Notes from Grief for Dummies book

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Notes from Grief for Dummies book

Postby Robin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:50 pm

A local support group member showed me a book recently called "Grieving for Dummies." Obviously, it's in the "for Dummies" series by Wiley Publishing. It was published in 2007. The group member got it at her local library. There are sections on Contemplating Grief, Experiencing Grief, Healing Grief, and Appreciating Grief. In particular, I thought the chapter on "Relating Grief to the Manner of Death -- The Impact of an Anticipated Loss" was good. There are chapters on the loss of parents, the loss of spouses and partners, the loss of siblings, the loss of children, and the loss of friends. Looks like a worthwhile book. The rest of this post are notes that I took while flipping through the book.


Here are a few notes I took:

Five stages of loss:

Four tasks of mourning:
Accepting the reality of the loss
Working through the pain of the loss
Adjusting to the changed environment
Emotionally relocating the deceased and moving on

Six "R" process of mourning:
Recognizing the loss
Reacting to the separation
Recollecting and re-experiencing the deceased
Relinquishing attachments to the deceased
Readjusting to move into a new world
Reinvesting in your life

"To be supported in grief, bereaved people really only need to hear two simple messages over and over again, delivered in as many different ways as possible:
* You're not going crazy -- grief just hurts that much.
* You will be okay. This agony is going to end someday."

"I wish the number of useless and often hurtful platitudes that bereaved people have to contend with were limited to just ten. ... So, if you're grieving the profound loss of a loved one, you need to prepare yourself to hear the following top ten horrible cliches (or variations on their themes) and more. ... Ironically, some of these little beauties actually may be true, but I think that the biggest problem with them is that their timing is all wrong. ... One last thing about these cliches: Most are intended to turn the grieving person away from his feelings of sorrow rather than help him give voice to and fully express them. If you truly want to help, be really open to this expression and be able to listen to it.
* I know how you feel ...
* You're never given anything that you can't deal with ...
* Time heals all wounds ...
* Don't dwell on it ...
* Don't feel bad ...
* It's time for you to move on ...
* It's probably all for the best ...
* It's in the natural order of things ...
* He lived a full life ...
* Be grateful you had him with you for so long ..."

"Remember the following things about grieving the loss of a loved one:
* Grieving is a natural human process.
* Grieving is an intensely personal emotional journey.
* Grieving proceeds at its own pace.
* Grieving moves in its own course.
* Grieving advances are often nonlinear.
* Grieving eventually comes to an end."

Top Ten or So Online Bereavement Resources
The International Center for Attitudinal Healing,
The Bereavement Journey,
Hospice Net: Bereavement,
Living with Loss Magazine and Bereavement Publications,
The Bereavement Group,,
Bereavement Camps,
Coping with Loss: Guide to Grieving and Bereavement,
Frequently Asked Questions on Grief and Grieving,
AARP: Grief and Loss,,
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Postby Crazy Mary » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:55 am

Robin, I'd like to take those top ten and give them out to some people. It seems I hear one or the other everyday. It's gotten so I have gotten a little senical about hearing them.
But reading them there reminds me that I myself have said atleast one of those sayings quite often because it was said to us alot when growing up.
Now when I hear those things I really want to just scream out,but I don't,because I know that people are only trying to be kind in their way.
However on another note,being the person I am I am also feeling a little bombarded on the other end as well. I can't tell you how many letters I have gotten to join bereavement groups. I just can't see myself setting with a group of others who are hurting as well and being able to deal with it. I would feel the compulsion to worry about and try to help them when I can't even help myself.
I'm glad you made this post and will see if I can get the book.
wife of Bruce 54 years old diag.2003 symptoms since 2001. Freed of PSP on Aug. 19th 2008
Crazy Mary
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Postby Robin » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:23 am

Dear cynic Mary,
Great idea to hand out the top 10 cliches!
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