End-of-life decision making
Enjoying the golden years
Including suicide and assisted suicide
Plus memorials and requiems
Narrative Medicine (or medical narrative) and illness memoir
. Radiolab stares down the very moment of passing, and speculates about what may lay beyond. What happens at the moment when we slip from life...to the other side? Is it a moment? If it is, when exactly does it happen? And what happens afterward? A show of questions that don't have easy answers so, in a slight departure from Radiolab's regular format, they present eleven meditations on how, when, and even if we die. (Followed by some angry responses from listeners!)
Advocating for Wholeness
(Kara L.C. Jones on self-care for bereaved parents)
(national self-help organization for help grieving the loss of a child of any age). Resources include a Chapter Locator
and online brochures
on topics ranging from Understanding Grief, Sudden Death, Surviving Your Child's Suicide or Homicide, The Death of an Adult Child, Death of a Special-Needs Child, Adults Grieving the Death of a Sibling, Suggestions for Various Professionals Dealing with Someone's Loss of a Child. Compassionate Friends' credo: The Compassionate Friends credo: "We reach out to each other in love to share the pain as well as the joy, share the anger as well as the peace, share the faith as well as the doubts, and help each other to grieve as well as to grow. We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends." Here Linton Weeks describes the healing that goes on at a Compassionate Friends conference.
Coping with Loss
. Links to useful resources, from Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC)
A Daughter's Separation Anxiety
(Nicole Bokat, Opinionator series on anxiety
, NY Times, 4-15-13). "When my father was alive, our relationship was virtually symbiotic. After he was gone, I realized he’d been my antidepressant."
Deep Grief: Creating Meaning from Mourning
(Linton Weeks, NPR, 2-9-10). Some parents in deep grief have found a way to tamp down the madness a little, to go on living . . . by creating a memorial that celebrates the memory of the child, and, at the same time, sustains and propels the child's spirit and hopes and dreams into the future. Story briefly describes three memorial organizations through which bereaved parents can find ways to honor and remember their children: Kate's Kart
, Carol's Kitchen
, and Healthy Child Healthy World
(national center for grieving children and families)
Euphemisms for Death
(Melissa Barber, Living with Dying blog, 9-14-12) By keeping the reality of death at arm's length, we're probably adding to bigger societal issues such as treating death as a taboo subject for discussion.
Find Someone Who Gets It
(Joan Hitchens, Grief Reflection, 5-4-11)
‘For Sorrow There Is No Remedy’
. Julian Barnes's interesting essay-review of Joyce Carol Oates' memoir of sudden widowhood, after 48 years of marriage, A Widow's Story
. Worth reading for the essay alone.
Fresh Widows: A Conversation
(the book) by Sue Bastian and Mary Metzger and Fresh Widows (the blog)
. Two women who both lost their husbands after long illness (one from cancer, one from Alzheimer's) meet and write to each other. This refreshing take on widowhood acknowledges the grief but conveys how finding a widow-buddy to get through that first year can be a positive step toward healing and the kind of friendship you may need when you leave the world of couples. With a widow-buddy you don't need to explain how you're feeling and what you're going through. A quick read in short takes--just what a grieving widow or widower can handle.
(Meghan O'Rourke, New Yorker, 2-1-2010. Is there a better way to be bereaved? Grief is more complicated than Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's five stages. The new science of bereavement.
Good Grief: A Constructive Approach to the Problem of Loss
by Granger E. Westberg. This classic (1961) by the late Lutheran pastor and hospital chaplain, based on a popular sermon, identifies ten stages of grief: shock, emotion, depression, physical distress, panic, guilt, anger, resistance, hope, and acceptance, but, recognizing that grief is complex and deeply personal, defines no "right" way to grieve. Rev. Cecil Fike publishes a Good Grief Workbook
for use by Good Grief Groups
. Check out answers to the FAQ (frequently asked questions)
1) I want to talk about my mother who died, but none of my family will let me talk with them...
2) I lost my father several years ago and just recently my sister who was only 26 years old died and I feel like I am losing control of my life...
3) It has been 6 months since my husband died, how long will the grief and pain last?
4) Is there anything that I can do to speed up the healing process?
5) Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy or losing my mind, is this normal?
Good Grief: Coping After Loss
(Lybi Ma, Psychology Today, 5-1-03, 7-16-09). Coping styles vary.
Grief and Bereavement
, audio and transcript of roundtable discussion with gerontologist Ken Doka, social scientist Phyllis Silverman, and Rabbi Earl Grollman of the Center of Death Education, hosted by Linda Wertheimer, for All Things Considered
, as part of its wonderful series The End of Life: Exploring Death in America
Grief & Trauma Experts
(an open LinkedIn group)
The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith
by John W. James and Russell Friedman. James, Friedman, and Leslie Mathews also wrote When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses
Grieving the loss of a child
• Apple, Dennis L. Life After the Death of My Son: What I'm Learning
• Bernstein, Judith R. When The Bough Breaks: Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter
• Finkbeiner, Ann. After the Death of a Child: Living with Loss through the Years
• Goodman, Sandy. Love Never Dies: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Love
• McCracken, Anne and Mary Semel. A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies
• Mitchell, Ellen and others Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child
(powerful book in which nine bereaved mothers share their experiences about what life is like after losing a child in their teens or twenties, including Carol Barkin, Audrey Cohen, Lorenza Colletti, Barbara Eisenberg, Barbara Goldstein, Madeline Perri Kasden, Phyllis Levine, Ariella Long, Rita Volpe)
• Rapp, Emily. The Still Point of the Turning World: A Mother's Story
. Ronan was diagnosed at nine months old with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder; Rapp and her husband had to learn to live with their child in the moment; to find happiness in the midst of sorrow; to parent without a future. See also Sarah Manguso's review, Requiem
(NY Times, 3-15-13) and listen to Terry Gross's interview with the author
(Fresh Air, NPR, 3-18-13).
• Redfern, Suzanne and Susan K. Gilbert. The Grieving Garden: Living with the Death of a Child
. Redfern and Gilbert reflect on their own experiences and tell the stories of 22 other parents whose children died at various ages and from various causes, from disease and accidents to suicide and terrorism. Organized in sections that mirror the stages of grief, from immediate reactions, seeking support, effects on family life and relationships, to integrating the loss into one's life and maintaining connections with a loved one.
[Back to Top]
In Grief, As In Life, We Are All Different
(Priska Neely, NPR, 3-10-11, about Rachel Hadas's grief as she watches her husband's decline into dementia).
(helping kids in crisis)
Letting Children Share in Grief
(Catherine Saint Louis, NY Times, 9-19-12). New attitudes toward children and funerals--and grief camps, too.
Liberating Losses: When Death Brings Relief
by Jennifer Elison and Chris McGonigle gives permission for this common but nontraditional response to death, the relief felt by many primary caregivers (especially spouses) after a long illness, or felt when one is released from a difficult or abusive relationship.
Life After Death: How the mother of a slain 9-year-old ank into despair, then sought justice
(Neely Tucker, Washington Post, 1-20-10, part 1)
Life After the Death of My Son: What I'm Learning
by Dennis Apple. A candid account of the devastating loss a parent feels on losing a child. Writes one reader, who also lost a son: "I highly recommend this powerful, yet gentle read; it is truly a guiding light through this storm."
Life After Tim
, in which Janet Burroway (St. Petersburg Times 12-12-04) describes what she learned about grieving after her son Tim Eysselinck, a former Ranger and Army captain, committed suicide after finishing work in Iraq.
The Long Goodbye: a memoir
by Meghan O'Rourke, which Alice Gregory reviews for NPR in 'The Long Goodbye': A Syllabus For Modern Mourning
An excerpt: "In the days following my mother's death, I did not know what I was supposed to do, nor, it seemed, did my friends and colleagues, especially those who had never suffered a similar loss. Some sent flowers but did not call for weeks. One friend launched into fifteen minutes of small talk when she saw me, before asking how I was, as if we had to warm up before diving into the churning, dangerous waters of grief. Others sent worried e-mails a few weeks later, signing off: 'I hope you're doing well.' It was a kind sentiment, but it made me angry. I was not 'doing well.' And I found no relief in that worn-out refrain that at least my mother was 'no longer suffering.'"
