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Giving Sorrow Words: How to Cope with Grief and Get on with Your Life Paperback – August 1, 1991

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nancy Hathaway is the author of "The Unicorn," "Native American Portraits: 1862-1918," "Giving Sorrow Words" (with Candy Lightner), and "The Friendly Guide to the Universe,"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446392901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446392907
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Candy Lightner's book was the most helpful guide through grief that I read after my own loss of a 14 year-old daughter in 1988. Here I am, 13 years later, still remembering passages from the book. A few months after my child's death, and feeling mired in a depression I had no idea how to lift, I bought or borrowed every book on grief I could get my hands on. This one stands out for its honesty and focuses on the fact that there are disparate ways of grieving, none of them wrong, and that those left to deal with the death of a loved one never "recover" as from an illness, but rather incorporate the experience into his or her life. The loss becomes, as one father described it (paraphrased) not a turbulent river, but a meandering stream that ebbs and flows through the remainder of one's life. I completely recommend this book, and in fact bought many copies which I have given away over the years. There are many interesting facts brought out in the book, for example that 80% of all marriages end in divorce after the death of a child. Although perhaps most helpful to those who have lost a child, the book has much to offer anyone learning to cope after the death of a spouse, relative, or dear friend.
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By A Customer on January 28, 2003
I started reading this book about 2 months after the death of my spouse at the age of 53 and after almost 6 years of marriage and a horrific death from a nerve disease. I never really knew what grief was until his death. Nothing seemed to help until I read Candy's book. I never realized how cathartic such as death could be. Candy provides such an insight into how I needed to not only pass through the sorrow and pain but into a totally changed life. She helped me understand how many more facets there were to what I was feeling. This is a wonderful compassionate work. I know Her daughter must be smiling down from heaven in pride on her mother today.
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Verified Purchase
My beautiful, dearest son, David, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2 1/2 . Chemotherapy & radiation left him retarded and epileptic. For nearly 33 years, we battled his epilepsy. One morning, in 2009, he was gone. He passed away from an overwhelming seizure that shut down all of his systems in an instant. He had beaten cancer, only to lose his life to the side/effects of the cure.
David's survival was never taken for granted, but his loss was shocking. We had done everything to keep him alive, but it wasn't enough.

Our whole family was devastated. We've tried to help each other (I have six other children), but, each person grieves in his/her own way. And, there is a point where children can no longer help a mom. I have spent the last two years meeting every mother I could who has lost a child. I was trying to figure out how to survive this unthinkable loss. I read probably forty books on grieving.. I saw every film I could showing the loss of a child. Time has helped.

But, recently I read "Giving Sorrow Word" and it had a profound effect on me. I felt like the author was speaking directly to me. Candance Lightner explained to me how and why I was feeling the way I was. She very clearly described all aspects of grief. I learned it was normal to feel insane. I learned the kind of people to avoid; to ask for what I need; to understand I would never, ever get over this loss, but that the rest of my life would be tolerable. Candance wrote from her heart and from what she learned from speaking with and researching what others say about grief. Of all the books I have read, this is the best book on grieving and "recovery" because it is clear, honest, and even hopeful.
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Grief is something we all experience but many get stuck. I know of a woman who, when she lost her soulmate, her husband of 16 years, even after 3 years, could not move on. For all Candace went through, it is a wonder she can still offer a "moving on" feeling of growth. To create a life around experiencing such a tragedy and have these efforts touch so many lives is just a gift. She is an amazing person. Her loss of her daughter and what she did as a result of that pain has changed our world.
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I am at the time of my life when a lot of friends are dying so I consult Candace Lightner's book all too often. She seems wise beyond her years and has advice that helps the griever move on and yet honor the loved one who died. I highly recommend this healing book and can't thank Ms Lightner enough for writing it and sharing her own experience with grief. It a book to keep on your bookshelf.
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For ANYONE suffering any kind of loss of a loved one, this book covers grieving in an open, honest accessible way. Who better than Candace Lightner, who lost her own daughter and founded MADD, one of the most well-known non-profits in history to offer advice and information about grieving and getting on with your life? Thank you, Candace for sharing your heart and your wisdom!
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