Listening to Grief, by W. Dow Edgerton

Posted: March 03rd, 2014

Professor W. Dow Edgerton has bestowed a very special and generous gift to the CTS Community. Professor Edgerton’s latest book, Listening to Grief, is available only on the CTS website. Click HERE to read more about this generous gift and important resource and to download the book.

Enjoy this excerpt from Listening to Grief:

“I want to learn to listen better to those who grieve. I want to learn to attend more, to understand more. I want to learn to respond more fully, more fittingly and more faithfully to the grief that is coming to expression in a particular person. However we finally respond to the loss that another has suffered, I believe it must be born of a deep listening. 

Grief, however, can present itself in so many different ways and can touch on everything in the world (and beyond) seen and unseen, that was or is or is to come. Grief can express itself through thoughts and feelings that seem utter contradictions. Love that sounds like fear, pain that sounds like joy, doubt that sounds like faith, arguments that sound like prayers, prayers that sound like earthquakes, yes that sounds like no, and stories and dreams and dramas and songs and poems, and, and, and… In the face of this, a listener can simply be overwhelmed in the way that both a breaking wave and a slow surge can flood us out. This is no less true of listening to one’s own grief and seeking to hear. Your grief is speaking and telling you something about you and the world in which you live. How can you listen?”