'Making Toast': Simple Gestures for Moving On
, National Public Radio story and review of Making Toast
by Roger Rosenblatt, which E.L. Doctorow describes thus: "A painfully beautiful memoir telling how grandparents are made over into parents, how people die out of order, how time goes backwards. Written with such restraint as to be both heartbreaking and instructive."
Now We Are Alone: Living On Without Our Sons
(Linton Weeks, All Things Considered, 9-3-10, read or listen, 7 min, 44 sec)
Online grief and bereavement forums and discussion groups
• Compassionate Friends
(grief support after the loss of a child)
(there are special forums for Loss of a Parent, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Partner, Losing Family and Friends, Loss of a Sibling, Loss of a Pet, Violent Death, Caregiving and Terminal Illness, Coping with Terminal Illness & Upcoming Death, Grief & Justice, Grief & the Legal System, Grief and War, and so on.
• Hello Grief
(a community that understands grief and loss)
(a safe place for kids to help each other deal with grief and loss)
• Parents of Murdered Children
(for family and friends of those who have died by violence)
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On Loss and Regret
(André Aciman, NY Times, 2-2-13). "Remorse now hangs like an albatross: you should have tried harder to make special occasions for her. She had probably expected and deserved more than the handful you doled out over the years."
Parents of Fallen Troops Find a Home for Their Grief
(Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, 8-13-12). American Gold Star Manor is slowly returning to its 60-year mission as the only dedicated retirement home for bereaved parents of the nation's military.
Pet Loss and End-of-Life FAQ
(helpful ASPCA articles, including one on pet hospice or palliative care, to reduce suffering). See also Ann Cochran's practical article, When a Pet Dies: Where to Go For Help
(Washingtonian Magazine, 3-30-11), and her story Saying Goodbye to a Favorite Pet
(her poodle, Lacey).
Starting Over at 62
(Robert Julian, star of the reality series, Golden Gays, on Huff Post blog, 4-6-13). On coping with the loss of his partner of 23 years.
Suddenly, They’re All Gone
(Carol Mithers, The New Old Age, NY Times, 3-22-13) The caregiving is over, but instead of feeling relieved, I feel worse.
Technology Brings Digital Memories to Grave Sites
(Bellamy Pailthorp, NPR's All Things Considered, 5-30-11--listen or read). A Seattle company is adding "quick-read" codes to gravestones, allowing cemetery visitors to connect with the dead's life stories.
by Sonali Deraniyagala. Her entire family perished in the Pacific tsunami that swept through Sri Lanka on Dec. 26, 2004. She was the sole survivor. The narrator for the audio book wrote: "I was privileged to be the narrator for this book. It is the most profound book I have ever read and also one of the most beautiful, gripping and readable."
What Comes After
by Liza Mundy ("Losing Leslie" on the cover, Washington Post Magazine, 11-11-07). They lost their daughter in the deadliest campus massacre in U.S. history. Now one parent thinks a lawsuit might be the only way to hold someone accountable for her death, while the other believes it would only prolong their pain. Click here
to read the online discussion of the article and the issues involved. Holly Adams and Tony Sherman suffered an inconceivable tragedy when their daughter, Leslie Sherman, was among 32 people killed by a gunman in April 2007 on the Virginia Tech campus. Now they are divided on how to move on with their lives, as Holly struggles to decide whether to join other grieving families to push for accountability with a lawsuit or to focus on her husband and their other daughter, a student at Tech.Click here
for the Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel.
Buy Now - Dying: A Book of Comfort
Selections from DYING
about Grief and Recovery
There are many, many more in the book, of course.
"For two years . . . I was just as crazy as you can be and still be at large. I didn't have any really normal minutes during those two years. It wasn't just grief. It was total confusion. I was nutty, and that's the truth. How did I come out of it? I don't know, because I didn't know when I was in it that I was in it."
~ Helen Hayes, the actress, on the death of her husband Charles MacArthur
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.
~ Algernon Charles Swinburne
You can't prevent birds of sorrow fling over your head--but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.
~ Chinese proverb
I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing Eyes--
I wonder if it weighs like Mine--
Or has an easier size.
