A local author is scheduled to present her new book on grief at Levi Coe Library next month.
Lisa Irish was the bereavement coordinator for 12 years at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven. As a Catholic chaplain, she has ministered to individuals, groups and community organizations for 25 years.
Her latest book, “Grieving, the Sacred Art: Hope in the Land of Loss,” was published by Skylight Paths Publishing earlier this month.
The book, Irish said, includes both current bereavement research as well as tangible suggestions to help people work with and learn from their grief.
“Grief is a subject whose time has come,” she said. “Grief is our friend. It’s our ally … Grief is so painful and we spend most of our time resisting it, but if we understand the emotional, spiritual, psychological role that grief plays, it provides healing and recovery.”
Irish’s library program on bereavement and loss will include readings from the book, sharing her experiences and Q&A.
Irish has lived in Middlefield for 11 years and has degrees in education and theology.
During her time working in the hospitals, she met both with individuals and like-loss groups, which help with particular losses such as spouse, child or parent.
“Grief is the good guy,” Irish said. “It is not something to get through, something to tolerate. It’s actually the force within us guiding us.”
Irish spoke on a news authors panel at the International Women’s Writing Guild’s Spring Big Apple event recently.
In addition to the upcoming library program, Irish has 11 events booked around the state this spring, speaking to community and church groups.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said.
Kelly DuMar, International Women's Writing Guild board member, said Irish’s book speaks about the "gift" of grief.
“I just bought a copy for a woman in one of my writer's groups because she's actively grieving,” DuMar said, “and I want her to hear (Irish's) wisdom and message about grief as a spiritual process. It's easy to be afraid of grief and people who are grieving. Lisa's message is about community and support and breaking isolation."
For more information, visit Irish’s blog at www.lisairish.com.