Welcome to Elder Muse

A website for all people who hold that human relationships are sacred gifts.
To be treasured. It is intended as a place of peace, love, and reason. 
It is offered as a guide, an aid, to help people on the threshold of
self-discovery and self-knowledge find internal peace and joy,
as well as physical vitality.

Author Mary Aviyah Farkas is featured in the Nautilus Author Spotlight series for her Silver Award winning book: Overcoming Deepest Grief: A Woman’s Journey Grief, Acceptance, Gratitude and Joy

Overcoming Deepest Grief, A Woman’s Journey – Taking Aviyah’s journey from sorrow to joy will move your heart, mind, and soul.

Aviyah’s book, Overcoming Deepest Grief, A Woman’s Journey has won two significant Book Awards:
2022 Silver Nautilus Book Award. This award is meant: “To recognize, promote, and celebrate books that support Nautilus’ Four Pillars: Conscious Living & Sustainability; High-Level Health & Wellness; Spiritual Growth; and Positive Social Change & Social Justice.”
I won the Silver Award in the category: “Death & Dying / Grief & Loss: Insights that recognize the challenges and transitions of loss (beloved persons or animals) with a sense of acceptance, recovery, healing, and wisdom; may include personal stories to help other persons in a related situation.”



Silver Nautilus Book Award
Readers’ Choice 5 Star Finalist Award

This is a very intimate telling of significant, emotional highs and lows in the life of the author. The prose and poetry is beautiful, recounting loving relationships formed and broken, reformed, and broken again, moments of despair, and a life of deep spirituality. It is reassuring to know that in spite of tragedy and grief, there can be a satisfying return to love and belonging, by recognizing and sharing in the grieving of others, and persevering in reaching out in pursuit of loving relationships.

Maggie Anton, author of Rashi’s Daughters series

Book Review
This book makes for great pandemic reading, and even when we’re not in a pandemic anymore, I would recommend reading it! Mary describes her painful loss so well that I felt I was right there with her being “dragged through hell”. But then the book takes a positive turn and I witnessed how Mary was able to find joy again in her life… step by step. This joy expands to gratitude, a renewed spiritual outlook/practice, and then to love itself. I savored her writing style, which is infused with elements that reminded me of Rumi and Mary Oliver (my two favorite poets). I found myself not only grateful for having read this book, but grateful for all the good in my life despite the pandemic.

The narrative, poetry, prose is all memorable. Buy it, read it, learn.

Thoughtful Person

Aviyah, am blessed to be one of your dear friends. My words can barely touch the span of emotions I felt while reading your book. Thought I’d share on Amazon exactly what I shared with you -

“There were so many pieces of your book that I just loved. So many I loved because it was purely you. So many I loved because I saw me in you.

Others, a bit plain; like a quiet resting point between the profound.

This is the first book I have been able to read since Ted passed away ( 2 hrs ago) and will be remembered as a stepping stone toward life.

I love you!!!! ❤️

Nancy Moilanen

The author's courage, strength and insight presented in journal form and spanning a number of years imparts deep and sometimes very personal insight to the reader. It demonstrates that no matter how traumatic and overwhelming our grief, it is possible to "Choose Life." While reading, we join the author on her journey. She articulates how sometimes seemingly insignificant events in our lives and brief glimpses at memories can direct us to acceptance and ultimately joy. I did not intend to read it in one sitting, but couldn't put it down. Beautifully written.

Miriam M.

I was plunged into the world of hopeful despair that consumed the writer after the death of her wife of 18 years. Writer Mary Aviyah Farkas uses language and metaphors masterfully to convey pain, anger and joy The mixture of poetry and prose makes for a fascinating read. I particularly enjoyed her explanation of the jars that Margaret kept and how the author relates to them after Margaret died. By taking us through the intricate workings of her mind, the reader experiences her grief and her coping mechanisms. Her dry sense of humor is peppered throughout. An example is her passage about gardening—“Any working with my hands (gloved, thank you)” or “the inflamed muscles yelling at me.” She beautifully describes where she receives joy, helping the reader learn by example. “I get joy talking with my friends. They feed my mind, they feed my heart and soul.” This book gives us the spiritual ammunition to cope with the last remnants our tired world.

Gordon Blitz

Reading Aviyah Farkas' book is like being held in the arms of Love and Faith. She is a passionate and compassionate writer. She reminds me again and again, be grateful for your life, be generous to yourself and to all living beings you encounter. This book is a gift. Read it.


A moving chronicle of one woman's difficult journey from grief to acceptance. Should be helpful to those who've suffered grievous loss, therapists, social workers and staff at hospice centers.

