Dr. Joanne Cacciatore has a fourfold relationship with bereavement. She is herself a bereaved mother: her newborn daughter died on July 27, 1994, and that single tragic moment catapulted her unwillingly onto the reluctant path of traumatic grief. For more than two decades, she’s devoted herself to direct practice with grief, helping traumatically bereaved people on six continents. She’s also been researching and writing about grief for more than a decade in her role as associate professor at Arizona State University and director of the Graduate Certificate in Trauma and Bereavement program there. And, in addition, she’s the founder of an international nongovernmental organization, the MISS Foundation, dedicated to providing multiple forms of support to families experiencing the death of a child at any age and from any cause, and since 1996 has directed the foundation’s family services and clinical education programs. Cacciatore is an ordained Zen priest, affiliated with Zen Garland and its child bereavement center outside of New York City. She is in the process of building a “care-farm” and respite center for the traumatically bereaved, just outside Sedona, Arizona. The care-farm will offer a therapeutic community that focuses on reconnecting with self, others, and nature in the aftermath of loss through gardening, meditation, yoga, group work, animals, and other nonmedicalized approaches. All the animals at the care-farm will have been rescued from abuse and neglect. She is an acclaimed public speaker and provides expert consulting and witness services in the area of traumatic loss. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as The Lancet, Social Work and Healthcare, and Death Studies, among others. She received her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in psychology from Arizona State University. Her work has been featured in major media sources such as People and Newsweek magazines, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, CNN, National Public Radio, and the Los Angeles Times. She has been the recipient of many regional and national awards for her empathic work and service to people suffering traumatic grief. She travels quite often but spends most of her time in Sedona, Arizona, with her family and three rescue dogs. She also has three horses that are part of her Rescue Horses Rescue People equine therapy program.
“Simultaneously heartwrenching and uplifting. Cacciatore offers practical guidance on coping with profound and life-changing grief. This book is destined to be a classic...[it] is simply the best book I have ever read on the process of grief.”—Ira Israel, The Huffington Post
“An especially powerful book. It is not just for those who have suffered a loss. Anyone who’s trying to deal with a loss, or anyone who know someone dealing with a loss, (and in truth, isn’t that everyone?) will benefit from reading this amazing book.”—Foreword Reviews
“At a time when even the most normal of human experiences, such as grief and suffering, are being pathologized and medicated by a bio-psychiatric industry, Bearing the Unbearable is an honest and courageous examination of the most common of human experiences…Dr. Cacciatore’s powerful book doesn’t stop with delineating the process of grief. [It] shows grieving human beings how to reclaim the process as normal and sacred, and how to insist on defining the process for themselves, which leads to powerful healing…This book will become a staple in my practice, and as well as at Warfighter ADVANCE programs.”—Mary Neal Vieten, PhD, ABPP, Executive Director, WARFIGHTER ADVANCE
BEARING THE UNBEARABLE
Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief
A timeless book, destined to become a classic.
Foreword INDIES Award-Winner — Gold Medal for Self-Help
When a loved one dies, the pain of loss can feel unbearable—especially in the case of a traumatizing death that leaves us shouting, “NO!” with every fiber of our body. The process of grieving can feel wild and nonlinear—and often lasts for much longer than other people, the nonbereaved, tell us it should.
Organized into fifty-two short chapters, Bearing the Unbearable is a companion for life’s most difficult times, revealing how grief can open our hearts to connection, compassion, and the very essence of our shared humanity. Dr. Joanne Cacciatore—bereavement educator, researcher, Zen priest, and leading counselor in the field—accompanies us along the heartbreaking path of love, loss, and grief. Through moving stories of her encounters with grief over decades of supporting individuals, families, and communities—as well as her own experience with loss—Cacciatore opens a space to process, integrate, and deeply honor our grief.
Not just for the bereaved, Bearing the Unbearable will be required reading for grief counselors, therapists and social workers, clergy of all varieties, educators, academics, and medical professionals. Organized into accessible and stand-alone chapters, this book is also perfect for being read aloud in support groups.
A MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHOR
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“Simultaneously heartwrenching and uplifting. Cacciatore offers practical guidance on coping with profound and life-changing grief. This book is destined to be a classic, simply the best book I have ever read on the process of grief.”—Ira Israel, The Huffington Post
“In this poignant, heartrending and heart-lifting book, Joanne Cacciatore teaches how loss is transformed to peace, devastating grief to active and practical love. Beautifully, beautifully written, Bearing the Unbearable is for all those who have grieved, will grieve, or support others through bereavement.”—Gabor Maté, MD, author of When The Body Says No: Exploring The Stress-Disease Connection and In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
“Bearing the Unbearable is a compelling critique of our ‘compassion-deficient’ and happiness-addicted culture that creates a pathological relationship to our feelings in general and grief in particular. Dr. Cacciatore elucidates the cost of pathologizing grief and neglecting and invalidating the emotional experience of people who have suffered horrendous loss—the way such approaches make the grief-stricken doubt themselves and feel alienated and isolated, all of which precludes healing. This book is a plea for therapeutic approaches to trauma and grief that unflinchingly respect the full spectrum of feelings that human beings experience thus providing an emotional home for our agony.”—Jeffrey B. Rubin, PhD, author of Meditative Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy & Buddhism
“There are sentences in this luminous book that took my breath away. With penetrating insight and tender warmth, Dr. Jo meets the broken-hearted where we live: in an utterly transformed and transformational space. This is the secret potion I have been yearning for, offered from a brimming cup.”—Mirabai Starr, translator of Dark Night of the Soul: John of the Cross and author of Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation
“Bearing the Unbearable is a truly remarkable book. Its author, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, who herself suffered the heartbreak of losing a child more than 20 years ago, has devoted her entire professional life to work with traumatic bereavement, and her book brims over with the rich emotional wisdom she has acquired in the course of this work. Her aim in her work and in her book is not to exile, diminish, or ‘cure’ us of grief. For ‘when we love deeply,’ she contends wisely, ‘we also mourn deeply, for extraordinary grief is an expression of extraordinary love.’ Her aim, on the contrary, is to give us a home for grief, to help us to be with and surrender to it, to dwell in unbearable sorrow, whether it be our own or another person’s. Loving and grieving are inseparable and constitutive aspects of our humanity, and one cannot emerge from a close reading of Bearing the Unbearable without feeling more deeply human. I strongly recommend it both to those who work with the traumatically bereaved and those who suffer from such bereavement themselves.”—Robert D. Stolorow, PhD., Founding Faculty Member at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, author of Trauma and Human Existence
“Joanne Cacciatore’s amazing and emotionally demanding new book, Bearing the Unbearable, is an experience more than a book. In recounting many many cases from her extraordinary therapy practice devoted to helping people who are undergoing severe grief mostly after the death of a child, the book offers the reader an experience that, like grief itself, is painful but for which one will be deeply grateful afterward…With the courage and wisdom of the author to support the reader through its many many vivid and memorable examples, Bearing the Unbearable takes us on a journey through some of the purest and most piercing distillations of grief, yielding details and distinctions that increase understanding of processes that are usually invisible…Cacciatore reminds us that some terribly painful things are also terribly normal and human. Her mapping of the terrain of grief reveals the absurdity (and offensiveness, even with the best of intentions) of formulating ‘diagnostic criteria’ for pathological grief that claim to be universally applicable yet fail to take into account even the most basic context and nature of the loss…Cicero, a Roman Stoic…tells the story of Anaxagoras, who, upon being told of the death of his son, said simply and tearlessly, “I knew that I had borne a mortal.” …the book does persuasively and importantly challenge the idea that the goal of helping people grieving extreme loss is to throw grief off and divest oneself of it or protect oneself as did Anaxagoras, not only because in many cases that is impossible, but because it is the wrong path to healing.”—Jerome Wakefield, PhD, Professor NYU School of Medicine, author of The Loss of Sadness
“Bearing the Unbearable: How difficult this is in a culture that denies and distances itself from the well of sorrow. This book is a wise guide, intimate and tender, fierce and wise, reminding us what it means to fully love. Cacciatore invites the dead to come close by and help us to live again, even in the face of the unbearable. She knows the territory of loss and has returned with essential guidance for a people who no longer remember how to navigate the sacred terrain of grief. This is a holy book, riddled with insight and compassion. It will bless all of us in our times of sorrow.”—Francis Weller, author of The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief
“This book represents an approach to grief that moves beyond platitudes and cliche. It offers a way to truly grow through grief that is not a moving beyond but is more of an organic decaying and recycling of the soul. It offers hope for those who feel like their loss has disconnected themselves forever from humanity and the circle of life. There is something for everyone in this garden that will restore and rejuvenate. I would highly recommend this book!”—Doug Bremner, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Emory University and author of The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg and You Can’t Just Snap Out of It
- 240 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 inches
- ISBN 9781614292968
- 240 pages
- ISBN 9781614293170
The Zen of R2-D2
Coming November 2019
Did you ever wonder why R2-D2 is
- always calm and cool under pressure,
- the key to the rebellion’s survival, and
- the one who never fails to save the day?
