The Spiritual Woman grew from life experience. On a snowy Friday night in February of 2007, my daughter died from the injuries she received in a car crash. Surgeons operated on her for 20 hours, but they were unable to save her life. On Sunday my father-in-law succumbed to pneumonia. His death was expected and, painful as it was, I could accept it. My daughter’s death brought me to my knees.

Children are not supposed to die before their parents; it is against the laws of nature. Life is so unfair, I thought, and wondered if I would survive such tragedy. In order to survive, I turned to what I knew best—writing. A  week after  the dual deaths I sat down at the computer and started to pour out my soul in words. I continued to write about loss and grief when my brother died of a heart attack eight weeks later.

In the fall of the same year, just when I as beginning to feel better, my former son-in-law died from the injuries he received in another car crash. His deaths made my twin grandchildren orphans and my husband and me GRGs—grandparents raising grandchildren. Raising grandchildren while grieving for four family members has been the biggest challenge of my life and I did everything I could to help myself.

Writing helped me most and I wrote books, articles and affirmations about recovering from loss and grief.  I read a lot, too, research papers by experts, books by authors who have experienced tragedy, and quotations about the journey of life. Many quotations lifted my spirits. Some even made  me taught and others were inspiring. All of these factors—multiple losses, writing, research, and reading—contributed to this book.

Originally, I compiled this collection of quotes to inspire women of all ages and stages and life. When I reviewed the book as a whole, however, I realized the quotes could also empower women. As you read the quotes, the image of a spiritual woman starts to take shape. By the end of the book this image is virtually complete. Though the book is aimed at women, men will also find  inspiration and empowerment within its pages.

Each quotation is a little spark of  hope. But quotations, alone, cannot  provide happiness. You need to fan these sparks with proactive steps and connecting with other women is one of them. Though you may not realize it yet, you are more resilient than you think. This resilience—and the spirituality deep inside you—leads to a rich and fulfilling life.

Preface from The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul, by Harriet Hodgson

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Harriet Hodgson

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 38 years, is the author of 36 books, and thousands of print/Internet articles. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Minnesota Coalition for Grief Education and Support, and Grief Coalition of Southeastern Minnesota. In 2007 four of her family members died—her daughter (mother of her twin grandchildren), father-in-law, brother (and only sibling), and the twins’ father. Multiple losses shifted the focus of Hodgson’s work from general health to grief resolution and recovery, and she is the author of eight grief resources. Hodgson has appeared on more than 185 radio talk shows, including CBS Radio, dozens of blog talk radio programs, and dozens of television stations, including CNN. In addition to writing for Open to Hope, Hodgson is a contributing writer for The Grief Toolbox website, and The Caregiver Space website. A popular speaker, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer’s, hospice, grief, and caregiving conferences. Hodgson’s work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories. For more information about this busy wife, grandmother, author and family caregiver, please visit www.harriethodgson.com.

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