~ Emily Dickinson
Grief can be the garden of compassion.
~ Jelaluddin Rumi
Good books about grief, bereavement, and recovery
Clicking on a title will take you to an Amazon.com description of the book and reviews. This is not an endorsement of shopping at Amazon.com (we encourage shopping at your local independent bookstore), but Amazon does have an excellent database. And if you purchase a book after clicking on a link here, we get a small referral fee, which helps cover the cost of maintaining this site.
• Alexander, Eben. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife (a neurosurgeon's account of his near-death experience). Read Readers Join Doctor’s Journey (Leslie Kaufman, NY Times, 11-25-12), about how in 2008 Dr. Alexander, now 58, contracted bacterial meningitis, slipped into a deep coma during which his cerebral cortex registered no activity, and emerged so changed by the experience that he wrote this book, an instant bestseller.
• Apple, Dennis L. Life After the Death of My Son: What I'm Learning
• Ascher, Barbara Lazear. Landscape Without Gravity (about her brother's death from AIDS).
• Bastian, Sue and Mary Metzger. Fresh Widows: A Conversation (the book) and the blog. Great idea! Have mutual friends introduce you to a widow-buddy, a new friend who is going through what you're going through; you help each other re-enter the world as no-longer-part-of-a-couple, knowing without explanation what each of you is going through.
• Bernstein, Judith R. When The Bough Breaks: Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter (Paperback)
• Bolton, Iris. My Son...My Son: A Guide to Healing After Death, Loss, or Suicide.
• Bonanno, George A. The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss . Bonanno finds "little evidence to support the existence of stages of mourning or the corollary that if the stages aren't followed completely, there's cause for alarm. What Bonanno does find is a natural resilience that guides us through the sadness of loss, and grief, rather than distracting us, actually causes the mind to focus; it also elicits the compassion and concern that humans are hard-wired to offer in response to another's suffering." (PW review)
• Boss, Pauline. Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (about the sense of "frozen grief" that can occur when a loved one is perceived as physically absent but mentally present (because of desertion, divorce, or abduction, or because missing in action) or physically present but mentally or psychologically absent (because of dementia, mental illness, or other forms of mental or emotional loss or injury).
• Braestrup, Kate. Here If You Need Me: A True Story. Widowed when her husband (a Maine state trooper) is killed in a car accident, middle-aged Kate Braestrup, deep in mourning, follows her husband's dream, becoming a chaplain to Maine game wardens, the service that sets up search-and-rescue missions through the state.
• Brener, Anne. Mourning & Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner's Path Through Grief to Healing . Explores "the place where psychology and religious ritual intersect, and the name of that place is Truth." ~ Rabbi Harold Kushner
• Caine, Lynn. Being a Widow
• Davis, Deborah L. Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby
• DeVita, Elizabeth. The Empty Room: Surviving the loss of a brother or sister at any age (partly a memoir of surviving the loss of her brother Teddy to aplastic anemia)
• Diamant, Anita. Saying Kaddish: How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead, and Mourn as a Jew
• Didion, Joan. The Year of Magical Thinking. It starts like this:
"Life changes fast
Life changes in an instant
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."
This instant classic by the renowned essayist is about the year that followed the sudden loss of her husband: an unflinching account of that first year of widowhood
• Edelman, Hope. Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss (explaining the stages of grief and adjustment and such secondary effects as filling the lost mother's role in the family) and Motherless Mothers: How Losing a Mother Shapes the Parent You Become
• Elison, Jennifer and Chris McGonigle. Liberating Losses: When Death Brings Relief gives permission for the relief felt by many primary caregivers (especially spouses) about death after a long illness, or when one is released from a difficult or abusive relationship.
• Fine, Carla. No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One
• Finkbeiner, Ann. After the Death of a Child: Living with Loss through the Years
• Goodman, Sandy. Love Never Dies: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Love. Includes suggestions about how to help a friend going through such a loss.
• Grollman, Earl A. Living When A Loved One Has Died. Short, easy to read, and helps explain the process of grieving.