Could it be because he’s secretly a Zen master?
Discover your inner R2—and the truth about who you really are!
This delightful and illuminating romp unfolds in the form of a fictional dialogue between the author—a die-hard Star Wars devotee with a deep connection to Zen—and two cosplayers dressed as C-3PO and R2-D2 who insist on being called by their character names. Along the way, you’ll come to see what everyone’s favorite astromech can teach us about peace, happiness, and life’s true meaning.
The Death of You
If you might someday die,
if you know someone who will . . .
Join Miguel Chen for a wild ride where we get real about death—and even have a few laughs at its expense. In plainspoken, kind, and encouraging language, Miguel will show you how to transform your relationship with death—and in doing so, get to know your life in a whole new way. Today is the perfect day to start. Don’t wait . . . you’re not gonna live forever.
Creativity, Spirituality, and Making a Buck
“How do I make a living doing what I love?”
“Am I a sellout as an artist if I want to be successful?”
“How do I integrate my spiritual principles with the art of running a business? And actually, um, how do I run a business?”
Are you struggling to reconcile your calling with your need to make a living wage? Are you wondering what to do once your art starts selling, or how to achieve success in your field, or what it even means to be successful?
In Creativity, Spirituality, and Making a Buck, David Nichtern—a beloved Buddhist teacher and successful musician, composer, and producer who has worked with the likes of Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Garcia, and Lana Del Rey—offers his lived, learned experience as an entrepreneur, musician, and Buddhist teacher to first help you figure out what “success” means to you and then show you how to get there. If you’re trying to align your spiritual, creative, and financial pursuits and discover what it means to truly live well, this book is for you.
“Everybody has a hungry heart. We are hungry for so many different kinds of food. The table is set and the meal is laid out for us…but how do we put that food into our mouths and TASTE IT? In this book, David Nichtern guides us with wisdom, joy, and humor to make our whole lives a tasty meal to be enjoyed and shared with others.”—Krishna Das, author of Chants of a Lifetime and Grammy-nominated kirtan artist
Sculpting the Buddha Within
Sculpting the Buddha Within is the first major biography of Shinjo Ito, the founder of the Shinnyo-en tradition of Buddhism and one of the twentieth century’s most innovative spiritual teachers. Ito was schooled in Shingon, the millennium-old esoteric Buddhism of Japan, and used that as the basis for developing a unique lay practice grounded in the principles and concepts of the Mahayana version of the Nirvana Sutra.
Ito’s wish was to help his practitioners see their own potential for goodness so that they, too, would be inspired to work diligently to shape and give form to their inner buddha. Rather than encouraging his followers to believe in a fixed system of practice or beliefs, Ito taught how to live life in accordance with one’s buddha nature—and the gratitude, creativity, and happiness latent within it.
What Makes You So Busy?
Coming December 2019
Khenpo Sodargye, a world-famous Tibetan Buddhist lama and scholar, offers guidance on an issue that troubles so many of us in the modern world: What is true happiness, and how do we achieve it?
Bombarded with information, endlessly pursuing possessions—we look for happiness in all the wrong places. Khenpo Sodargye, one of the busiest Buddhist teachers in the world, shows us how to redirect our attention away from such distractions and instead calm our minds and find true contentment.
The Illustrated Lotus Sutra
Discounted to $77 until October 21.
The Lotus Sutra is regarded as one of the world’s great religious scriptures and most influential texts. It’s a seminal work in the development of Buddhism throughout East Asia and, by extension, in the development of Mahayana Buddhism throughout the world. Taking place in a vast and fantastical cosmic setting, the Lotus Sutra places emphasis on skillfully doing whatever is needed to serve and compassionately care for others, on breaking down distinctions between the fully enlightened buddha and the bodhisattva who vows to postpone salvation until all beings may share it, and especially on each and every being’s innate capacity to become a buddha.
