Endorsements

If, when you have finished reading This Vast Being, you are moved to write about your experience reading it, we ask that you allow us to post your writing to this page. And if you are willing, we would like to use your full name, place of residence, and “title” (however you would like to be known in the world). These endorsements help us let others know about the book.

“This Vast Being is a unique portrayal of deep insight into one woman’s journey through grief and widowhood. Ann’s honesty and openness offers support to others who are going through this very personal, unexplored and unplanned path. As a widow myself, I find it comforting to learn how others move through this unexpected journey.”
Laurie-Ann Weis, Board Certified Educational Therapist and Author of The After Journey and The Water Dance.www.laurieannweis.com

 

“This Vast Being captures the universal human experience of grief and loss. Those who have had the experience will recognize where they have been; and those who have not, will be prepared for the journey when it arrives. This is a compelling and honest account of the transformational processes that unexpected loss ignites.”
Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist and Author of The Second Half of Life: Opening to the Eight Gates of Wisdom.

 

“This Vast Being is an awe-inspiring accomplishment. How exciting to have encountered and responded to the vagaries of unconscious life and to have come to the realization of Life’s wisdom of process. And to have shared that process with such total commitment with the Vast Being who, from my perspective, mirrored the author’s own internal masculine relationship.”
Mouna Wilson teaches classes in “Singing for Power” in Ashland, Oregon.

 

“If you are in grief, or if you know someone in grief, please read this book. It is about loss. It is about love and relationships. It helped me with my relationship. It proclaims the capacity of the human spirit to drink deeply of the waters of experience and use every drop to nourish the soul.”
Rhobbin Alexis, talk show psychic on Mystic Radio KIST, Santa Barbara, and author, Raising Humanity.

 

“I read Ann’s book for the second time and I am still unable to find words to express how important and moving it has been for me. Words fail me, because it is unlike any other book. It is amazing. Rare. Unique. Original. I plan to share it with my friends.”
Jean Mountaingrove, WomanSpirit magazine.

 

“I’ve just finished reading Ann Kreilkamp’s amazing book, a profound tribute both to the “vast being” who was her husband and the vast being inside who finds her unique way through grief to find meaning in her loss.

“I especially appreciated Ann’s description of what she learned “about important communication with Jeffrey,” as she captures so accurately and vividly the unconscious fear of separation that keeps so many of us women from speaking our truths to our men. I loved her story about the lawnmower, too, as it shows not only how immobilized and helpless we feel when trying to fill the roles once held by our loved ones who have died, but also how triumphant we feel, and how capable we we really are, when we keep trying until we succeed. As a hospice counselor who also works with bereaved animal lovers, I understand completely her reactions to losing her cat Lukas, and I’m glad she had the courage to include that experience as part of her grief story.

“I agree completely with Ann’s observation that our culture is so busy that either we’ve lost our ability to find our own internal resources to work through grief, or we use our busy-ness to avoid the pain of it. But I think her book argues beautifully and forcefully that there is better way. ”
Marty Tousley, APRN, BC, FT. Bereavement Counselor.
www.griefhealing.com

 

“A heartfelt, moving testament to facing an enormous loss and finding a path to recovery through the realms of the mysterious and the spiritual. This is a supportive and uplifting book for readers facing grief.”
Judy Tatelbaum, author of The Courage to Grieve
and You Don’t Have to Suffer

 

“Wise enough and old enough to know about shadow and illumination, Ann writes as an explorer and honest witness to psychic, synchronistic, astrological, and psychological connections between inner psyche, outer reality and invisible realms, and between two people whose relationship both before and after death encompassed these realms and their differences. A remarkable narrative.”
Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. Jungian analyst and author
of Close to the Bone: Life-Threatening Illness and Soul

 

“The death of a spouse is a heart-wrenching, often devastating passage, for which no one can be truly prepared. But in Ann Kreilkamp’s This Vast Being, a startling memoir of the year following her husband Jeffrey Joel’s sudden death, the author finds both agony and ecstasy in the transformative journey into which she is so abruptly plunged. Her writing is at turns witty and literary, then stark and even profane, and her story startles the reader into reconsidering the meaning of life, death, and most of all, love. Highly recommended.”
Anne Newkirk Niven, Editor in Chief, SageWoman magazine

 

“As a young woman Ann Kreilkamp set her sail for the winds of original nature. The journey she chronicles in This Vast Being, at one level a story of grief and loss after her husband’s sudden death, is even more importantly an invaluable guide for those of us who would choose to follow the inner leading. Charting a fearless course through pain and vulnerability, she has brought back gems of insight, compassion, and dare we say, redemption, from the headlands of life and death. Out of her passionate and embodied experience, Ann has integrated western philosophy, esoteric astrological wisdom, and her own penetrating spiritual explorations. She delivers a contemporary treasure of self-reflection, at once urgent, fresh, and highly accessible.”
Peter Bane, Publisher, Permaculture Activist, Bloomington, IN www.permacultureactivist.net

 

“At first it was the freshness of the writing that kept moving me forward: ‘I have just picked up a jar; then I turn quickly, my arm flying out. The cap on the jar flies off, spilling sauce onto the rug. Instantly, three women wet cloths with water and kneel to remove the stains. (It was as if) that response, that immediate noticing of what I needed, (was) the finale of the same motion that produced the need.’ Each delightful sentence would draw me onto the next.

