The authors, a clinical psychologist and a pastor and professor, offer comfort and guidance to those mourning their spouse's death. Both suffered the loss of a spouse at a relatively young age, and their empathy, combined with psychological insights, biblical observations, and male and female perspectives, help readers experience grief in the healthiest, most complete way.
Talk to children about death.
Resolve unfinished business.
Take care of yourself.
Accept the help and support of others.
Get through holidays and other difficult times of the year.
Plan funerals and personal bereavement rituals. How To Go On Living With Someone You Love Dies also includes a comprehensive resource listing and a chapter on finding professional help and support groups. There is no way around the pain of loss, but there is a way through it. Dr. Rando offers the solace, comfort, and guidance to help you accept your loss and move into your new life without forgetting your treasured past.
Many people who usually function well are thrown for a loop when a parent dies. They're surprised at the complex feelings of love, loss, anger, and guilt, and at the unresolved issues that emerge. Therapist Lois Akner explains why the loss of a parent is different from other losses and, using examples from her experience, shows how it is possible to work through the grief.
Anyone who is going through or trying to prepare for this natural, normal, inevitable loss will find How to Survive the Loss of a Parent a powerful, healing message.
Praise for Touching the Edge
""Touching the Edge is an homage to love, loss, and the rising grace that comes when grief is transformed into peace. Margaret Wurtele's bow to her son, Phil, is a story we can all recognize within the context of each family's dance with death. Her words can heal the fall of a human heart.""
-Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge, Red, and Leap
""Touching the Edge is an extraordinary memoir. Margaret Wurtele writes of the most painful events a parent can ever imagine, and yet she writes so honestly, so clearly, with prose as lucid and shimmering as cut crystal, that the book shines with a quiet grace. I too have a single grown child. I read this book and trembled. But I also saw, through Margaret Wurtele's eyes, a glimpse of the light that guided her through the darkness. It was a privilege to read this book.""
-Susan Allen Toth, author of Blooming: A Small-Town Girlhood and My Love Affair with England
""I happened to be climbing on Rainier the day that Phil was killed, and I often wondered who he was, what he was like. Now, thanks to this beautifully told account, I have a very good idea. And I have an even clearer sense of what it means to be a parent, and a child of God. This book will choke you up, but the tears will be more than worth it.""
-Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Long Distance: Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously
""The experience of love and loss, when shared, can become the alchemy of a rebirth of the spirit in others. In this journey to the other side of grief, Margaret Wurtele is fearlessly true to her experience of loss and makes herself available to be an agent of transformation for her readers. This is the glory of the human story: we really are 'members of one another' whether we realize it or not.""
-Alan Jones, Dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, and author of Seasons of Grace, The Soul's Journey, and Living the Truth
Help and Hope for an Unexpected Journey Do real Christians commit suicide? Yes, they do. And for those left behind, the journey following such a tragedy is unbearably painful. Finding Your Way after the Suicide of Someone You Love is a compassionate and practical guide that addresses the intensely personal issues of survivors of suicide (SOS). This gentle and faith-affirming resource helps survivors know what to expect, especially during the first year following a suicide. It includes personal stories of survivors and suggestions on how to move beyond survival to live life again. Designed for use by individuals, couples, and SOS groups, this book offers help for parents, siblings, friends, and extended families, as well as practical guidelines for pastors, Christian counselors, and other church leaders. Topics include: - What to do in the immediate aftermath of a suicide - Handling guilt and understanding the role of depression in suicides - Dealing with questions of faith and meaning - Creating a support system - Choosing a Christian therapist - Trusted resources and websites
A compassionate guide to the experience of loss as an essential growth process- Explores the nature of loss as a profound mystery shared by all human beings - Offers sensitive and practical advice for experiencing grief and preparing for the healing journey that follows - Includes CD of the author reading selections from the text We grieve only for that which we have loved, and the transient nature of life makes love and loss intimate companions. In Good Grief professional grief educator Deborah Morris Coryell describes grief as the experience of not having anywhere to place our love, of losing a connection, an outlet for our emotion. To heal grief we have to learn how to continue to love in the face of loss. In this compassionate guide, Coryell gives inspiring examples of how embracing our losses allows us to awaken our most profound connections to other people. Though our society tends to rank losses in a "hierarchy of grief," she reminds us that all losses must be grieved in their own right and on their own terms, and that we must honor the "small" losses as well as the "big" ones. Paying attention to even the most minute experiences of loss can help us to be more in tune with our responses to the greater ones, allowing us to once again become part of the rhythm of life from which we have become disconnected. This 10th anniversary edition includes a 60-minute CD of the author reading select passages from the text.
Updated to commemorate its 20th anniversary, this classic resource further explores the effects of grief and sheds new light on how to begin to take effective actions to complete the grieving process and work towards recovery and happiness.
Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on the capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories as well as from others', the authors illustrate how it is possible to recover from grief and regain energy and spontaneity.
Based on a proven program, The Grief Recovery Handbook offers grievers the specific actions needed to move beyond loss. New material in this edition includes guidance for dealing with:
- Loss of faith
- Loss of career and financial issues
- Loss of health
- Growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home
The Grief Recovery Handbook is a groundbreaking, classic handbook that everyone should have in their library.
