The Spirituality of Grief

Ten Practices for Those Who Remain

The Spirituality of Grief

Ten Practices for Those Who Remain

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Grief is all-consuming. Shattering. After the death of a loved one, we ask questions about the meaning of life, the whys of death, and how to carry our sorrow.

The Spirituality of Grief honors the complex nature of grief and offers simple comfort: we are not alone, and there is no one right way to grieve. Author Fran Tilton Shelton, a spiritual director and cofounder of the nonprofit Faith & Grief, walks us through the questions that gather in the wake of a loved one's death: Why are we exhausted? What do we do with guilt? How do we take care of ourselves? And when will we get over our grief? Each chapter offers a spiritual practice, emerging from a variety of religious traditions, for those who remain. From breath prayers and nature walks to the examen and sacred reading, Shelton guides readers through each spiritual practice and its potential for sustaining hope and connecting us to God.

All who love will eventually grieve. Universal and particular, shared and solitary, grief rearranges every aspect of life. But by bringing the resources of spirituality to bear on our losses, we can carry our sorrows rather than silence them. Within the rhythms of spiritual practices, we find what we need to make it through the week, the day, the hour. We don't move on when a loved one dies, but grace can help us sustain our love for them and their love for us.


"The Spirituality of Grief is a pragmatic, intelligent, and heartfelt guide that will benefit anyone wandering through the journey of loss."

Rabbi Steve Leder, New York Times-bestselling author of The Beauty of What Remains and For You When I Am Gone

"Fran Tilton Shelton provides compassionate understanding and offers effective spiritual practices to bring peace into turmoil, light into darkness, and calm into the storm."

Jan Warner, author of Grief Day by Day

"This is the grief resource I didn't know I was longing for. An offering of love, experience, and practical tools, it feels like a conversation with a wise and trusted friend witnessing our grief and inviting us into a more expansive and inclusive spirituality that both supports and heals."

Zeena Regis, faith outreach and engagement manager, Compassion & Choices

"The Spirituality of Grief is a balm of comfort, written by someone who is well acquainted with the beautiful burden of grief and well equipped to walk as a companion with anyone on the long journey of sorrow. In reading this book, I had the profound sense of both seeing and being seen."

Amanda Held Opelt, songwriter and author of A Hole in the World

"Carrying the sorrow of a loved one's death will not end by reading this soon-to-be classic, but you will learn to carry grief differently. Fran Tilton Shelton equips us to lift our grief in ways that prevent us from falling under its weight. Combining the latest in academic research with case studies, spiritual exercises, and personal narrative, Shelton focuses on bereavement and the spirituality that can sustain us. She is a tender guide into a love stronger than death and into a way that we can love--even in separation."

Dr. Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, professor of pastoral care and pastoral theology at Perkins School of Theology

"If you are looking for someone who puts heartbreaking loss into conversation with the practices of faith--if you are looking for a companion who will walk alongside you with grace, humor, and hope--your search is over. This book is a gift."

Dr. Scott Black Johnston, pastor of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church

"A beautiful book that is both practical and personal, sure to be a welcome guide for those who find themselves lost and awash in grief."

Rev. Nathan Carlin, PhD, director of the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506483108
  • eBook ISBN 9781506483115
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 195
  • Publication Date April 18, 2023