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Facing Death, Finding Love: The Healing Power of Grief and Loss in one Family's Life

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Facing Death, Finding Love: The Healing Power of Grief and Loss in One Family's Life was written by Dawson Church. 1994. 140p. Aslan Publishing. Dawson Church is a publisher, editor and author. Previous books he has authored or co-authored include The Heart of the Healer and Communing with the Spirit of Your Unborn Child. He works as CEO of Atrium Publishers Group - a book distributor- and lives with his wife and two children in Lake County, California.

Dawson Church starts out with his acknowledgments of appreciation to all the people that have supported him in the writing and publishing of this book. The introduction by Church's editor, Hal Zina Bennett, Ph.D., reflects the truths revealed in the book's contents as reminders that in opening our hearts and minds to the greatest mysteries of all - the vast mysteries of life and death - we discover a love that is as powerful in the receiving as in the giving, transcending all our deepest and most grievous emotions. Maybe the best way to describe and sum up the contents of Church's book that readers are about to discover is as follow...

"It is perhaps in grief that we discover the force that carried us once again into incarnation, the reason we incarnated in the first place. It is in the tearing open of heart that we discover how guarded our lives have become, how small a cage we have traded off for safe ground. We see how our work is to be more loving, to live more fully in an often confusing world."

Church uses nine chapters together with his afterword and appendix A: Grieving Rituals as well as appendix B: Connecting With the Soul to cover all the contents of this book.

Chapter one - The Death - starts out with the vision that death can come very unexpectedly to anyone at anytime or any place when one least prepares for it. Death to Church and his wife as well as to many people in the world are hard to recognize and deal with. He keeps come up with questions such as "We felt him kicking just last night. What could have happened between then and now? We didn't feel any struggle. Surely he would have alerted us if something were wrong? He could have communicated his distress, and we could have known and perhaps done something." Church couldn't get over the unexpected death of Montague because he thought that no way it could possibly be happened when he and his wife did not neglect any aspect of caring for the infant in the womb. He has been totally available to his wife emotionally. Everyone at work has supported her, and she has taken great care of herself throughout the pregnant progress. The calm wisdom of their souls coexisted with the upswelling agony of loss in their hearts when Montague's death comes so unexpectedly. However, he and his wife try to give themselves time to grieve and deal with their own needs.

Chapter two - The Prayer - has reminded many people of the idea that when they reach the bottom of hopelessness causes by death, they tend to turn to God with prayers that hope to help them with their distress or help eased their pain. The author of this book has proved the existence of this idea through his prayers to God with sincere belief as describe as follow...

"I moved into a state of heightened awareness. Closing my eyes, I expressed our petition to God. I asked for the presence of Jesus to be with me. I prayed for the healing of my loved one, and before my mind's eye I felt the bleeding slow down and stop. Then I prayed that Brenda's body would, from its own amazing internal pharmacy, manufacture the clotting agent, endorphins, and other chemicals it needed for the birth. Her body felt so healthy and vibrant that I had no doubt that this prayer was answered." Church believes that without prayer and the awareness of God's presence, he and his wife could have taken months to move through a huge chunk of the grieving process and reach a stage of acceptance.

Chapter three - The Birth - signifies a variety of forms and shapes that death can be transformed. In this case, it is signified through the birth of Montague's dead body. When holding Montague's dead body in his arms, Church's thought expresses that he had never seen death this close before. He had certainly never touched death. He thinks that if anyone, a few hours before, had told him that he would wish to touch the body, he would have denounced them as having an unhealthy and morbid fascination with death. Yet he knew that he needed to be fully within this experience with death, rather than pushing it away from him. Church's thoughts also has served as the purpose to express the very common way of how most people in the world are looking at death although it is an everyday occurrence that happens everywhere.

Chapter four - Friends, Enemies and Children - serves as the purpose to remind us to be patient, caring, loving, and understanding of our partner and our children even when they may act like our enemy. It's worth to know that through thick and thin, through good and bad time, we'll be ready to help each other successfully overcome the pain and grief that bring by death.

Chapter five - Welcoming the Soul - gives us the idea that if we are aware only of the physical body and stay centered in the level of appearances without paying attention to our soul (spirit), we own only the loss. To the author, this would be a truly terrible legacy to have a "tragedy" and be left only with the disaster. Church believes that by centered in the spiritual realm, he also owns the meaning; this transforms the loss and gives it a context of purpose. Suddenly he realizes that it isn't a loss; that in the great cosmic design energy is neither created nor destroyed. The "tragedy" brings him closer to love, and all he truly and ultimately



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