrindavan and other healing and informative resources. Proceeds go to supporting GriefandRenwal.Com and enable us to support the widows by purchasing more of their merchandise.

As always, thank you for sharing in the journey of grief and renewal. We welcome letters, articles, poems, reviews and new resources.

In our next newsletter we will celebrate the amazing gifts that friends offer to friends who are grieving.

In hope and healing,

Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D.

Chipping Away
by Margaret Brownley, author of Grieving God's Way

After Michelangelo had chipped away at an eighteen-foot-high block of marble and created his famous statue of David, he was asked how he had created so much beauty from a mere block of marble. He reportedly replied that he simply chipped away everything that didn't look like David.

Grief is a marble stone that must be chipped away, little by little, day by day. With the same persistence as a sculptor, we must chip away anything that doesn't look like healing. We must chisel away the anger, scrape away the pain, and sand away the loneliness. Work hard enough and the block eventually grows rounder, smoother, and turns into a more pleasing and manageable form. New life emerges; a work of art.

To continue reading this essay, click here.

White Rainbow: The First Film to Depict the Plight of Widows in India

White Rainbow, an incredible movie depicting the lives of the women at Vrindavan has now been shown in L.A., Cannes and Delhi. The film has been well received. Work is being done to ensure its future distribution. Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D. attended the celebration of the film in L.A. and GriefandRenewal.Com was acknowledged for its role in connecting Dr. V. Mohini Giri and the film's creators. This is just one example of the wonderful miraculous things that can happen when one follows a path of healing and heart. Stay tuned for opportunities to view White Rainbow in the future and to learn more about how this film came to be created. For more about White Rainbow please view the following links:


News from Guild of Service

Dr. Mohini Giri continues in her tireless work to help the widows of India. She met with Mrs. Ghandi to further secure legal rights and political status for widows. Here is part of the meeting’s activities.

Dr. Mohini Giri and the National Women Organization Meet with Mrs. Ghandi to Ensure Women's Rights in India

The highest priority in all activity is the empowerment of women. Women bear primary responsibility for family health, education and nutrition-yet, by tradition, culture and law they are denied the means, information and freedom of action to fulfill their responsibility.

In order to mobilize and implement the various schemes some of us in the National Women Organization met Mrs. Gandhi to include the following in the Common Minimum Program.

  1. A firm commitment to the passage of and implementation of the Women's Reservation Bill.
  2. Commitment to the passage of Protection against Domestic Violence Bill with the amendments suggested by the women's organization and implementation of the various recommendations of the Law. Commission to reform laws concerning women.
  3. Universalisation of PDS; Joint Pattas for women in land distributed and special work scheme for poor women in rural and urban areas.
  4. Implementation of the non coercive non targeted national population policy as opposed to the coercive anti woman policies in place in many states and strict implementation of the laws against sex selection and sex determination techniques and tests.
  5. Commitment against the practice of dowry

To continue with this article, click here.

Recommended Books

GriefandRenewal.Com has been very fortunate to have Kim Largey, B.A. artist and art historian review books for us over the past few months. As she returns school to embark on a double Master's Degree program we wish her the best of luck and hope that she will find time to make further contributions to GriefandRenewal.Com. Thanks Kim!

The Life and Death of Charlie St.Cloud
by Ben Sherwood
Bantam Books
New York, New York, 277pp.
Reviewed by Kimberly Ross Largey

There are countless questions about what happens to us after we die. Is there a heaven? What does it look like, feel like, sound like? Are we re-incarnated? Can we do the same things we did on Earth? Can I still eat my favorite coconut ice cream there? Well, if I were a character in Ben Sherwood’s The Life and Death of Charlie St.Cloud I might. This is a work of fiction that combines many of the ideas on life after death we’ve heard about for ages, but Ben Sherwood focuses less on the great beyond and more on what the dead can teach us about living.

For more of this review, click here.

Searching for a Mustard Seed
By Miriam Sagan
Quality Words in Print
Costa Mesa, California 2003, 207 pp.
Reviewed by Kimberly Ross Largey

"I wrote this book to tell my story. I wrote it because my contemporaries will not live forever and because grief is either a path we have trod or will have trod. I wrote it so that some woman like me might find a friendlier book on the shelf."

In the beginning of Miriam Sagan's memoir, Searching for a Mustard Seed: One Young Widow's Unconventional Story, she tells the story of her life and marriage to a dying man... It is not until after [her husband] Roberts's death that she has the time or state of mind to construct a narrative of her own and come to realize how her life has changed... Her story is honest. It doesn't sugar coat her thoughts, feelings or experiences on her marriage, her husband or her situation. She shares her ugly parts and her confused and frantic thoughts. Very soon after her husband's death, she questions how soon she can date again and gathers the opinions of her friends and relatives on the idea of her remarrying. She undoubtedly loved her husband very much, but she also refuses play the role of mourning widow forever. Her main objective in the telling of the interactions and thoughts like this one is to remind the reader that, "...[We] are not alone in the experience of death or widowhood or pain."

For more of this review, click here.

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