Grief and Trust

 “Grief is largely a crisis of trust.  When you lose a loved one you lose a major trust in the basic ‘okayness’ of life.  One moment life was fine, the next, something happened that rocked your world.  For some, the moment is a long process—it began with the idle comment from your spouse who noticed something while in the shower.  A year later it would end in his or her death.  For others it’s more sudden:  life is fine one second, and the next it’s in smithereens.  So many descriptions of September 11, 2001, for example, begin with a remark about what a sunny morning it was.

“Grief can make you feel like a sucker for having ever trusted in sunny days or all the basic givens of life, like health and safety and that people who matter to you will be here tomorrow.”

from About Grief, Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos; written by Ron Marasco and Brian Shuff; published 2010; Ivan R. Dee, Publisher, Chicago.

I invite you to visit my new page — Rev Z’s Library.  As time goes on, I’ll be adding more reviews about helpful books, as well as movies, links, and other resources.


Candle in Hands

What Do You Believe?

I have come to believe that time does not automatically heal all wounds.  And perhaps some wounds are meant not to be healed … rather they are to be endured and transformed.  And in the transforming, change me.

In a profound way, loss, bereavement and grief can enrich life when we allow them to do so.  The point of grieving well and thoroughly is to be fully alive.  So we may be open to our emotions … so we may participate in life … so we may experience expansive expression… so we may enjoy life.

What do you believe?



Grief Is A Quiet Thing.

Grief is a quiet thing.
Deadly in repose.
A raging horror, a thunder of abuse.

Tearing all that one has ever loved.

Fear-ridden and misunderstood
Ceasing a moment, and through the years
Returning … to destroy.

To rage,
To curse all that is happy—
or contented,
or trusting.

To threaten every beauty that is true.


It’s a quiet thing.

I read a lot … somewhere around 20 books a month on average.  And I read all kinds of books.  It shouldn’t be surprising then, that I’ll be sharing from my reading.  Some entries will be short sketches of books that I’ve found to be helpful in dealing with grief and loss.  Others will be excerpts from fiction and poetry and prose, as well as loss/grief books that I think perfectly capture an idea or emotion.

Like this powerful poem by Melba Colgrove from the 1991 book, How to Survive the Loss of a Love (written by Melba Colgrove, Ph.D., Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D. & Peter McWilliams and published by Prelude Press in Los Angeles).


Welcome to Leaning Into Loss

I’ve knowingly (and unknowingly) experienced lots of loss and change in my life.  People who know me are no longer entertained by my oft-told story of being forced to move from Milwaukee to Virginia as a nine-year-old; and honestly, these days it’s pretty flat for me too.

Here’s the point–early loss and the pain of not knowing how to handle it, and not being allowed to express it (my mom wasn’t good at being with sad or angry stuff) paved the way for this…my passion!  I have learned that when we tamp down any emotional expression, we tamp down all of them.  Sort of like pushing on a balloon … or a pebble into a pond … unintended consequences, yet there’s an impact all the same.

My mission is to share my journey, share my insights, share resources that I know about … through this blog, through this website, through retreats, through workshops and seminars, through classes and trainings, through Sunday talks, through conversations and connections with individuals.  My intention is to help others find their own path to full emotional freedom.

I invite you to use the comments section and share your experience with loss and change, your favorite resources, your reactions to my post.  And don’t forget to like Leaning Into Loss on Facebook and sign up for the monthly Newsletter.

Thank you for being part of this community … together we can transform our relationship with loss.