Leaning into Love

A Spiritual Journey through Grief By Elaine Mansfield

Independent Publishers Book Award!
In Stock



Regular online price: $14.95
Our price : $11.96
(You save $2.99!)

About this book:

Leaning into Love
A Spiritual Journey through Grief
by Elaine Mansfield

“A powerful account of the journey of grief.” —Roshi Joan Halifax

Subjects: Death, Grief, Bereavement, Memoir

6 x 9, paperback
174 pages

ISBN 10: 1-936012-72-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-936012-72-5

Book Details

Description

". . . original and exciting, offering readers a bold exploration of loss, grief and unexpected consequences. . . . subtly poetic language . . .curious and unflinching. . . . an instructive guidebook for readers confronting their own losses . . ."  —Kirkus Review


Elaine Mansfield’s uplifting story of love, hope, determination, and triumph is a gift to the half million women who lose spouses each year. “I’ll find a way to be all right,” she promised Vic, her dying husband and best friend of 42 years. Leaving the hospital after he passed, she had no idea how. In the weeks and months and years that follow, she learns to lean into her on-going love. Grief takes her through emotional and spiritual depths on a journey that builds on their time together and leads her into new life.

Early Praise

"This is a magnificent, profoundly moving book. Elaine Mansfield loved her husband Vic so dearly, there is no way their bond could be eclipsed, or erased, by his death from cancer. Wisdoms which proved helpful on their hardest journey are frankly, generously offered. This rich story gives encouragement and solace to all."   —Naomi Shihab Nye

“Elaine Mansfield knows far more than most people about love and loss, and she tells it with admirable honesty and clarity.” —Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist

“Not only a touching and courageous memoir about love, illness, death, and grief, Elaine Mansfield’s Leaning into Love is a manual for healing that offers us the emotional and spiritual tools needed to grow and even flourish through life’s deepest crises." —Dale Borglum, Living/Dying Project

“Some books are so original they could only have been written by one person.  This is one of them. If you want to know what real love looks like, read this page-turning testament to the exquisite beauty and tragedy of life, death and rebirth.  You won’t come away unchanged. Mansfield is a masterful storyteller whose prose is as spare and meaningful as poetry and whose integrity is as intrepid and inspiring as the most magnificent heroine or goddess.” —Jean Benedict Raffa, author, Healing the Sacred Divide, The Bridge to Wholeness, and Dream Theatres of the Soul

“A powerful account of the journey of grief.” —Roshi Joan Halifax, abbot, Upaya Zen Center and author of Being with Dying

“Elaine Mansfield's book with her extraordinary husband through sickness, death, and then on to grief and renewal is heart-breaking and healing at the same time. It is a spiritual as well as an emotional journey, a good companion, a beautifully written story of a woman's journey through bereavement.” —Lama Tsultrim Allione

"Each person’s path through grief is as startlingly unique as the palm of a loved one’s hand and yet mythic in its universality. Elaine Mansfield’s testament of loving and loss lets intimate details and overarching truths reinforce each other, so that those of us entering her story find ourselves crossing into the underworld with her.  In that land we find not only helplessness but the courage to learn new skills; not only inconsolable loneliness but the steady support of family and community; not only absence but the love which never leaves.  Above all, we discover with her the life-saving value of kindness.
  "This is a book which captures the heart from page one and continues to hold us even when we must put it down, and so it mirrors the undying connection between Elaine and her beloved Vic." —Patricia Campbell Carlson, Gratefulness.org


From Nina Miller, director emeritus of the Nina K. Miller Hospicare Center in Ithaca, New York:

"I come to Elaine Mansfield’s book with two perspectives: that of a former hospice director, and as a surviving spouse of a long and loving marriage. The book is an honest and sensitive portrayal of Elaine’s journey accompanying her husband Vic through the anguish of what turns out to be an incurable form of cancer.

'We know immediately that she is writing this after Vic’s death; the mystery is not whether he will live, but how she will survive without him.

"The details of the illness and its treatment are unsparing, but softened by the love and candor that bind this extraordinary couple.  There is much to be learned here about the critical role of the  honest communication that is the deepest kind of intimacy.  The book is also a portrayal of Elaine’s circuitous and painful path to recovery after Vic’s death and her deeply understood recognition that while her husband has not survived, their complex and rich love is forever part of her.

"While some readers may not relate to the spiritual pathway that is so vital to acceptance and recovery for Elaine, what is clear is that a supportive community of family and friends are essential as we move through illness, death and grief. Elaine does not spare herself, writing honestly about her moments of anger and sacrifice; that honesty enables her to let go and simply love her husband as he is dying and as she incorporates the reality of his death.

