Writer Madeleine L’Engle says of grief that it “has to be worked through. It is like walking through water. Sometimes there are little waves lapping about my feet. Sometimes there is an enormous breaker that knocks me down. Sometimes there is a sudden and fierce squall. But I know that many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”
(from Two-Part Invention)
These books are for anyone who is walking through the loss of a loved one. Its contemplative exercises are a guide through the “many waters” of grief into wholeness and a celebration of love and life. What is grief, after all, but a sign of the depth of our love? On the far shore is always gratefulness, for, as the French proverb says, “Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” Those who enjoy writing will likely also find poems, essays, and/or stories emerging as they work through these pages.
Maureen created the ritual in these two books in June, 2002, shortly after her mother died. She found it very healing to take a bit of time away from the cares and concerns of everyday life to both mourn and celebrate her mother’s life. Not long after, her friend, the Reverend Rebecca Taylor, lost her father. She asked Maureen if she would write down that ritual for her use, and encouraged her to make it available to others. Here it is, in two versions:
How Do I Say Goodbye? is for those of any faith, with quotes from many different sources. It can be purchased on Amazon here.
Praying You Goodbye is specifically for Christians, with Biblical quotes. It can be purchased on Amazon here.
Other than that, the books are identical, with quotes, reflections, prompts, and space to write about your loved one. The appropriate version makes a thoughtful condolence gift for a friend or family member.