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While grieving for Eric, Connie says she and Glen got much of their strength from their community. "We were so showered with love and support that Glen and I often equated it to a fire hose. It knocked us over," she says. To give back, Connie became a trained hospice volunteer. "I'm here to tell you hospice is about the living. Hospice is helping the people left behind," she says. "When there is great loss, there is a wake of loneliness and isolation, and hospice volunteers will wade into your pain and say, 'I know.'"

Connie says working at hospice had unexpected benefits. "I didn't even know it, but when you help, you heal," she says. "And the gifts that came back to me ... were part of my healing."

Connie and Glen say they have now dedicated their lives to serving others. After Eric's death, Glen quit his job of 25 years, and they sold their home and disposed of most of their material possessions. "You realize, 'I'm now attached to nothing. I'm tethered to nothing. I can just go,'" Connie says. "That was the most freeing feeling in the world. ... We took the time we needed to grieve and then we took a leap of faith."

When helping others comes from a genuine place in your heart, you are on a spiritual path, Elizabeth says. "When you've experienced your own dark night and you've been helped by others, you have a genuine desire to give back," she says. "And when service comes from that really open vulnerable heart, there's nothing like it."

Are you ready to find your spiritual path? Get Elizabeth Lesser's steps for starting the journey.
FROM: When Life Breaks You Open
Published on January 14, 2009