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The Grief Recovery Handbook

The Action Program for Moving beyond Death, Divorce and Other Losses, John James & Russell Friedman
    Grief is the range of emotions people feel when they experience a loss. Common responses to loss include reduced concentration, a sense of numbness, disrupted sleep, a change in eating habits, emotional highs and lows. People in our culture are ill-prepared to deal with the grief that follows loss. Our society perpetuates incorrect ideas about grief:
‘Don’t feel bad’
'Big boys don’t cry'
Replace the loss
‘Grieve alone’
‘Just give it time’ 
Be strong for others; don’t let others see you grieve
Keep busy
    We believe these myths because that’s how we have been taught, not because they are true or helpful. As a society we are not comfortable seeing displays of painful emotion, so people who are grieving become isolated. We don’t know what to say to a person who has experienced a loss; we often say things that not at all helpful.  
Well Meaning but Inappropriate Phrases
 ‘I know how you feel.’ All relationships are unique; no one can know what you are feeling.
‘She’s not in pain anymore.’ 
‘Thank goodness you have another child.’
‘She led a full life.’
‘Be grateful that you had him for so long.’
‘You shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.’
     'We don’t have words to talk about death.'
 ‘Granddad has gone to sleep.’
‘God has called him home.’
‘He passed on.’
‘We lost our mother.’
     Statistics show that all of us will experience the death of a loved one every 9 – 13 years. Death of someone close to us happens so rarely that we do not learn how to handle it. The authors of this book believe that unresolved grief is about undelivered emotional communications. The focus of the book is to help grieving people find and express these messages, and so complete the relationship.This new edition covers not only death but other types of losses, such as pets, jobs, health, and leaving a familiar home. The insights on these topics make this book particularly helpful to caregivers. Available on Amazon, paperback, $9.60. Kindle edition also available.

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