Book Title: The Collision of Grief and Gratitude: A Pursuit of Sacred Light
Author: Rosanne Liesveld
Category: Adult Non-fiction, 468 pages
Genre: Self-Help, Death & Grief, Grief & Bereavement
Publisher: Illuminatio Press
Release date: May 16, 2017
Tour dates: July 16 to Aug 10, 2018
Content Rating: PG (The subject of loss is explored and some of the emotions may be too raw for young children.)
"And so each day goes; the grief and the gratitude fighting for the bigger spot in my heart. The tug of war between these emotions exhausts me most days. If you see me in the grief mode, you'll think I'm a wreck. But if you see me in gratitude mode, you'll think I m doing well. Neither is 100 percent true. I am what I am most days, leaning toward finding more gratitude than grief as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months."
After the unexpected death of her husband, Rosanne Liesveld felt a desperate need to communicate gratitude to those who helped her through the shock that death left in its wake. The day of Curt's funeral, Rosanne wrote a Facebook post expressing how, in the midst of profound grief, she found a space in her heart for gratitude. The next day, she wrote another post; then another.
Rosanne's daily posts throughout her first year of widowhood attracted hundreds to follow along on her journey. Her words inspired those who were not only grieving in some way, but those who wanted to build stronger relationships or live life with more intention and gratitude. It was messy. It was raw. And it was healing.
Rosanne's posts have been compiled into this 366-day journey and are accompanied by beautiful photos taken by Curt.
To follow the tour, please visit Rosanne Liesveld's page on iRead Book Tours.
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Author of The Collision of Grief and Gratitude
Grief, Goals, Calendars, and Getting Somewhere in Life
Rosanne Liesveld is the author of The Collision of Grief and Gratitude. After the unexpected death of her husband, she felt a desperate need to communicate gratitude to those who helped her through the shock his death left in its wake. A few days after Curt’s funeral, Rosanne wrote a Facebook post expressing how, in the midst of profound grief, she found a space in heart for gratitude. The next day she wrote another post, and then another.
Rosanne’s daily posts throughout her first year of widowhood inspired not only those who were grieving in some way, but those who wanted to build stronger relationships and life live with more intention and gratitude. It was messy. It was raw. It was healing.
When I wrote the 366 daily Facebook posts that eventually became the book, The Collision of Grief and Gratitude, I didn’t realize how the simple goal of writing each day would propel me forward so powerfully through a year of deep grief and constant sorrow. I did not plan to sit down each day and write about my daily grief, and I certainly did not intend to find gratitude amid my uninvited life event.
All my life I have been a person who wrote down goals and kept records of those goals. This is my post from Day 222:
I don’t always accomplish those goals, but most of the times, I’ve made a good dent in them. This year was the biggest flop of all. So much for that trip to Switzerland. So much for retirement plans. So much for writing a book together….
My grief wants to have goals like “don’t cry all day” or “don’t think about my loss the first thing when I wake up.”
Three years after I wrote that post, I sit in a slightly different spot, but still find it hard to write goals for the future. This year, I bought a new paper calendar. You see, I had used my electronic devices to calendar for several years, priding myself in the thought that even old ladies can be cool if their calendar is on their phone.
But I missed looking at a calendar on my desk. I missed the macro view. And I missed the mini view. And mostly, I missed writing down my annual goals and breaking them down into months and days and even hours.
I’m sure many highly productive and creative people have never ever written a formal goal. But for me, goals give me clarity. I find I can live out my values more intentionality when I have goals. I find that I begin and end the year with more gratitude and satisfaction with goals.
What does this have to do with grief? After suddenly losing my soul mate may have been the most difficult and yet the most important time in my life to write goals. I couldn’t really write much for goals for at least a couple months. But even after a short amount of time, I tried my hand at re-writing goals. I wrote mostly short-term goals that I thought would be easy enough to conquer. I tried things like “join a new social group,” or “redo Curt’s office into an exercise space,” (I really needed to get back to some form of exercise for therapy!) or “go on a trip with my grandkids”. No, these weren’t earth-shattering goals, but they gave me some direction while still fitting into my values, my grief, and my recovery. I wrote them on my calendar and I looked to them often to move me forward. No doubt there were days when I didn’t care one speck about working toward a goal, but most days, I had an idea of what I needed and wanted to do to make life feel like it had some relative meaning.
If you haven’t written goals before, try simply organizing them into four or five categories based on your values. Then break them down and be sure they are measurable. Are you sure you will know if you have accomplished them? (“Being nicer” doesn’t count as a goal because it’s not objectively measurable). And if you must, buy a pretty calendar, write your goals on it, and look at them regularly. Such a simple exercise might help you do more than survive a difficult season. It might help you thrive.
Rosanne is available to chat with groups or book clubs either in person or via Zoom. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is also the author of Teach with Strengths: How Great Teachers Inspire Students, a book she did set out to write in a more conventional way with JoAnn Miller and Jennifer Robinson for Gallup Press.
Meet the Author:
As a coach and teacher for more than thirty years with the Gallup Organization, Rosanne has helped people discover and lean into their strengths. She now speaks to groups about how to build stronger relationships, and live life with more intention and gratitude.
Connect with the author: Facebook
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