Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture and Spring Journal Books
$ 24.95

By Grief Transformed:
Dreams and the Mourning Process

by Susan Olson

ISBN: 978-1-882670-77-2
276 pp.

In her first year of training at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich, Susan Olson suffered the loss of her college-age daughter in a hit-and-run auto accident. By Grief Transformed describes her journey through mourning, guided by a series of vivid and startling dreams. Jung's understanding of the dream as "a harbinger of fate, a portent and comforter, the messenger of the gods" evolves from academic theory into embodied insight in this chronicle of one woman's encounter with the transforming power of grief.

From personal story, this book expands to include premonitory and grief dreams of other mourners, dreams cited in Jung's memoirs, and selections from mythology and literature. Classical and contemporary writers provide their unique perspectives, and illustrations from ancient and modern art enhance the text. On the archetypal level, the Greek myth of the goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone evokes the universal and timeless experience of loss and renewal in the crucible of grief. The dreams and stories recounted in this book, together with some provocative hints from Jung's work, suggest that death may be the open door through which we pass into another dimension of reality. In our dreams, the dead offer glimpses of the realm beyond time and space and become our guides into that mysterious world.
*****
Praise for By Grief Transformed
C.G. Jung characterized his psychology as an attempt, "ever renewed, to give an answer to the question of the interplay between 'here' and 'hereafter'." Inspired by her own bereavement, Susan Olson soulfully engages this same interplay. Grappling now with the starkness of loss, now with the richness of death, she gives her answer to the "here" and "hereafter" question. A book of love and mystery. Highly recommended!
GREG MOGENSON, JUNGIAN ANALYST, AUTHOR OF GREETING THE ANGELS: AN ARCHETYPAL VIEW OF MOURNING, GOD IS A TRAUMA, THE DOVE IN THE CONSULTING ROOM, AND NORTHERN GNOSIS
A year after her daughter’s death, Susan Olson received a dream message from her daughter to write about the mysterious connection between the living and the dead. By tracing her dreams through a long mourning process, Olson shows that gifts offered in dreams of the dead are sources of rich psychoid energy. Through dreaming, the dead visit those who love them, serve as a spiritual guide, and structure the imagination with healing images. Olson evokes our deepest feelings as she patterns archetypal mourning experiences found in alchemy and mirrored in the myth of Demeter and Persephone. This beautiful book will enrich the lives of those who mourn and others interested in the transformative powers of dreaming.
CHARLOTTE MATHES, JUNGIAN ANALYST, AUTHOR OF AND A SWORD SHALL PIERCE YOUR HEART: MOVING FROM DESPAIR TO MEANING AFTER THE DEATH OF A CHILD
A truly psychological work. Grounded in personal experiences, and armed with wide-ranging knowledge and sensitivity, the author explores grief, transformation and dreams of the dead in human psychology. This remarkable book can help us, professionally and personally, face the loss of a loved one and the legacy of the dead.
PAUL KUGLER, JUNGIAN ANALYST, IAAP HONORARY SECRETARY, AUTHOR OF RAIDS ON THE UNTHINKABLE: JUNGIAN AND FREUDIAN PSYCHOANALYSES AND THE ALCHEMY OF DISCOURSE: AN ARCHETYPAL APPROACH TO LANGUAGE
Susan Olson follows the unconscious currents that shape and channel mourning. Her book is a generous, deeply moving and personal gift to all whose hearts will never be unbroken after the loss of a child. Hearts may mend through a journey in the symbolic landscapes of dreams, where the beloved one lives on in form scarcely recognized by our limited consciousness.
KATHRIN ASPER, JUNGIAN ANALYST, AUTHOR OF THE ABANDONED CHILD WITHIN: ON LOSING AND REGAINING SELF-WORTH AND THE INNER CHILD IN DREAMS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1: THE OPEN DOOR
CHAPTER 2: RUNNING WITH THE HORSES
The Nightmare
Subjective/Objective Dream Interpretation
The Thin Place
The Wild Horses
Transitional Objects
The Little Doll
A Coat and a Spot of Blood
The Painful Blow of Fate
CHAPTER 3: INCOMPREHENSIBLE THINGS
Jung's Premonitory Dreams
Apparitions
Farewell Dreams
Archetypal Images of Death
Synchronicity
Summary
CHAPTER 4: "LET YOUR TEARS FERTILIZE MY GROUND"
The Gift of Tears
The Stages of Grief
Demeter and Persephone
A Crack in the Universe
A Touch of Eternity
Three Symbols of Life
CHAPTER 5: "TOUCH ME"
Reunion Dreams
Subjective/Objective: Reprise
The Imaginal Approach
Jung’s Dreams of His Dead Father
Alive Again
The Rocking Chair
The Reality of Images
Don't You Weep After Me
CHAPTER 6: THE WOUND THAT HEALS
The Light of Truth
Reliving the Trauma
Laura's Story
Dreams That Wound and Heal
"I Could Have Died!"
CHAPTER 7: THE CHILD IN THE FIRE
Immortal Children
Funeral Rites
Rites of Burning: Homer
"Remember Me!": Hamlet
The Art of Elegy
Living Memorials
Famine and New Life
CHAPTER 8: JOURNEY TO THE UNDERWORLD
Demeter's Revenge
Into the Underworld
The Night-Sea Journey
The Guide of Souls
The Triumph of Death
The Caput Mortuum
Alchemical Gold
A New Guide of Souls
CHAPTER 9: "YOU CAN VISIT THEM IN THEIR DREAMS"
A Divine Dilemma
The Messengers of the Gods
"You Can Visit Them in Their Dreams"
CHAPTER 10: THE FOOD OF THE DEEP
The Pomegranate Seed
The Food of the Deep
Gifts from the Deep
Individuation After Death
Messages from the Dead
Symbolic Objects
Open Questions
CHAPTER 11: "I HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU"
The Mysteries of Eleusis
"I Have a Gift for You"
A Tip of the Hat
"I Can See the Stars"
Packing for a Trip
A Brother's Farewell
A Visit from Grandmother
A Final Goodbye
The Legacy of the Dead
CHAPTER 12: "I HAVE A NEW NAME"
About the Author:
Susan Olson, L.C.S.W., a 1992 graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute, Zürich, has worked as a psychotherapist and analyst for 35 years. She has a B.A. in English from Smith College, an M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin, and an M.S.W. from the University of Georgia. A member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, she is on the faculty of the Memphis Jungian Seminar and is President of the Georgia Association of Jungian Analysts. In addition to her private practice in Atlanta, she presents lectures and seminars on topics such as dreams and the mourning process, heroes and heroines in The Lord of the Rings, feminine and masculine individuation in “The Phantom of the Opera,” and “Animals, Our Soulful Companions.” Her article, “The Phantom of the Opera: Angel of Music or Demon Lover?” appeared in Spring 73—Cinema and Psyche, Fall 2005.