This illustrated edition features more than 110 full-page and two-page illustrations by a world-renowned and award-winning artist, and brings the fantastical and image-filled world of the Lotus Sutra vividly to life. Demi’s illustrations are both classical and contemporary in feel, perfectly complementing Reeves’s masterful and modern translation.
“Intimacy is based on the willingness to open ourselves to many others, to family, friends, and even strangers, forming genuine and deep bonds based on common humanity. Koshin Paley Ellison’s teachings share the way forward into a path of connection, compassion, and intimacy.”
—His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Each of us has an enormous capacity for love—a deep well of attention and care that we can offer to ourselves and others. With guidance that is both simple and wholly transformative, Koshin Paley Ellison, Zen teacher and psychotherapist, shows us how to uncover it: pay attention, be of service, and be with others.
With this inspiring and down-to-earth book, drawn from the Zen precepts and illustrated with anecdotes from Koshin’s own life and practice, you’ll learn how to
- explore and investigate with your own core values,
- identify the mental habits that could be unconsciously hurting yourself and others, and
- overcome isolation.
Each chapter closes with a contemplation to help integrate the teachings into your life.
This book is about getting back in touch with your values, so you can live energetically, authentically, and lovingly. This is an invitation to close the gaps we create between ourselves and others—to wake up to ourselves and the world around us.
It’s time to live wholeheartedly.
Daughters of Emptiness
Women played major roles in the history of Buddhist China, but given the paucity of the remaining records, their voices have all but faded. In Daughters of Emptiness, Beata Grant renders a great service by recovering and translating the enchanting verse—by turns assertive, observant, devout—of forty-eight nuns from sixteen centuries of imperial China. This selection of poems, along with the brief biographical accounts that accompany them, affords readers a glimpse into the extraordinary diversity and sometimes startling richness of these women’s lives.
A sample poem for this stunning collection:
The sequence of seasons naturally pushes forward,
Suddenly I am startled by the ending of the year.
Lifting my eyes I catch sight of the winter crows,
Calling mournfully as if wanting to complain.
The sunlight is cold rather than gentle,
Spreading over the four corners like a cloud.
A cold wind blows fitfully in from the north,
Its sad whistling filling courtyards and houses.
Head raised, I gaze in the direction of Spring,
But Spring pays no attention to me at all.
Time a galloping colt glimpsed through a crack,
The tap [of Death] at the door has its predestined time.
How should I not know, one who has left the world,
And for whom floating clouds are already familiar?
In the garden there grows a rosary-plum tree:
Whose sworn friendship makes it possible to endure.
—Chan Master Jingnuo
Chen-Chiu: The Original Acupuncture
Chen-Chiu: The Original Acupuncture is based on an historic Chinese acupuncture text that remains vital to this day: the Ling-Shu-Jing. Dr. Claus Schnorrenberger, who has produced a well-known translation of Ling-Shu-Jing, here applies his personal medical experience—as a lecturer, and moreover, as an orthodox Western physician and Chinese acupuncturist/herbalist—to the principles of the text.
The result is a new view of the prevailing Western perceptions of Chinese medicines. The author calls into question such concepts as Chi, the meridians, and even acupuncture itself, in order to correct erroneous translations still in use by many to this day. Chen-Chiu provides an epistemological reflection on what Chinese medicine and acupuncture really mean, and adds new contrast and insight into Western and Eastern views of healing. This, the author rightly contends, is essential for the successful integration of Chinese medicines in the West.
Schnorrenberger’s book is well-balanced and much-needed, appropriate not only as a reference for students and practitioners of Chinese medicine, but also as a learning aid for patients, health-care workers and administrators, Western physicians, and more.
The Ceasing of Notions
Among the writings from the Dunhuang Caves, discovered in the mid-twentieth Century, are the Zen equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls—ancient texts unknown for centuries. The Ceasing of Notions is one such text. It takes a unique form: a dialogue between two imaginary figures, a master and his disciple, in which the disciple tenaciously pursues the master’s pity utterances with follow-up questions that propel the dialogue toward ever more profound insights. And these questions prove to be the reader’s very own. Soko Morinaga brings alive this compact and brilliant text with his own vivid commentary.