“Then I became mesmerized by seeing the relationship I have with my own partner so remarkably mirrored. ‘You asshole! I’m not going to kick you out!’ . . . as Ann and Jeff come to recognize that the reality of their connection is not at the level of appearances, but a union of two souls.

“Then by Ann’s descriptions of sisterhood. (Ann founded and published Crone Chronicles from 1989-2001.)

“Almost any woman who has struck out on her own, whether for the first time, or at the end of any of her relationships, will guffaw in recognition when she gets to the chapter in which the new widow “conquers” the lawnmower.

“The heart of the book is Ann’s deep understanding of how a relationship does not die with death. It has been said that if you play a Country & Western song backward, you get your car back, your horse back and your lover back. It’s like this. Death, far from being a morbid and depressing event, is framed not only as an opportunity for tremendous growth and joy, but as a portal to an even deeper and more meaningful relationship with the departed beloved.

I’ve made a lifetime study of grief, but this book breaks through any customary concepts to which I might have been clinging. Here one is offered a beautiful and revolutionary formula in which the word
‘separation’ does not even apply.
Darvesha Victoria MacDonald, student and teacher of Buddhism, Sufism, and the Dances of Universal Peace, lives in Silver City, NM

 

“This guidebook to the grieving process is so freshly and reassuringly rendered that I fear death less for the reading of it. I was so moved that I found myself laughing, aha-ing in recognition, crying … all of it.”
Kate Blackburn, M.D. psychiatrist, Boise, ID

 

“While our relationships with our husbands naturally were different, we shared many parallels as we traveled those early months of our grief journeys. Your words offered insight and, to some of our members, an impetus to begin difficult, but necessary grief work.”
Marilyn Smolen, President, Grief’s Journey (www.griefsjourney.com)

 

“I am half-way through your book “Vast Being” and feel I am being invited into your most intimate processes that somehow are spaces we all share. When you are describing the states of love/exhilaration after your husband’s passing I feel I am right there with you. Thank you so much for showing your vulnerability to the mass of humanity. Alhumdulilah!
Jan T., Santa Cruz, CA

 

“… a journey of profound spiritual exploration, at levels far beyond those generally aspired to. A written monument to the magnitude and ultimate joyousness of Jeffrey Joel’s being.”
Jenny Kander, retired grief counselor, Bloomington, IN

 

My husband is 86 years old. When I opened your book he was curious and requested that I read to him about your work. He then asked that I begin to read the book itself. He is enjoying hearing it read to him and I enjoy sharing from your lives with him. I know that it is particularly relevant since he is nearing his completion of embodied existence and of course knows that. He is listening intently and paid close attention when I read about the nearness of your husband’s spirit after he left his body.

Thank you for this opportunity to share your story with Frank.
Carole Vaccariello, D. Min., Director of Academic Programs, Wisdom University, Oakland, CA

 

“Jeff’s grandeur and beauty reveal themselves as a loving relationship grows and we experience the depth of the sharing that transforms his life and that of his beloved.”
Aziza Scott, Director of Retreat Guide Training and the Head of the Esoteric School of the Sufi Order International

 

“I just started reading your book yesterday. I’d seen the review for it in Heartbeat [a Sufi magazine, click on Reviews], where I had a poem, the first of several written for my beloved Ishaq, who crossed over last July. As I read the first pages of your book I am overcome by the similarities—Ishaq was a Leo too, died at age 55 and most likely from a massive heart attack/blood clot.

“I too dressed Ishaq, with my beloved Sufi sister Nurjamila, and did ceremony before his cremation. And many, many people had and still have dreams and visions of this amazing man, a Sheikh in two orders, a lover of nature and an incredible musician. My neighbors teenage daughter had a dream the night of his cremation, and saw him dressed in his tie dye t-shirt and jeans and barefoot, just the way we had dressed him. And for me too, the energy shifted after this ceremony. I was hungry for the first time in two and half days since he had passed on, and Nurjamila and I went to one of Ishaq’s and my favorite restaurants and feasted in his, and our honor.

“When I read about your book, I had already been working on several chapters of a book about my experiences.

“. . . what a gift your book is. I’m wowed by hearing of another person who has had these amazing wonderful experiences with their beloved in their new, expanded form. Whenever I see Ishaq in dreams now, he always looks relaxed and happy. I still have horribly hard days and nights where I don’t know how I can go on, but usually in these times he comes to me in some way—as flashes of light, or dreams, or just a warm comforting presence in a shift of energy around me. I know our love is eternal, as yours and Jeff’s is. This Sunday, February18th, marks our 11th anniversary of being together and I plan to celebrate it with Nurjamila. I wear the wedding ring that he gave me in a dream in November, and then, amazingly, manifested on the earth plane last month.”
Anna A.

“Former publisher of the Crone Chronicles, Ann Kreilkamp engaged in conscious grieving after her husband died suddenly of a heart attack. Supported by a deep spiritual practice, Kreilkamp attuned to her need for ritual and ceremony to acknowledge and honor a path of grief that encompasses both pain and joy. Part cartography, part plein-air painting, This Vast Being gives form to a rich internal landscape of fierce love and loss.”
New Age Retailer
www.newageretailer.com

 

“Ann’s book is an open door to the spirit.”
Terry Tempest Williams , naturalist and author of Refuge and other books.