• Hammer, Signe. By Her Own Hand: Memoirs of a Suicide's Daughter
• Harris, Mark. Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial (why eco-friendly burials make sense)
• Hickman, Martha W. Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief
• Hill, Susan. Family (about the death of a premature child)
• James, John W. and Russell Friedman. The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith. By the same authors (with Leslie Mathews): When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses
• Kaplan, Robbie Miller. How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words for Difficult Times--Illness and Death (less expensive ordered from the author)
• Kowalski, Gary. Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet
• Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. A classic, full of wisdom for those who ask, "Why me?"
• Levin, Mark R. Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish. If you've ever loved a pet, you need this book, says one reader.
• Lewis, C.S. A Grief Observed. A classic, brief and beautiful.
• McCracken, Anne and Mary Semel. A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies
• McNees, Pat, ed. Dying: A Book of Comfort. Gems of comfort, healing words on loss and grief. “This remarkable collection, coming from personal experience and wide reading, will help many find the potential of growth through loss.” ~ Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement. Order here and save money.
• McWilliams, Peter, Harold H. Bloomfield, and Melba Colgrove. How to Survive the Loss of a Love
• Mitchell, Ellen and eight other mothers. Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child (powerful book in which nine bereaved mothers share their experiences about what life is like after losing a child in their teens or twenties, including Ellen Mitchell, Carol Barkin, Audrey Cohen, Lorenza Colletti, Barbara Eisenberg, Barbara Goldstein, Madeline Perri Kasden, Phyllis Levine, Ariella Long, Rita Volpe )
• Myers, Edward. When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults. Recommended as a guide for social service agencies.
• Oates, Joyce Carol. A Widow's Story. A memoir of sudden widowhood, after 48 years of marriage. Her remarriage a year later elicited strong reactions. Read Should Joyce Carol Oates have revealed her second marriage? (David L. Ulin, Jacket Copy, L.A.Times 5-15-11) and listen to Michael Krasny's interview with Oates, KQED (and read NPR's forum comments). (See also "The Widow's Story," about the death of her husband, Raymond J. Smith, in New Yorker (12-13-10, subscribers only). Here is an interesting review-essay: ‘For Sorrow There Is No Remedy’ by Julian Barnes, NY Review of Books.
• O'Rourke, Meghan. The Long Goodbye: a memoir,m which Alice Gregory reviews for NPR in 'The Long Goodbye': A Syllabus For Modern Mourning.
• Page, Patricia. Shadows on a Nameless Beach. A brief and beautifully crafted collection of essays, a memoir of the year after her son's death by suicide, her feelings of parental guilt, finding solace in walks through California's coastal landscape.
• Rando, Theresa A. How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies. Grief counseling in a book.
• Rappaport, Nancy. In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide. Haunted by the 1963 death of her mother, a Boston socialite, from an overdose when Rappaport was only four (the youngest of six children), the author tries to reconstruct what happened. As her brother asked: Didn't their mother know that she would leave all these shattered children wondering if it was their fault?
• Redfern, Suzanne and Susan K. Gilbert. The Grieving Garden: Living with the Death of a Child. Redfern and Gilbert reflect on their own experiences and tell the stories of 22 other parents whose children died at various ages and from various causes, from disease and accidents to suicide and terrorism. Organized in sections that mirror the stages of grief, from immediate reactions, seeking support, effects on family life and relationships, to integrating the loss into one's life and maintaining connections with a loved one.
• Rosenblatt, Roger. Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt, which E.L. Doctorow describes thus: "A painfully beautiful memoir telling how grandparents are made over into parents, how people die out of order, how time goes backwards. Written with such restraint as to be both heartbreaking and instructive."
• Sartwell, Marcia. Do Not Go Gentle: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Living On (which captures both the raw, sometimes angry, feelings of grief when a loved one dies and the understanding and fulfillment that may come over time).