This volume also includes a generous selection from Morinaga’s acclaimed autobiography, Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of my Own Stupidity.
Business and the Buddha
When it comes to business, everyone wants to do well. But can we do good at the same time? Lloyd Field (and, indeed the Dalai Lama, who provides the foreword here) says, unequivocally, Yes. Field’s Business and the Buddha lays out the guidelines for putting ideas about individual and corporate social responsibility into practice without sacrificing the bottom line.
No longer can business—big or small—afford to focus solely on profit. Real assessment of a business’s worth must take into account its consideration of our shared human values, and the realities of our shared planet. That doesn’t mean a business can’t or shouldn’t compete; it means that investing in efforts to build a better society can be, on many levels, an asset.
Drawing in a substantial and sophisticated way on traditional Buddhist teachings, Lloyd Field shows how decision-makers and entrepreneurs can achieve new levels of happiness and security both inside and outside the company, and take a power-position as a force for positive global change.
Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved
Since its beginning, Buddhism has been intimately concerned with confronting and understanding death and dying. Indeed, the tradition emphasizes turning toward the realities of sickness, old age, and death—and using those very experiences to develop wisdom and liberating compassion. In recent decades, Buddhist chaplains and caregivers all over the world have been drawing on this tradition to contribute greatly to the development of modern palliative and hospice care in the secular world at large. Specifically Buddhist hospice programs have been further developing and applying traditional Buddhist practices of preparing for death, attending the dying, and comforting the bereaved.
Buddhist Care for the Dying and Bereaved contains comprehensive overviews of the best of such initiatives, drawn from diverse Buddhist traditions, and written by practitioners who embody the best of contemporary Buddhist hospice care programs practiced all over the world today.
Contributors include Carl B. Becker, Moichiro Hayashi, Yozo Taniyama, Mari Sengoku, Phaisan Visalo, Beth Kanji Goldring, Caroline Prasada Brazier, Joan Jiko Halifax, and Julie Chijo Hanada.
Buddhism is famous for bringing inner peace, but what about social harmony, human rights, and environmental balance? We have a responsibility today to work directly with our own suffering and the suffering in our communities, the world, and the environment.
Buddhist Peacework collects—for the first time in one place—first-person descriptions of the ideas and work of eminent Buddhist leaders such as the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Maha Ghosananda, A.T. Ariyaratne, Daisaku Ikeda, Shih Cheng-yen, Sulak Sivaraksa, and Robert Aitken. These 18 essays are divided into three sections that explore the newest Buddhist social developments, the principles that guide Buddhist peacework, and the importance of ongoing inner peacework in developing a sense of kinship with all people.
A table of contents for this book can be found here.
Buddhism of the Heart
Jeff Wilson started his walk on the Buddha’s path as a Zen practitioner—taking up a tradition of vigorous self-effort, intensive meditation, and meticulous attention to rectitude in every action. But in Jeff’s case, rather than freeing him from his suffering, he found those Zen practices made him nothing short of insufferable. And so he turned to Shin Buddhism—a path that is easily the most popular in Zen’s native land of Japan but is largely unknown in the West.
Shin emphasizes an “entrusting heart,” a heart that is able to receive with gratitude every moment of our mistake-filled and busy lives. Moreover, through walking the Shin path, Jeff comes see that each of us (himself especially included) are truly “foolish beings,” people so filled with endlessly arising “blind passions” and ingrained habits that we so easily cause harm even with our best intentions. And even so, Shin holds out the tantalizing possibility that, by truly entrusting our foolish selves to the compassionate universe, we can learn to see how this foolish life, just as it is, is nonetheless also a life of grace.
Buddhism of the Heart is a wide-ranging book of essays and open-hearted stories, reflections that run the gamut from intensely personal to broadly philosophical, introducing the reader to a remarkable religious tradition of compassionate acceptance.
