#BookReview - Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief @DiamanteLavenda
Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief: Spiritual Insights Expressed Through Art, Poetry and Prose
By: Diamante Lavendar Publisher: Balboa Press Publication Date: July 2018 ISBN: 978-198205683 Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott Review Date: June 14, 2018
It is so difficultTo be in a situationWhere peace eludes you at every turn.--“Understanding of Spirit”
This combination of inspirational artwork and poems has been created to comfort those experiencing grief and loss.
Author Diamante Lavendar writes that, “to fully understand life, we must understand loss.” Pain forges valleys, and joy can fill those valleys. She often refers to God, or Spirit, as a bringer of hope, and writes with the absolute conviction that death is simply a “metamorphosis.” Many of her poems read like mystical messages left for the reader on a cosmic bulletin board, superimposed over vivid color photographs depicting a beautiful sunrise or the moon peeking through the trees. In one of her rhyming works, “Never Goodbye” she laments the death of a daughter, asking:
How am I expectedto continue living,when all around me,is pain and misgiving?
But she concludes this poem in a different, more positive mode: “I will miss you until we reunite in God’s grace.”
Lavendar exhorts the reader to believe in angels and miracles; don’t just dream – “let your dreams overtake you.” In “Belief” she evokes the image of “a flow of supernatural energy.” In addition to the photographs, there are emotive artworks incorporating butterflies, hearts, stars, angels and glowing faces floating in the heavens. Through these, Lavendar is emphasizing the etheric nature of the soul that accompanies statements such as this: “Death is not an ending but a beginning to a different reality.” There are a few darker aspects to the grieving process – grief can be an empty void, hard to comprehend, requiring a “dedicated decision” to overcome by embracing the light. A humorous piece expresses the notion that though life’s experiences may be good or bad, we should “flow with it” and “knock on wood” – set on a green, tree-filled background.
Author/poet Lavendar is winner of the Mom’s Choice Award and member of the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) Speaker’s Group. She has previously written two novels, Breaking the Silence and The Secrets of Yashire, and a poetry collection, Poetry and Ponderings, with Christian messages about overcoming the ravages of child abuse. Her writing as demonstrated in this poetic collection is capable and heart-felt, with illustrations to give color and shape to her well-chosen words.
Quill says: Throughout these selections – a rich mix of wise words, honest remembrances, sorrowful admissions and spiritual communications – it is clear that Lavendar has a sincere wish to fulfill the promise of the book’s title: to guide those suffering grief to a more hopeful state of mind.