• Sharples, Madeline. Leaving the Hall Light On. A mother's memoir of living with her son's bipolar disorder and surviving his suicide
• Sittser, Jerry L. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss (about the transformative grace that can come even in the face of catastrophic loss)
• Staudacher, Carol. A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One
• Vincent, Eleanor. Swimming with Maya: A Mother's Story (how the daughter's fall from a horse ended in organ donations--transforming a mother's grief)
• Viorst, Judith. Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow
• Waxman, Robert and Linda. Losing Jonathan (losing a beloved child to drugs)
• Westberg, Granger E. Good Grief: A Constructive Approach to the Problem of Loss
• Wiesel, Elie. Night (powerful account of surviving the nightmare world of the Nazi death camps)
• Wolfelt, Alan D. Healing the Adult Child's Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Parent Dies
"To hold happiness is to hold the understanding that the world passes away from us, that the petals fall and the beloved dies. No amount of mockery, no amount of fashionable scowling will keep any of us from knowing and savoring the pleasure of the sun on our faces or save us from the adult understanding that it cannot last forever."
~ Amy Bloom, The Rap on Happiness
(review of books on happiness, NY Times, 1-29-10)
Music for Funerals and Memorial Services
. Music reaches the heart in ways that can be sad, healing, nostalgic, joyous, and more . And it certainly helps bring back memories.
"I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong."
~ from W. H. Auden, "Funeral Blues" (a wonderful poem)
"But there is nothing linear or predictable about grief. A soul does not heal the way a femur does. Sometimes the biggest victories -- the promotion at work, the honor-roll report card -- ring the most hollow because he is not there to share them. And sometimes the smallest victories become the ones that matter most."
Tracy Grant's essay
, In Grief, Life As Series of Slow Repairs: Flickering Light Bulbs Mark Widow's Healing (Washington Post, Style section 9-4-09)
"Until now I have been able only to grieve, not mourn. Grief was passive. Grief happened. Mourning, the act of dealing with grief, required attention. Until now there had been every urgent reason to obliterate any attention that might otherwise have been paid, banish the thought, bring fresh adrenaline to bear on the crisis of the day."
~Joan Didion, in the beautiful memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking
, p. 143
“The central task of dying is letting go, which is also a core task of parenthood. . . . Children look to parents to show them how to live, how to love, and how to go on after loss. . . .We may never be comfortable with the idea of mortality or be able to comprehend the end of physical life. But ignoring death makes it more dreadful. . . . We need to become acquainted with the dying process because parents and children alike will eventually face it. We need to accept what we can’t control and control what we can, which is to insure that those left behind are not overburdened and utterly unprepared financially and emotionally. . . . By acknowledging death, talking about it, and planning for it, we can soften the hard facts of life for our children and enlarge our sense of life’s value and preciousness.”
~Linda Blachman in Another Morning: Voices of Truth and Hope from Mothers with Cancer
Disenfranchised grief is "the grief that persons experience when they incur a loss that is not or cannot be openly acknowledged, publicly mourned, or socially supported.”
~ Kenneth Doka
“McNees has provided a remarkable anthology of insights, comforting words, stories, reassurance, and guidance for the journey of dying and grieving. Fourteen chapters delve artfully and compassionately into a full range of dying, death, and bereavement topics. An index by author ‘Names’ and another by ‘Titles and Selected First Lines’ make it possible to return and savor the many rich offerings she has gathered.”
~ Rev. Paul A. Metzler, The Center for Living with Loss, in newsletter, Association for Death Education and Counseling
“I've been devouring the book, which is strangely comforting in a way I can't put my finger on. I gave it to my mother and brother, too, to help them come to terms with my father's death, which seemed sudden even though he was chronically ill. The book's greatest gift for us was that it contained the perfect poem for my mother to read at the graveside for my father's unveiling. It was a real act of courage for her to read it in public, without breaking down, and because the words were so beautiful and so apt, the poem itself helped start her on the path to healing.”
~ Robin Marantz Henig, author of How a Woman Ages and Pandora's Baby
“Seldom have I read a book that exudes such comfort, such an embrace of genuine insight, care and support....The book’s gift, and it is a rich treasure for the reader, is that it embraces who we are.... The book can be read cover to cover, or just pick out a page. Something will leap off the page, a story, a quote, a reading, narrative couplings of diverse themes colorfully worded by the author/scribe, to give you the needed word or embrace....This book needs wide circulation. The bereaved deserve this, and the book will help all of us.”
~ Rev. Richard B. Gilbert, director, World Pastoral Care Center, in Resources Hotline