Marie B.

Beautifully written and inspirational. The personal revelations and wisdom shared by this author helped me immensely to deal with my own losses and road-blocks.

Linda Ramis

I am loving this book. I have gained many nuggets of wisdom, from reading this heartfelt autobiography. I really connected to the author’s journey, and I highly recommend this book.

Marilyn Martin

Overcoming Deepest Grief, A Woman's Journey, Grief, Acceptance, Gratitude and Joy

As I read this beautiful story I felt the love Aviyah had for her partner, for her sister, the deep commitment that she has for her family and all those she cares for. The love she shares for others is written on every page of this important, meaningful book. Thank you so much Aviyah.

Jane Bright

By the author's deep spiritual quest for deliverance from layers of profound grief upon grief. It was a cathartic experience for me to be so absorbed in such a personal story.

Janice M. Swanson

Highest rating! Ms. Farkas takes us on her long personal journey from her deepest grief over the loss of her wife, dearest sister, and two dear friends to a place of acceptance, gratitude, and joy. Written in a largely chronological style, this book will impact you with a powerful story that one will not soon forget.

Albert E.

This book is about saying Yes to life in the midst of tragedy. Reading and experiencing Aviyah’s writing cracks my heart open. Memories, dreams, and stories resurface about my life and the lives of other dear ones. Thank you, Aviyah, for sharing you and your writing. My life is touched and enriched. This book is wonderful in the first reading and better with each subsequent reading. It is rich with commitment and love and support and enthusiasm for many. I so hope all who are seeking a path through the depths of tragedy find this book.


Not since Sylvia Plath bringing confessional poetry to the forefront have I read a work so poignant, exposing the raw anguish, grief and ultimate joy as Aviyah Farkas leads us in Overcoming Deepest Grief - A Woman's Journey - Grief, Acceptance, Gratitude and Joy. Her journey portrayed in narrative essay, reflection and poetry exposing the trauma, personal loss, self discovery and rebirth finding her uniqueness and path forward offers strength, blossoming to hope. Highly recommended for those transitioning through a life change, dealing with loss and grief and looking to develop gratitude and joy so removed from Ester Greenwood’s alternative in The Bell Jar.

The Job Dr

Beautiful beautiful work by the author. Many inspiring ideas to get back to joys of life is refreshing to read especially for those who have suffered a major traumatic life event. Since these ideas are presented in the form of a true life story sprinkled with poetry, making them a very effective communicative tool


I was very touched reading this book, it moved me in so many ways. It was uplifting and sad, to read about finding the author's wife dead, and all she went through. This is a very honest and open story of her life. To be that open about your life, makes Aviyah a hero. I so appreciate this book, it really made a difference in my life. This is a wonderful, spiritual story of someone's walk through life.


This book is a gem: riveting, introspective, intellectual and inspiring. The author's amazing penmanship allows the reader to actually immerse & feel her story speaking from the heart. I could not put it down. This book is a must read!

A story of a young woman becoming her self, who shares the pain and love of a life fully lived.Her stories and memories are full of the subtle details that brings each moment into vivid life. Her voice is clear, especially in the poetry. Even in her darkest places in, she reaches for the light.
B. Kellman
An emotionally enthralling and most intimate memoir that was very hard to put down. The author succeeded in taking us along with her on her journey from the depths of overwhelming grief and loss, through the ups and downs of her life as she struggles to recover. Although tempted to give in to her despair, the author’s gritty determination to live and regain a joyous life win out in the end. This is accomplished through a unique pathway which offers inspiration, hope, and the promise of joy to the reader. A book not to be missed.
So few books have the power to inspire change and cultivate understanding - this book does both. Through sharing her story of unimaginable grief and loss, the author guides us through the maze of her experience and shares her tools for emerging from the pain stronger, smarter, kinder and happier.I experienced the style of writing and the layout as easy to read and even easier to retain - allowing me to, on occasion, make notes about ideas that could help me or my family deal with challenging events. More than anything, this wonderful book offers a real-time example of how we can all thrive in the face of challenges instead of just surviving - I would recommend this book to anyone looking for inspiration in dealing with challenging events.
Mike Souza
This is a very intimate telling of significant, emotional highs and lows in the life of the author. The prose and poetry is beautiful, recounting loving relationships formed and broken, reformed, and broken again, moments of despair, and a life of deep spirituality. It is reassuring to know that in spite of tragedy and grief, there can be a satisfying return to love and belonging, by recognizing and sharing in the grieving of others, and persevering in reaching out in pursuit of loving relationships.
Maggie Anton