For most of her life, Alise Chaffins had only a casual relationship with grief. From 2013 to 2014, however, grief went from an occasional passerby to an intimate companion. Her mother was diagnosed with ALS and in 11 short months, it took her life. She left the man she had been married to for nearly sixteen years amid the scandal of an affair. She remarried, got pregnant at a time when her mother was gravely ill, and experienced the stillbirth of her son at 35 weeks and 4 days. Her 16 year old came out as a transgender man. She and her husband were finally settling into a congregation and were suddenly asked to leave their church for supporting that same transgender child. In the course of just over a year, she experienced one calamity after another, each resulting in a deep, but unique grief.
In Embracing Grief, Alise examines the various ways that her life has been impacted by grief and how she has learned to lean into her sadness and find a more full life.