Book Review

Sacred Wound : Healing from the Death of a Child
by Lois Gold

Editorial Reviews 

Book Description 

This is an account of one of life's most painful experiences--the sudden death of a child. A mother's anguish compels her to examine beliefs about what comes after death and to explore ancient healing methods in Mexico, Brazil, and Bali. At its core a spiritual odyssey, The Sacred Wound is about creating meaning from life-shattering events--events which can utterly destroy us or serve as a call to extraordinary courage and growth. 

A life-shattering event is a modern day "sacred wound," a wounding so profound that it pierces the soul and penetrates the veils of who we are and what we think life is about. Like a mythological hero, we will emerge from the ordeal another person. As the author says, "For three years grief was my consort, it became my teacher." This inspiring and searingly honest book is about more than survival following the death of a loved one; it is about the gift that death bears in its other hand. It is about discovering the truth that love is the central experience of life and not simply mortality, and that this truth can emerge in ways we can never predict or expect. It chronicles the author's development of a spiritual connection that goes beyond her personal healing and speaks to those of us who have endured painful losses. Tragedy remains tragedy, suffering remains suffering. Yet the descent into darkness, if approached as a healing journey, can lead us to a place where the sweetness of life can be savored without denying the darkness. 

As a mother who faced this difficult journey, she shares the answers that she found to the eternal questions: "Why me? How do I find meaning again? Where do I go from here?" We walk beside her on the same archetypal terrain traveled by our ancestors on the journey of the soul. 

From the Author 

This book is a memoir about the death of my only child when she was sixteen. It is the story of my journey from unfathomable pain toward healing. Every parent's worst terror is that something might happen to their child. When the unthinkable happens, you believe you will die; and part of you does. Pain is your constant companion; it becomes your teacher. Compassion and love are the healers. And surrender is the dimly lit path through your grief. 

I was just like everyone else until September 29, 1991, the day my daughter was killed in a plane crash in a small mountain community in Central Oregon. In one afternoon, the life I knew vaporized. I was plunged into an abyss. There was nothing in all my twenty years of professional experience as a therapist that prepared me or that I could call upon to help me survive. 

Each act of surviving tragedy is an odyssey, terrifying and inspiring. We never expect to be called and nothing can prepare us for the journey into the underworld. I wrote this book to help others who are seeking meaning, solace, and a path to healing as I was. It is the story of everyone’s journey back, and each one who returns lights the way for others. 

About the Author 

Lois Gold, M.S.W. is a therapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon. She is past president of the Academy of Family Mediators, and was active in the development of mediation and alternative dispute resolution on a national level before her daughter died. She is the author of Between Love and Hate: A Guide to Civilized Divorce. Her practice currently focuses on mediation, divorce consultation, and therapy for individuals, couples, and families. She also specializes in loss and healing and has had extensive training in shamanic practices. 


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