Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Loss That Binds Us

"I wrote this book because grief, though an individual journey, is a universal experience we all endure."  ~The Loss That Binds Us, Sweta Vikram

The loss of a loved one is often a very difficult and painful emotional experience.   Grief may feel all-encompassing and crushing at times, especially at the beginning.  Grief may make us feel as if we are all tied up, bound by ropes that refuse to loosen up.

In The Loss That Binds Us: 108 Tips on Coping with Grief and Loss by best-selling author Sweta Vikram, published in April 2024 by Loving Healing Press, the author talks primarily about the most recent losses in her own life, which were devastating for several reasons.  In May of 2023, she lost her father, with whom she had a very close and loving relationship, and then her dear father-in-law, a mere two days later.  Her mother had died a few years earlier. It was a lot to bear--perhaps too much to bear.  A true writer, Vikram turned to writing to help her process these enormous, intense losses in her life.  She took her great emotional pain and turned it into a book to help herself, as well as others.

The Loss That Binds Us is well-written and thorough. Vikram provides an in-depth look at grief that includes the five stages of grief (DABDA) outlined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, with a sixth stage later proposed by David Kessler (finding meaning), in the book On Death and Dying (1969).  However, Vikram knows that grieving is not a one-size-fits-all process, but a unique process, different for each person. This thoughtful, touching, personal account is full of ideas and suggestions to help individuals dealing with grief. The Loss That Binds Us presents 108 ideas to help guide people during the grieving process, designed to assist all with their own personal grief. (Why 108? The significance of this number is discussed in detail in this special manual.) 

I lost both of my parents just short of a dozen years ago. They died about one year apart (a charming friend of mine said that was because they wanted to be together again).  It was a very sad time in my life. When I read this book, I realized that many of the tips in this book rang true to me.  Since my parents died, I've done several of the things mentioned in the book, including reaching out to family members, sharing stories about the person who died, and remembering their birthdays (and celebrating them in some way). Quite recently, one of my sisters texted that she'd just added some trimming from my mother's sewing basket to adorn her jeans; I'd added some to the hem of my own jeans and capris a few years ago, a decorative touch in remembrance of our wonderful mother. Particularly after my mother died, it helped me a great deal to see and to talk to family members, especially my three sisters, and my mother's sister and her son. Together, we navigated our grief, and were able to get through emotionally difficult times. Grieving together brought us closer together, which is an integral part of what the author presents in her book.

The Loss That Binds Us is a profound book, a valuable manual for people who are dealing with grief after the loss of a loved one. It is worth reading, and rereading.  It provides understanding, ideas, insights--and hope!

Special thanks to Sweta Vikram for providing me with an advance reading copy of The Loss That Binds Us.

Thank you for reading! Your comments are welcomed, as always.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

A Piece of Peace: Everyday Mindfulness You Can Use


"I have learned to prioritize myself on a daily basis. It's given me a piece of peace." ~A Piece of Peace, Sweta Vikram

I will begin at the beginning, or right before the beginning.  In the introduction of the new book by best-selling author Sweta Srivastava VikramA Piece of Peace: Everyday Mindfulness You Can Use, ideas about wellness and self-care are presented.

"Self-care and mindfulness are revolutionary and not optional for your healing and creativity." ~A Piece of Peace, Sweta Vikram

And I will now cut to the chase! I found myself highlighting a lot of the text in my advance reading copy of A Piece of Peace. This book is full of wisdom and wonderful ideas that will contribute to health, well-being, and creativity.  Countless great ideas are presented and elaborated upon in this slim volume!  My notes, and consequently the ideas in this review, may seem to be "all over the place". 

A Piece of Peace is a manual of sorts, filled with incredible ideas and concepts that will be a a gift to those who read it.  The different sections are clearly titled, so you can skip around a bit if you want to, and learn about or investigate ideas as you wish. There are special tips for writers, including yoga poses that may benefit writers and artists, Ayurveda and mindfulness tips, and tips pertaining to the pandemic, presented in a friendly and encouraging manner.  In A Piece of Peace, the author reveals her personal story of illness and hospitalization, and subsequent quest for a return to health. She doesn't preach but speaks kindly from the heart, and generously shares her wisdom.  She's upbeat and encouraging. 


Sweta Vikram presents her new book

Many claim that silence is golden. Why I spend 12 Hours a week in Complete Silence (maun vrat in Sanskrit) is a fascinating chapter of the book. It talks about the author's practice of staying silent for 12 hour periods, and how she finds perspective in silence. Her husband, Anudit, notices the many positive effects of this on her, and adopts this practice as well. I'm not sure that I could remain silent for that long, but the idea is certainly intriguing!

"In Ayurveda, body, mind, and consciousness work together in maintaining balance." ~A Piece of Peace, Sweta Vikram

I relished so many parts of this book, including the parts about Ayurveda (science or knowledge of life), which I am particularly interested in right now.  In addition to learning the proper spelling of the term, I've started to learn about the ways in which I may revitalize my health with Ayurveda. As a fan of spices, I love this quotation from the book:

"Ayurveda teaches us that the spice cabinet is our first access to the apothecary.  It can turn our pantry into a holistic medicine cabinet." ~A Piece of Peace, Sweta Vikram


I'm a Spice Girl

A Piece of Peace has already influenced me, although I feel as if I have only just begun to implement some of the ideas and approaches to health.  Specifically, I try to get to sleep earlier (emphasis on the word try) each night. I wish to incorporate more Ayurveda into my life, and to be mindful about food, exercise, and meditation (of some sort).  I've noticed that walking or running (without too much conversation with a partner) puts me in a more meditative, creative mode, and also brightens my mood; movement is medicine. I will continue to prioritize my own health and well-being, and refer to this book frequently for ideas, inspiration, and helpful reminders. 

Please note that I've taken the liberty to include quotations from my version of the book, which may change, as I do not have the final edition. The book will be released to the public on September 21, 2021.  You can pre-order the book from the publisher, Loving Healing Press, or on AmazonGoodreads is currently hosting a giveaway for A Piece of Peace.  Enter by September 21.

Special thanks to Sweta Vikram for providing me with an advance reading copy of A Piece of Peace. I am beyond excited about this new book, which is full of wonderful, helpful ideas that will contribute to health and well-being. 

Thanks for reading! Your comments are welcomed.

Some of the books featured here were given to me free of charge by authors, publishers, and agents. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


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