The Buddha’s Apprentices
Sumi Loundon’s Blue Jean Buddha was hailed by the New York Times Review of Books as “a bellwether anthology”—mapping the spiritual trails followed by a generation of American Buddhist youths. The Buddha’s Apprentices examines that territory in fuller detail, telling twenty-six more stories of this powerful spiritual path, including the stories of many teenagers. The book shows us the common challenges that spiritually hungry young adults of today might face, with a focus on the identity issues around personality, profession, and lifestyle. Also included are several affirming essays from prominent older Buddhists, recalling their first encounters with Buddhism. The Buddha’s Apprentices inspires, examining the tectonic shifts that young, spiritually-inclined people undergo as they leave home, search for partners, consider commitment and marriage, and build their lives. Furthermore, they tell of how Buddhism changes and enhances their abilities to face life’s difficulties.
Sumi Loundon’s rich and youthful commentary lets us appreciate each contributor’s individual voice, and helps us to see how they contribute to the always-evolving chorus of modern Buddhism.
The Buddha’s Apprentices can be considered a sequel to Sumi Loundon’s Blue Jean Buddha, but goes beyond that work by giving extra attention to teens and young adults and including pieces from Thich Nhat Hanh, Lama Surya Das, and a truly diverse array of younger author/contributors.
Buddhism and Psychotherapy Across Cultures
As both Buddhism and psychotherapy have grown and diversified in Asia, as well as in the West, so too has the literature dealing with their interaction. Today, Japan and the United States are the two largest psychotherapeutic cultures in the world, and this volume brings together seminal contemporary thinkers in both disciplines on both sides of the Pacific. Both Buddhism and psychotherapy are cultural institutions that evolved over time as their native cultures evolved, as the configurations of the self evolved, and as new cultures assimilated them. And both have transformed the cultures in which they have evolved. Cross-cultural interaction occurs not only between the two disciplines of Buddhist and psychotherapeutic practice (involving various schools and approaches within each) but also across geographical and ethnic boundaries, within the practitioner him- or herself.
Contributors explore the creative possibilities emerging from the synergy of Buddhism and psychotherapy. Many conference participants came from a Pure Land Buddhist background (the largest stream of Buddhism in East Asia), specifically that of Jodo-shin (commonly known as Shin Buddhism), although Buddhist teachers and scholars of the Zen, Tibetan, and Vipassana traditions were also well represented. This volume in particular brings together world-class specialists from the United States and Japan, including Jack Engler, Anne Klein, Jeremy Safran, Naoki Nabeshima, Yasunobu Okada, Taitetsu Unno. They are versed in various forms of psychotherapy and counseling including clinical practice, therapist training, the care of the terminally ill, and in the practice of Tibetan, Zen, Vipassana and Pure Land Buddhism. This ground-breaking volume offers rich reflections at many levels.
The Book of Mu
The word “mu” is one ancient Zen teacher’s response to the earnest question of whether even a dog has “buddha nature”. Discovering for ourselves the meaning of the master’s response is the urgent work of each of us who yearns to be free and at peace. “Practicing Mu” is synonymous with practicing Zen, “sitting with Mu” is an apt description for all Zen meditation, and it is said that all the thousands and thousands of koans in the Zen tradition are just further elaborations of Mu.
This watershed volume brings together over forty teachers, ancient and modern masters from across centuries and schools, to illuminate and clarify the essential matter: the question of how to be most truly ourselves.
Includes writings from: Dogen • Hakuin • Dahui • Thich Thien-An Zenkei Shibayama • Seung Sahn • Taizan Maezumi • Sheng Yen Philip Kapleau • Robert Aitken • Jan Chozen Bays • Shodo Harada Grace Schireson • John Daido Loori • John Tarrant Barry Magid • Joan Sutherland … and many more!
The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed
After the death of her six-week-old son, Liam, Katie Willis Morton embarked on a courageous search for solace and understanding. The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed invites readers to share in her voyage as she travels the world and the landscapes of her own experience. Interweaving what she witnesses—simple rituals like children’s baths and picnics, and birth and death rites—with her own recovery and growth, she discovers that the pain she has experienced is both unavoidable and necessary, a pivotal part of the process of healing that can lead to “a victorious kind of joy, of acceptance.” In discovering herself, Morton speaks to readers suffering similar tragedies, and indeed to all of us, in an intimate and inspiring story about enduring world-shattering pain and coming out whole.
The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed helps us confront the universal truths of love and loss that we all will eventually and inevitably encounter. This book will be a comfort to anyone who has faced a tragic loss, but not only that, it takes us all on a rich journey, through joy, suffering, and ultimately to hope, in a way that is quietly beautiful and, above all, utterly life-affirming.