Praying Our Goodbyes

Book, 1988, 182 pp
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We all have our own unique goodbyes - times when we lose someone or something that has given our lives meaning and value.

With a touch of a poet, Joyce Rupp has written a book about "these experiences of leaving behind and moving on, the stories of union and separation that are written in all our hearts." Praying Our Goodbyes, she says, is about the spirituality of change.

It is a book for anyone who has experienced loss, whether it be a job change, the end of a friendship, the death of a loved one, a financial struggle, a mid-life crisis or an extended illness. It is designed to help readers reflect, ritualize and reorient themselves - to help heal the hurts caused by goodbyes and the anxieties encountered by change.

While focusing on the spiritual aspect of loss, Rupp maintains a sound theological and psychological grounding. She bases her reflections on scripture and treats a number of themes: the "ache" common to humankind, how to identify particular aches, attitudes toward suffering, Jesus and goodbyes, the life of "pilgrims" and the freedom of letting go.

Each chapter concludes with probing questions, and the book ends with 24 prayer experiences incorporating images, symbols and rituals as sources of strength and stepping stones toward healing.

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