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Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving Kindle Edition
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|Length: 288 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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There is an early introduction to how grief might look or be experienced and although this was a brief narrative, it was described well. This book uses stories of those grieving from the early acuteness to the later, equally acute but long-term experiences. The stories are in-depth and rather lengthy but there is no lack of detail. The highlight of this book was the concept of thinking of 'pillars of strength', I thought this was an interesting way of thinking of managing the pain and the journey.
I am an academic in this field and this book is not written to inform me theoretically, however, I could see myself recommending this to those new to the subject, to people I research with and to friends and family.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through netgalley in return for an honest review.
In her book, she shares stories of clients who lost parents, spouses, children, siblings, and those who were faced with their own looming death. These stories are like mini vignettes of their counseling sessions, covering the highs and lows of the grief process. Many of her clients suffered from deep depression, alcoholism, fear, and anger. All of these are common emotions and actions when dealing with a loss. Some of the anger that was felt wasn't so much from the death, but how others handled the death. One woman spoke of her deep anger and hurt over a close co-worker who stopped speaking to her after her mother's death. Her friend said a simple "Sorry for your loss" and then never spoke to her again. This loss of a close friend along with her mother hurt her greatly. We don't know why the friend stopped speaking to the bereaved friend, but most likely, it was that she didn't know what to say or do, so it is easier to avoid that to possibly say the wrong thing.
I've read many books on grief and dealing with death and while this one followed similar stories of those left behind to suffer, I felt a bit detached from the personal stories. I can't put my finger on why, but maybe they were written a bit too clinical, being told from the counselor's perspective and not the client. What I appreciated most was the end of the book that dealt with the coping strategies both for the bereaved and for the friends and family of those grieving. After one of my close friends died suddenly this summer, a number of people have asked me how to handle it, knowing that I used to work in Hospice. I found her suggestions to be good reminders for myself when seeing those who are grieving as well as handling my own moments when I remember my friend. Samuel offers important suggestions for those suffering and for others who want to continue to be a friend or support the family member in their home. Whether you are suffering the loss of a parent to old age, a sibling to an accident, or a spouse to a heart attack, you are never prepared for the deep emotions and loss. Having family and friends there for you is critical to surviving in those weeks, months, and years after the death.
I think if you are grieving or know someone close to you who are grieving, this book could be helpful, especially the practical steps and advice at the end of the book. Samuel is obviously a leader in grief counseling and has years of research and experience to back up her advice.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
The sections that I found particularly helpful were those about facing your own death, "what helps: the work we need to do to help us grieve and survive effectively" and one specifically addressing how friends and family can help one dealing with a loss.
Everyone will eventually be in a position to grieve or know others who are grieving. This easy to read and practical book shows the things that help and the things that don't help the person grieving to move forward.
Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Scribner Publishing for allowing me to read an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.