guide for grief
“We live through the arc of life from birth to death, experiencing a flow of gifts and losses,” says author and Presbyterian minister Nancy Copeland-Payton. “Gifts are not ours to keep. Fear of dying and aging are part of our longing for the sacred. We need to let our little losses go, and go with the flow. How we mourn and honor our larger losses through ‘good grieving’ helps us reweave our hearts.”
That may sound easier said than done.
Fortunately Rev. Nancy Copeland-Payton will lead a retreat, “Losses of Our Lives,” at Spirit Center at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, November 15-17. She will guide retreatants in the myriad ways we experience loss daily, and help them develop a posture of responding without holding on too tightly.
Most importantly, she believes people can learn to experience the sacred in loss.
Nancy practiced medicine for 20 years before becoming a minister. She has served at the First Presbyterian Church in Sandpoint, Idaho for nine years.
As a minister, Nancy has moved toward focusing on retreat ministry, spiritual direction and writing. She is the author of The Losses of Our Lives: The Sacred Gifts of Renewal in Everyday Loss.
Prioress Sister Clarissa Goeckner of the Monastery has written of the book: “Captures beautifully the paradox that the losses of our lives can become our gains. By weaving story, experience and faith … shows how our deepest hurts may be the soil that nurtures the seeds of our transformation.”
Nancy’s focus on loss began with her own life—the loss of a pet, her grandfather’s death and moving. Her understandings of gift and loss in life flowed through her work as a physician and then as a pastor, as well as in her relationships with family and friends.
“I hope to convey the need for people to walk through their losses,” says Nancy, “using their traditions in an intentional way.”
“Losses of Our Lives” retreat begins Friday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. and ends Sunday, November 17 at 1:30 p.m. Suggested donation: $195 single/$300 shared. To register, visit www.Spirit-Center.org or call 208-962-2000.