"The Mansfield family’s connection to the natural world is a critical presence in their lives, and Elaine shares her profound sense of connection to the cycle of seasons and the cycle of life. This is a book that will touch your heart and inform your understanding of love, loss, and grief."

                                          ———

“Reading this beautiful memoir of love and loss and triumph felt to me like a sacred journey into the very heart and soul of the courageous woman who writes it. With finely crafted, poignant as well as powerful prose, Elaine Mansfield tells the moving and inspirational story of her husband’s valiant battle with a rare form of incurable cancer and her own emotional struggles to support him throughout their shared ordeal. Her marriage to Vic is solid and happy, based on loyalty, devotion and commitment — all of which serve as the foundation for the author’s unwelcome but lovingly executed role as her husband’s primary caregiver. The author writes that in her marriage to Vic, emotional honesty was the ground of their relationship. Clearly that same emotional honesty is the ground of her writing as well. Coming straight from her heart, she openly shares her pain, her fears and insecurities as she faces and copes with her husband’s relentless and recurring illness that ultimately ends in his death. But throughout this experience she also writes of her growing strength and determination. As she consciously and deliberately works through her grief, the day eventually comes when she feels ready to look clearly not only at what she has left behind, but squarely at the new life that lies before her. Through her writing and her work as a bereavement facilitator with hospice, she decides to share her experiences, and the valuable lessons she has learned, with others who are struggling to cope with care giving and loss. Overall this is an uplifting story of courage, hope, determination and triumph—and a very compelling read.  Highly recommended!” —Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC, is a nationally certified grief counselor who blogs at www.griefhealingblog.com

Complete Kirkus Review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A meditative memoir of a wife’s bereavement. In her debut, Mansfield recounts her personal and spiritual evolutions following her beloved husband’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Divided into before and after sections, the book details both the painful months leading up to the death of Mansfield’s husband and the years of mourning and emotional exploration that followed.

The first half will be familiar to anyone who has been involved with the treatment of a long-term illness, from the indignities of hospitals to the search for moments of joy amid bleak circumstances. In these early chapters, Mansfield’s story often seems to lack direction, focusing on medical minutiae at the expense of narrative momentum and sometimes relying on clichéd language, as when the author refers to herself as “a lioness protecting her cub.” In the after section, however, the book builds into something far more original and exciting, offering readers a bold exploration of loss, grief and unexpected consequences. Drawing on the teachings of Buddhism, Jungian psychology, mythology and other spiritual resources, Mansfield thoughtfully crafts practices and rituals to help her and her loved ones cope with her husband’s death — an ongoing attempt to reconcile the joy of life with the pain of death. Her descriptions of her bereavement and slow recovery are honest and moving, rendered in subtly poetic language; at one point, she describes a groupof dolphins as “luminous revelations leaping from the great unconscious sea.” What’s more, Mansfield’s perspective on her husband’s death is refreshingly curious and unflinching. She bravely allows for the possibility that losing him may have opened doors to opportunities she otherwise would not have had.

These sharp insights alongside specific details of practical coping mechanisms make her account an instructive guidebook for readers confronting their own losses. Those interested in the natural world — and city folk yearning for a taste of country life — will also appreciate the vivid descriptions of her rural New York homestead and its central role in her healing process.

Deeply spiritual without being preachy, a comforting guide to mourning for readers of any stripe.

                                                                     (August 14, 2014)

 

 

 

Congratulations on IPPY Award!

From Swenson Book Development's May 2015 Newsletter:

Congratulations to Elaine Mansfield
and Larson Publications
on the Gold Medal 2015 IPPY


Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief, by Elaine Mansfield (Larson Publications) has been awarded a national gold medal for the best book in the category Aging/Death & Dying from the world’s largest book awards contest. The Independent Publisher Book Awards, known as the IPPY, honor the year’s best titles from around the world published by academic, small and independent presses. The gala awards banquet for the IPPY Awards will be held Wednesday, May 27, in New York City. Nearly 6,000 entries from more than 2,000 publishers representing all 50 states, eight Canadian provinces, and 34 countries participated in the 19th annual Independent Publishers Book Awards.

