by Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D.

As the publisher of GriefandRenewal.Com I want to thank Kara and the Kota Press for choosing GriefandRenewal.Com as a place to post creative writings, thoughts, and articles about the experience of grief, as well as for inviting me to share information about GriefandRenewal.Com.

In January of 1991, at the age of 36, I was happily married with a 13 month baby girl, when my husband suddenly died one morning, entering me into an entirely new universe of experience and eventually understanding. In 2001, remarried and having moved from Philadelphia to a small town in Maine, I founded GriefandRenewal.Com in order to share some of what I have learned and to create a community for others who are recovering from grief, or whose life decisions are informed by significant loss.

GriefandRenewal.Com is an international website dedicated to the belief that our personal grief can lead to our personal growth and a widening of awareness and caring for all of those around us who suffer loss. The process of bereavement leads us on a path to greater understanding and acceptance of the cycle of life and death. From this understanding and greater caring the bereaved are able to bring a new perspective into their lives and a new gift into their worlds. Through this process they renew themselves and their communities, while preserving the meaning of the life of the person they have lost.

My experience with the web site has connected me to incredible people who have written about their experiences of loss with the hope of reaching out to others with support and compassion. Two of the writers have spoken out against violence and its ravaging effects on families. On the international front I have met incredible women working for the rights of widows in India, Africa and other developing countries. I was fortunate to have Dr.V. Mohini Giri come to my town in Maine and discuss the problems of widows in India, and the larger consequences of war which generates loss and disintegration of families and societies.

Those who have experienced loss have so much to teach others. The bereaved bring a gift to the community, a gift which can lead to the renewal of the community. There are endless possibilities for creating change: from creating change in our individual lives, creating memorials, to helping other families, or reaching out to their local communities with support groups and websites, writing about our experiences, to starting foundations, changing laws to prevent future loss, supporting initiatives, and making new contributions to their spiritual communities.

Such transformation and renewal is possible for all of us who have suffered the loss of a family member or friend, or who have suffered loss through illness or other difficult circumstances. Renewal is a stage in the path of healing, as well as the beginning of creating a new life, a life that integrates the experience of love and loss, life and death. GriefandRenewal.Com is dedicated to providing ideas and support for those of us in the process of renewing our lives. It is dedicated to those who may be in the process of creating something new that will help to reduce the suffering of others. This new creation may be for themselves, their immediate family, local community, or directed towards a larger cause.

To this end GriefandRenewal.Com will provide links to sites which may foster the efforts of the bereaved to give their loss meaning by making a contribution or gift of their experience. The site provides information about grief and grieving and links to the other excellent websites and resourcewhich provide information about bereavement. We also provide information about groups who are doing important work that may serve to inspire you as make your way along the path of healing. We provide stories by and about others who are working towards renewal, and a message board for discussions about grief. We are very excited to also provide a site for publishing the creative writing and essays of the bereaved. We are especially looking forward to posting the work of those of who have worked with Kara Jones and the Kota Press.

GriefandRenewal.Com will soon have a shopping site with items created by others in their efforts to heal and with items which may lighten the way for others. The revenue derived from the site and from our affiliations with other sites such as Amazon.Com will be used to support the costs of running GriefandRenewal.Com. Eventually, we hope to legally make this a nonprofit site. At present the site is funded by the publisher with a very small income from our partnership with Amazon.Com. May this site inspire and support you on your journey of renewal.


Author Biography
Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who graduated from Hahnemann University Medical School's graduate program in psychology in 1988. She has specialties in clinical neuropsychology, pediatric neuropsychology and grief. Her psychology practice is located in Biddeford, Me.. Dr. Slap-Shelton has written on a wide variety of topics including child psychotherapy, the intersection of psychoanalytic theory and neuroscience, and grief. She has published a children's book on stress and relaxation, and is currently seeking to publish her children's book about grief, while working on a book about young widows. She lives with her husband, daughter and 2 stepsons in Kennebunk, Maine.

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