"This book is required for all my classes. The more I use this book, the more I believe that unresolved grief is the major underlying issue in most people's lives. It is the only work of its kind that I know of that outlines the problem and provides the solution."--Bernard McGrane, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Chapman University
"Death Be Not Proud chronicles Johnny Gunther's gallant struggle against the malignant brain tumor that killed him at the age of seventeen. The book opens with his father's fond, vivid portrait of his son - a young man of extraordinary intellectual promise, who excelled at physics, math, and chess, but was also an active, good-hearted, and fun-loving kid. But the heart of the book is a description of the agonized months during which Gunther and his former wife Frances try everything in their power to halt the spread of Johnny's cancer and to make him as happy and comfortable as possible. In the last months of his life, Johnny strove hard to complete his high school studies. The scene of his graduation ceremony from Deerfield Academy is one of the most powerful - and heartbreaking - in the entire book. Johnny maintained his courage, wit and quiet friendliness up to the end of his life. He died on June 30, 1947, less than a month after graduating from Deerfield.
Gunther concludes the memoir with selections from Johnny's letters and diary and with a short essay by Johnny's mother in which she probes the meaning of her son's death as " part of some great plan beyond our mortal ken." This deeply moving book is a father's memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy in his fight to overcome a dreadful disease that doctors had then only begun to understand. Discussion Topics
1. This book is a memoir, a true story of a boy's illness and death, but it is also a carefully crafted narrative. Discuss the techniques and strategies that Gunther used to create characters, to make Johnny come alive for us as readers, to involve us so deeply in the story. Why is thisbook so compulsively readable?
2. Many of us read this book in high school or junior high, and then returned to it as adults. Talk about the experience of reading the book at different times and different circumstances of your life - as a young person, as a parent, as a person who has experienced tragic loss.
3. At one point Gunther asks, " what is a mind for except to reason with?" What insight does this shed on his approach to Johnny's illness? What limitations does this approach impose on him as a man, a father, a participant in this tragedy?
4. Gunther grapples in an agonized way with the meaning and purpose of Johnny's life and untimely death. Do you find his thoughts here satisfying? Do you think he has plunged into the heart of the issues here or do you feel he has somehow skirted the issue?
5. The mysteries of cancer are at the heart of the book. Discuss the ways in which Gunther tries to fathom and come to terms with this disease. How has our understanding and treatment of cancer changed in the decades since "Death Be Not Proud was written?
6. Gunther writes in a particularly searching, emotionally charged passage of the book: " A primitive to-the-death struggle of reason against violence, reason against disruption, reason against brute unthinking force - this was what went on in Johnny's head. What he was fighting against was the ruthless assault of chaos. What he was fighting for was, as it were, the life of the human mind." Talk about your reactions to this quote. Do you agree with this view of Johnny's disease? Does this in your opinion capture the essential meaning of the story?
7. Johnny's death is the central event of the book, and yetwhen death comes it is very quiet and almost anti-climatic. Why did Gunther choose to present the death scene in this way? What impact does it have on your experience of the book?
8. The book concludes with Johnny's letters and journals and then a brief word from his mother. How did the journal and letters alter your views of Johnny's character and situation? Would the book have a different " feel" and different message if Gunther had simply ended with his own description of the events?
9. Memoirs were certainly part of the literary scene when this book was published in 1949, but today they are arguably the dominant and most compelling genre. Discuss the shift in taste, attitude, and literary approach that accounts for the current popularity of memoirs. Talk about recent memoirs that this volume may have influenced. How has the memoir genre changed since Gunther wrote this book?
About the Author
John Gunther was born on August 30, 1901 on the North Side of Chicago. He was one of the best known and most admired journalists of his day, and his series of " Inside" books, starting with "Inside Europe in 1936, were immensely popular profiles of the major world powers. One critic noted that it was Gunther's special gift to " unite the best qualities of the newspaperman and the historian." It was a gift that readers responded to enthusiastically. The " Inside" books sold 3,500,000 copies over a period of thirty years.
While publicly a bon vivant and modest celebrity, Gunther in his private life suffered disappointment and tragedy. He and Frances Fineman, whom he married in 1927, had a daughter who died four months after her birth in 1929. TheGunthers divorced in 1944. In 1947, their beloved son Johnny died after a long, heartbreaking fight with brain cancer. Gunther wrote his classic memoir "Death Be Not Proud, which was published in 1949, to commemorate the courage and spirit of this extraordinary boy. Gunther remarried in 1948, and he and his second wife, Jane Perry Vandercook, adopted a son. John Gunther died on May 29, 1970.
Grief is a crazy-making, complicated process, a struggle to acknowledge the life-changing impact of loss. It affects every dimension of the self; it is despairing, isolating, and overwhelming. It is depriving, mischievous, and keeps you unbalanced. Grief is so personally unique and ever changing that getting your hands around it once and for all seems impossible. Someone or something is gone, and you are left broken, empty, and afraid. This Thing Called Grief shows that although grief and pain may be changing you now, they have the potential to transform your life in a healing way. Ellis uses many real-life narratives of loss from his therapy practice to help illustrate various ways of grieving, and shows how you can learn from the experience of loss and make your way towards a place of healing transitions and a renewed sense of life.