Related titles

Click here for Loving Grief, by Paul Bennett

Click here for Meditations for People in Crisis, by Paul Brunton

Click here for The Gift of Grace, by Paul Brunton

About Elaine Mansfield

Elaine Mansfield is a nutrition, exercise, and women’s health counselor, longtime student of Marion Woodman and the Dalai Lama, and hospice volunteer. She blogs on grief, loss, environmental issues, and leads hospice classes on bereavement. See more of her work at elainemansfield.com

Book Details

". . . original and exciting, offering readers a bold exploration of loss, grief and unexpected consequences. . . . subtly poetic language . . .curious and unflinching. . . . an instructive guidebook for readers confronting their own losses . . ."  —Kirkus Review


Elaine Mansfield’s uplifting story of love, hope, determination, and triumph is a gift to the half million women who lose spouses each year. “I’ll find a way to be all right,” she promised Vic, her dying husband and best friend of 42 years. Leaving the hospital after he passed, she had no idea how. In the weeks and months and years that follow, she learns to lean into her on-going love. Grief takes her through emotional and spiritual depths on a journey that builds on their time together and leads her into new life.

"This is a magnificent, profoundly moving book. Elaine Mansfield loved her husband Vic so dearly, there is no way their bond could be eclipsed, or erased, by his death from cancer. Wisdoms which proved helpful on their hardest journey are frankly, generously offered. This rich story gives encouragement and solace to all."   —Naomi Shihab Nye

“Elaine Mansfield knows far more than most people about love and loss, and she tells it with admirable honesty and clarity.” —Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist

“Not only a touching and courageous memoir about love, illness, death, and grief, Elaine Mansfield’s Leaning into Love is a manual for healing that offers us the emotional and spiritual tools needed to grow and even flourish through life’s deepest crises." —Dale Borglum, Living/Dying Project

“Some books are so original they could only have been written by one person.  This is one of them. If you want to know what real love looks like, read this page-turning testament to the exquisite beauty and tragedy of life, death and rebirth.  You won’t come away unchanged. Mansfield is a masterful storyteller whose prose is as spare and meaningful as poetry and whose integrity is as intrepid and inspiring as the most magnificent heroine or goddess.” —Jean Benedict Raffa, author, Healing the Sacred Divide, The Bridge to Wholeness, and Dream Theatres of the Soul

“A powerful account of the journey of grief.” —Roshi Joan Halifax, abbot, Upaya Zen Center and author of Being with Dying

“Elaine Mansfield's book with her extraordinary husband through sickness, death, and then on to grief and renewal is heart-breaking and healing at the same time. It is a spiritual as well as an emotional journey, a good companion, a beautifully written story of a woman's journey through bereavement.” —Lama Tsultrim Allione

"Each person’s path through grief is as startlingly unique as the palm of a loved one’s hand and yet mythic in its universality. Elaine Mansfield’s testament of loving and loss lets intimate details and overarching truths reinforce each other, so that those of us entering her story find ourselves crossing into the underworld with her.  In that land we find not only helplessness but the courage to learn new skills; not only inconsolable loneliness but the steady support of family and community; not only absence but the love which never leaves.  Above all, we discover with her the life-saving value of kindness.
  "This is a book which captures the heart from page one and continues to hold us even when we must put it down, and so it mirrors the undying connection between Elaine and her beloved Vic." —Patricia Campbell Carlson, Gratefulness.org


From Nina Miller, director emeritus of the Nina K. Miller Hospicare Center in Ithaca, New York:

"I come to Elaine Mansfield’s book with two perspectives: that of a former hospice director, and as a surviving spouse of a long and loving marriage. The book is an honest and sensitive portrayal of Elaine’s journey accompanying her husband Vic through the anguish of what turns out to be an incurable form of cancer.

'We know immediately that she is writing this after Vic’s death; the mystery is not whether he will live, but how she will survive without him.

"The details of the illness and its treatment are unsparing, but softened by the love and candor that bind this extraordinary couple.  There is much to be learned here about the critical role of the  honest communication that is the deepest kind of intimacy.  The book is also a portrayal of Elaine’s circuitous and painful path to recovery after Vic’s death and her deeply understood recognition that while her husband has not survived, their complex and rich love is forever part of her.

"While some readers may not relate to the spiritual pathway that is so vital to acceptance and recovery for Elaine, what is clear is that a supportive community of family and friends are essential as we move through illness, death and grief. Elaine does not spare herself, writing honestly about her moments of anger and sacrifice; that honesty enables her to let go and simply love her husband as he is dying and as she incorporates the reality of his death.

"The Mansfield family’s connection to the natural world is a critical presence in their lives, and Elaine shares her profound sense of connection to the cycle of seasons and the cycle of life. This is a book that will touch your heart and inform your understanding of love, loss, and grief."

