Grief is more than mere sadness, which is something that Diamante Lavendar seems to understand all too well. Her book FINDING HOPE IN THE DARKNESS OF GRIEF hints at her own experiences of loss and pain. While the book offers spiritual suggestions for the future, it never shies away from the experience of grieving. FINDING HOPE’s overall message is inspirational, asking what one can learn from grief, suggesting those in pain go with the flow of nature and focus on a spiritual future rather than a material past. Grief, for Lavendar, is something that can be given context through spirituality, and while it doesn’t stop the pain, it can give it a purpose, which gives those who have grieved a kind of power over their thoughts and emotions.
The slim book is subtitled SPIRITUAL INSIGHTS EXPRESSED THROUGH ART, POETRY AND PROSE, and all three are on display throughout its pages. How different readers will take each expression of the Lavandar’s spiritual insights depends on what they’re looking for, as well as how personal or how accessible they want those insights to be. The prose probably incorporates the most metaphysical concepts like duality, oneness and wisdom. Readers who are aware of contemporary spiritual practice will find familiar wisdom within the words. However, other readers might focus more on the poetry, which is the most intimate and confessional.
There is also the art, which is at its best when it retains an abstract quality. Dizzying cuts of color and artfully rendered photographs of nature possess a meditative quality, which draws readers in without forcing anything specific upon them, letting them process their own loss and their own healing. The book is probably best for those who have gone through a loss and are looking for a little spiritual food for thought after the experience. It is an accessible guide by someone who has gone through something similar, and it can help willing readers put their own thoughts in order. And, if nothing else, it might serve as a kind of inspiration. One of Lavendar’s unspoken insights is that grief, as terrible as it is, can kick start the creativity of those who grieve. They can express themselves through art and poetry, just not philosophical observation.
FINDING HOPE IN THE DARKNESS OF GRIEF, Diamante Lavendar’s poetic, minimalistic examination of loss, has sage spiritual advice and great gravity from her own experiences.
~Colin Newton for IndieReader