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Offering Hope

Lisa Mauch

When her husband died suddenly in a drowning accident, one of the ways Cynthia Beischel dealt with her grief was to keep a journal of her thoughts and feelings. Then she began to write articles for magazines. She was told by editors that they were good, just that there was no market for them. That’s when she got the idea for the book From Eulogy to Joy.

“One night I was talking with my friend about how frustrated I was over the trouble I had getting published,” says the 1974 graduate. “That’s when a light bulb went off in my head. That was the beginning of it. I knew I wanted offer something to people who were grieving.”

She and her friend Kristina Chase Strom, who attended Edgecliff, compiled stories from people who had dealt with all kinds of death in all manner of ways. “It’s a universal topic and a universal event, but we’re all individuals and grieve in our own way,” says Beischel. “There’s no prescribed 1-2-3- step for grieving where you get over it. This is a how-it-is book, not a how-to book. We wanted to say how it is so people can feel supported, validated and connected. It’s like a support group in the pages.”

Contributors to the book include New York Times best-selling author Neale Donald Walsh and Judy Belushi, the widow of actor John Belushi. One story, “Danny’s Gift,” was dramatized on the PAX channel show “It’s a Miracle,” hosted by Richard Thomas.

“My hope is that it becomes a long-term resource book that will be kept by people to turn to when they’re dealing with death,” says Beischel. “It’s the kind of book you dig into at different times. There are so many layers to it.” Another resource offered is on the book’s web site, www.celestialperspectives.com/fromeulogytojoy/. There readers can respond to the stories they’ve read and interact with the writers.

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