                                          ———

“Reading this beautiful memoir of love and loss and triumph felt to me like a sacred journey into the very heart and soul of the courageous woman who writes it. With finely crafted, poignant as well as powerful prose, Elaine Mansfield tells the moving and inspirational story of her husband’s valiant battle with a rare form of incurable cancer and her own emotional struggles to support him throughout their shared ordeal. Her marriage to Vic is solid and happy, based on loyalty, devotion and commitment — all of which serve as the foundation for the author’s unwelcome but lovingly executed role as her husband’s primary caregiver. The author writes that in her marriage to Vic, emotional honesty was the ground of their relationship. Clearly that same emotional honesty is the ground of her writing as well. Coming straight from her heart, she openly shares her pain, her fears and insecurities as she faces and copes with her husband’s relentless and recurring illness that ultimately ends in his death. But throughout this experience she also writes of her growing strength and determination. As she consciously and deliberately works through her grief, the day eventually comes when she feels ready to look clearly not only at what she has left behind, but squarely at the new life that lies before her. Through her writing and her work as a bereavement facilitator with hospice, she decides to share her experiences, and the valuable lessons she has learned, with others who are struggling to cope with care giving and loss. Overall this is an uplifting story of courage, hope, determination and triumph—and a very compelling read.  Highly recommended!” —Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC, is a nationally certified grief counselor who blogs at www.griefhealingblog.com

KIRKUS REVIEW

A meditative memoir of a wife’s bereavement. In her debut, Mansfield recounts her personal and spiritual evolutions following her beloved husband’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Divided into before and after sections, the book details both the painful months leading up to the death of Mansfield’s husband and the years of mourning and emotional exploration that followed.

The first half will be familiar to anyone who has been involved with the treatment of a long-term illness, from the indignities of hospitals to the search for moments of joy amid bleak circumstances. In these early chapters, Mansfield’s story often seems to lack direction, focusing on medical minutiae at the expense of narrative momentum and sometimes relying on clichéd language, as when the author refers to herself as “a lioness protecting her cub.” In the after section, however, the book builds into something far more original and exciting, offering readers a bold exploration of loss, grief and unexpected consequences. Drawing on the teachings of Buddhism, Jungian psychology, mythology and other spiritual resources, Mansfield thoughtfully crafts practices and rituals to help her and her loved ones cope with her husband’s death — an ongoing attempt to reconcile the joy of life with the pain of death. Her descriptions of her bereavement and slow recovery are honest and moving, rendered in subtly poetic language; at one point, she describes a groupof dolphins as “luminous revelations leaping from the great unconscious sea.” What’s more, Mansfield’s perspective on her husband’s death is refreshingly curious and unflinching. She bravely allows for the possibility that losing him may have opened doors to opportunities she otherwise would not have had.

These sharp insights alongside specific details of practical coping mechanisms make her account an instructive guidebook for readers confronting their own losses. Those interested in the natural world — and city folk yearning for a taste of country life — will also appreciate the vivid descriptions of her rural New York homestead and its central role in her healing process.

Deeply spiritual without being preachy, a comforting guide to mourning for readers of any stripe.

                                                                     (August 14, 2014)

 

 

 

From Swenson Book Development's May 2015 Newsletter:

Congratulations to Elaine Mansfield
and Larson Publications
on the Gold Medal 2015 IPPY


Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief, by Elaine Mansfield (Larson Publications) has been awarded a national gold medal for the best book in the category Aging/Death & Dying from the world’s largest book awards contest. The Independent Publisher Book Awards, known as the IPPY, honor the year’s best titles from around the world published by academic, small and independent presses. The gala awards banquet for the IPPY Awards will be held Wednesday, May 27, in New York City. Nearly 6,000 entries from more than 2,000 publishers representing all 50 states, eight Canadian provinces, and 34 countries participated in the 19th annual Independent Publishers Book Awards.

Click here for Loving Grief, by Paul Bennett

Click here for Meditations for People in Crisis, by Paul Brunton

Click here for The Gift of Grace, by Paul Brunton

About Elaine Mansfield

Larson Publications photo of author Elaine Mansfield

Elaine Mansfield is a nutrition, exercise, and women’s health counselor, longtime student of Marion Woodman and the Dalai Lama, and hospice volunteer. She blogs on grief, loss, environmental issues, and leads hospice classes on bereavement. See more of her work at elainemansfield.com

You May Also Like

Processing