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Releasing this week from Worthy Books: “A Hole in the World” on grief

When Amanda Held Opelt suffered a season of loss—culminating in the unexpected death of her sister—she was faced with some difficult questions. What does it mean to truly grieve and grieve well? Why didn’t my faith prepare me for this kind of pain? What am I supposed to do now?

Her search for a way to process led her to seek wisdom about how other people have made it through. In A Hole in the World, Amanda examines generations past who embraced a robust array of rituals and customs surrounding death and bereavement, which served as vessels for pain and aided in their healing. Sadly, many of these traditions have been lost.

In this raw and authentic exploration, Amanda shares how various cultures have journeyed through periods of suffering, with traditions such as:

  • the Irish tradition of keening, or wailing in grief (healing begins when we dive headfirst)
  • the Victorian tradition of post-mortem photographs (recalling loved ones as they were)
  • the Jewish tradition of sitting shiva (resting in the strength of community)
  • the tradition of mourning clothing (allowing space for those to grieve)

Exploring these practices has allowed Amanda to utilize them as a framework for processing her own pain. She challenges our current expectations surrounding various forms of loss and encourages everyone to reclaim a rich history to help us feel more fully human in the midst of sorrow.

We all experience grief in our own way, and during the last 2 years we have lived though an unprecedented season of emotional turbulence that many still don’t know how to process or begin heal.  Amanda was stuck in the same place and through her research she was able to address her grief and begin the process of healing.

A Hole in the World: Finding Hope in Rituals of Grief and Healing
by Amanda Held Opelt  | Jul 19, 2022