Dealing with grief
Loving relationships are the most important part of a good life. What is life without the nurturing love of a mother, sheltering love of a father, playful love of grandparents, comfortable love of siblings and friends, and unifying love of an intimate partner? Loving someone comes with the risk of knowing that one day we all will die, and when that day comes for our loved ones we will experience pain in equal portion to how much we loved them. Grief is the price of love, but what is the alternative? If the idea is to protect ourselves from the pain of grief by never loving, then that is no life at all.
Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience that requires drawing on the love of our existing relationships for support. As you move through your grieving journey, please consider these classic books on dealing with grief that have been valuable resources for millions of others.
Resilient Grieving: Finding strength and embracing life after a loss that changes everything
by Lucy Hone, PhD
After her 12-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident, Dr. Hone’s life was consumed by unbearable grief. Using her own experience and research she guides readers through a process she calls “resilient grieving” where they can emerge from a traumatic loss into a more engaged and meaningful life instead of being immobilized by it.
I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, coping, and healing after the sudden death of a loved one
Brook Noel and Pamela Blair, PhD
Losing a loved one is immeasurably painful, but the circumstances surrounding their death can often compound the pain. Here, the authors examine unique situations of loss that include suicide and homicide. Also covered are different styles of grieving and the many myths or misunderstandings about it.
A Grief Observed
When the famous author of The Chronicles of Narnia children’s books lost his beloved wife to cancer in 1960 his grief poured out though his pen in this collection of short essays. Written in a stream-of-consciousness style, Lewis lays bare the pain, despair, questions, and anger at God that churn in the heart and mind of every grieving person as a chaotic ball of emotions. Famous for his faith, Lewis then brings the reader back around to the spiritual center. While there are no easy answers or steps to follow here, what readers learns is that all their feelings are normal. The book provides a sense of comfort in a shared experience that many have found powerful.
Bearing the Unbearable: Love, loss, and the heartbreaking path of grief
Joanne Cacciatore, PhD
Having lost a child, the author takes the reader through 52 short chapters that act more like daily lessons or devotionals for peace, comfort, and understanding. There are no steps or processes, just points to ponder. In a dual approach, she not only addresses loss from the position of those who are grieving but also from the perspective of family and friends, and how they can best support their grieving loved one.
Grief Day by Day: Simple practices and daily guidance for living with loss
The author offers hope in a practical form, while acknowledging grief is a journey to be taken and not a problem to be solved. It includes 365 daily reflections with 52 exercises to help process emotions under headings like loneliness, things left unsaid, guilt, fear, anger, regret, and Who am I now?
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