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Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What it Costs Us Hardcover – August 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press (August 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439905762
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439905760
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,437,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[C]ompelling...Berns, who experienced a profound loss when she gave birth to a stillborn son, is here to reinforce what most of us intuitively know: feeling bad about losing a loved one never really ends. By commodifying the concept of closure in order to sell products and services, however, society has put pressure on us to conform to the prevailing 'feeling rules,' suggesting that disappointment, loss, and grief can and should come to an arbitrary end. Berns angrily dismisses this notion.... VERDICT Berns wisely counsels us to find other language and perspectives for living with grief, and this lucid debunking of the current use of the word 'closure' is a breath of fresh air, recommended for both general readers and specialists."
—Library Journal

More About the Author

Nancy Berns is the author of Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What It Costs Us. She brings her personal experience with loss combined with fascinating sociological research to help readers understand grief and closure. She teaches classes on death, grief, crime and violence at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She is also author of Framing the Victim: Domestic Violence, Media and Social Problems.

Learn more about Nancy Berns and read her blog at www.nancyberns.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One of the most difficult things I've experienced when grieving has been dealing with the opinions of those around me, many of whom have 'decided' how I should grieve. "Closure" is one of those almost mystical things I've never been able to figure out or come to terms with. In fact, I've never been able to close or put the lid on how I feel about anyone who has passed away in my lifetime. When I watch television or read, I've come across those who demand closure and receive it and those who claim they will never find it. When I picked up a copy of this book, I was totally mesmerized by Berns's analysis of the strange enigma of closure.

Berns not only discusses closure in terms of death, but also of things such as separation, divorce, and even the loss of one's beloved pet. This is not a guide that, by any stretch of the imagination, pretends to be a guide to resolving one's hurt and pain one way or the other. It leans toward discussing the origins and concept of closure, including its semantic origin. It is, however, a sociological treatise on the "tangled web of closure talk." As I was reading this book, I discussed parts of it with a friend who requested that I not share parts of it with a relative who is very painfully grieving the lose of someone very dear to her. Why not?

I chuckled when I read about divorce and the premise that "The Corpse Is Still Walking Around." Yet at the same time, I could easily imagine the pain one would feel when they spotted that corpse in the grocery store. I actually cringed when I read about the changed in the 2013 edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)" will change what some consider a normal grieving process into a "disorder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christine on March 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate the word 'closure' and 'get over it' when it is associated to grief. As a social worker and bereavement counselor for a local hospice, I deal with hundreds of people who have heard that there is a concept called 'closure' and 'getting over' grief. They never are able to acquire this because it does not exist! Once people understand that, they progress through their grief and learn how to live without the physical presence of the person who died and are able to maintain a healthy relationship with the deceased. Great read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Souther on March 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a hypnotherapist working with loss and the first thing I hear from clients is that they are told to 'get over it' or 'let it go' or 'it's time to move on'. The truth is, grief is a deeply personal process and must happen at an individual pace. This book expresses so beautifully why and how a person needs to take their time, grieve at their own pace and emerge on the other side still holding the lost loved one in their hearts, not buried, forgotten and gone. I am so glad to have found this book and if you watch Nancy Berns on YouTube, it's even more powerful.
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