Holding Space

This book is like a superhero, showing us how to run bravely toward the darkness and come out the other side as a human being. Amy deserves not just praise for writing in gorgeous, clear prose, but deep thanks for creating a gentle guide we all need for that one thing no one escapes: death.

~ Tina Cassidy, Author of Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born


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Holding Space does just that for each of us. In a clear, intimate voice, Amy Wright Glenn shares her own experience and wisdom and by doing so makes a space for her reader to develop the same. For anyone going through loss, this book will feel like a treasure. ~ Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Love

In Holding Space, On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go, Amy Wright Glenn delivers a thoughtful and poetic meditation on bringing mindful presence to the two major transition points in life: birth and death. Utilizing stories from her personal life and her experiences as a birth doula and a hospital chaplain, Amy reveals how we can keep our hearts open to both deep sorrow and ecstatic joy in these “sacred thresholds.” You will find wisdom, love, and tenderness on every page of this very special book. ~Henry Fersko-Weiss, Executive Director of the International End of Life Doula Association and author of Caring for the Dying

Doula, chaplain, theologian, mother, wounded daughter, philosopher, lover, the author Amy Wright Glenn writes with poetry and power. In the first three pages, I highlighted four passages and knew I would recommend the book to my book club. Holding Space, part memoir and part spiritual exploration, is brilliantly written and asks the central question we all face in this life. “What does it mean to love, die and let go?” ~Patricia Harman, midwife and author of The Blue Cotton Gown, Arms Wide Open, and The Midwife of Hope River

Holding Space is a beautiful book. Amy Wright Glenn intertwines stories of her personal growth with meditations on moments of deep meaning. In doing so, she helps us all to hold space for our grief – which is to say, she helps us to hold space for ourselves and for our loved ones. This book is full of insights, lessons, and kindness. ~Elizabeth Heineman, Author of Ghostbelly: A Memoir

This is a beautiful, gracious book of earned wisdom from a writer who is gifted with the capacity to be present with a loving heart to life’s most essential moments, from birth to death. Highly recommended!  ~Miriam Greenspan, author of Healing Through the Dark Emotions: the Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair

Amy Wright Glenn knows what it means to hold space in both sorrow and joy. This is essential reading for those choosing to follow their vocation to be with the dying and the dead with compassion, mindfulness, and presence. ~Lee Webster, President, National Home Funeral Alliance

Amy Wright Glenn offers a deeply personal account of her journey as a daughter, mother, chaplain and doula. It should be required reading for those involved in end-of-life care, grieving, and healing. ~Alexandre Rotta, Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

This is a beautifully written book about the challenging practice of remaining present — holding non-reactive space — around emotions of grief, sorrow and loss. This practice is brought alive through many touching vignettes from the author’s life and work as a hospital chaplain and as a doula for the poignant transitions of birth and death. I recommend Holding Space highly, for hospice workers, religious and medical professionals, and for anyone facing personal loss. ~Jan Chozen Bays, Zen teacher and author of Jizo Bodhisattva: Guardian of Children, Travelers & Other Voyagers  

To be human is to be born, to live, and then to pass on. I have long believed that we do ourselves a great disservice by remaining insulated from the realities of birth and death. In this exceptional book, Amy Wright Glenn offers profound wisdom and support to help us navigate that most tender journey of death and dying. Holding Space is a beautiful contribution to finding peace in one of life’s most important passages. ~Susan Stiffelman, author of Parenting with Presence

Many parents are uncertain how to talk to their children about death. Through personal stories and spiritual teachings, Amy Wright Glenn offers insight into the way death is a natural part of life. Her honest reflections remind us to hold space for children, elders and ourselves to be more fully present with one another. ~Rev. Amy Freedman, Unitarian Universalist Minister of Religious Education

No topic is more avoided than death. In this book, Amy Wright Glenn creates a safe space for the readers to both cognitively examine death as well as benefit from reading a trustworthy travel guide with regard to the experience of loss. Holding Space leaves the reader better equipped for whatever journey into loss awaits them. ~Bob Mattingly, Executive Director of the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education 

A compassionate, wise, and insightful book – Holding Space will help you move through life’s challenges with courage, compassion, and the doula’s skill of holding space by embracing all moments with love. ~Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Founder of Orgasmic Birth and the Pain to Power Online Childbirth Class

The wisdom this book contains makes it worthy of being a key reference on the subject. For those, like me, who keep in our personal libraries only books that have a timeless quality and which beg to be read again and again, this will be among them. ~Suzanne Arms – author, teacher, activist, founder of the nonprofit Birthing The Future

This is an incredibly moving, honest and insightful book. Amy Wright Glenn skillfully and artfully offers tools and wisdom for those of us present with individuals at the most intimate, vulnerable and profound times in their lives. ~Aditi Sethi-Brown, MD Hospice and Palliative Medicine Physician Mission Health Systems, Asheville, NC

Holding Space is a book that everyone should read, for our collective conscience would be better off for it. There are people in life whose shoes you’d like to walk in or whose head you’d like to be in, yet Amy is one of the very few whose heart I’d like to feel in. ~Tracy Cassels, PhD, Founder of Evolutionary Parenting

Amy is a woman who has the courage to trust her intuition and open-minded relations to the world around her. Whether serving bereaved families or sharing the raucous joy of her son’s antics, Amy is a young, fresh voice to carry the torch for all women; all explorers of humanity. ~Nina Angela McKissock, RN, author of From Sun to Sun: A Hospice Nurse Reflects on the Art of Dying