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A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies (1) Paperback – September 15, 2000
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About the Author
Mary Semel is a clinical social worker and a bereaved mother. In 1991,her 16-year-old son, Alexander, was killed in a car accident. She turned to reading to assuage her grief, as did Anne McCracken. As they shared our literary discoveries, they decided to compile an anthology in the hope they could help others. It became A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies.
She currently has a private practice in which she does individual, couple, and group psychotherapy. Previously, she worked for 15 years in addictions treatment programs at two local hospitals. In one, she was responsible for conducting family therapy for families of alcoholics and drug addicts as well as individual and family counseling. Her husband, Peter, is an attorney in Baltimore, and daughter, Hilary, practices maritime law in New York.
- Publisher : Hazelden Publishing; Revised ed. edition (September 15, 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 328 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1568385560
- ISBN-13 : 978-1568385563
- Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.04 x 0.9 x 9.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #203,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Written many years ago, revised, and spot on.
However, the weight of sorrow contained in this book is overwhelming. This is not an uplifting or hopeful book and I did not derive any particular comfort from it. The emotion that was most commonly elicited from me by this book was sympathy - "Oh, these poor people! So much pain!" - and it usually made me feel even sadder. I am, by nature, a pragmatic "deal with it and move forward" kind of person and for me, reading this book felt uncomfortably close to wallowing in self-pity (emphasis on "for ME").
Do I recommend this book? I don't know. If there is one thing that has become clear since the death of my son, it is that every single person grieves and deals with the loss of a loved one differently. Some people will find this collection useful. Obviously the editors and some of the other reviewers did. And, if you have suffered through the death of your child, you will almost certainly find your own feelings and thoughts represented in at least some of these excerpts. For me, though, this book was not particularly useful nor was it pleasant to read, and it will likely end up in my "donate" pile. I suggest that you borrow a copy from the public library first and then decide whether or not it is something you wish to add to your personal library.
When my grief was new, "When Bad Things Happen To Good People" helped some. It gave me permission to see her death as random, horrifically bad luck. Not as a "lesson" that I needed to learn. Not as an "act of god." Not as something that I needed to accept and eventually see as part of a greater (good) plan.
I am religiously agnostic. Therefore, many of the books about grieving were meaningless to me. (Anyone who can believe in god after losing a child is beyond me....) This book allowed me to hear from other people who are pretty sure that they will not "see their child again." It talks about gut wrenching pain from many points of view - but always using the language of great writers to portray the many nuances of grieving for a son or daughter.
The unique aspects of this book have affirmed me and my process of facing an unbearable loss.
Top reviews from other countries
May it continue to help the bereaved.