The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love: Death and the Search for Lasting Love

The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love: Death and the Search for Lasting Love

by Thomas Attig
     
 


In The Heart of Grief, Attig gives us an inspiring and profoundly insightful meditation on the meaning of grief, showing how it can be the path toward a lasting love of those who have died. Recounting dozens of stories of people who have struggled with deaths in their lives, he describes grieving as a transition from loving in presence to loving in separation.… See more details below

Overview


In The Heart of Grief, Attig gives us an inspiring and profoundly insightful meditation on the meaning of grief, showing how it can be the path toward a lasting love of those who have died. Recounting dozens of stories of people who have struggled with deaths in their lives, he describes grieving as a transition from loving in presence to loving in separation. The thing we long for most--the return of the one who is missing--is the very thing that we can never have, kindling the intense pain of our loss. But Attig argues that we can, in fact, build an enduring, even reciprocal, love, a love that tempers our pain. He tells stories, for instance, of a young girl taking some of her dead sister's practical advice as she enters high school, a widower realizing how much intimate life with his wife has colored his character, and an athlete drawing inspiration from his dead brother and achieving what they had dreamed of together. Far from forgetting our loved ones, Attig urges us to explore ways in which our memories of the departed can be sustained, our understanding of them enhanced, and their legacies embraced, so they continue to play active roles in our everyday and inner lives.
Groundbreaking and original, inspiring and compassionate, The Heart of Grief offers guidance, comfort, and a new understanding of how we grieve.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The pain of loss can be overcome, says Attig, an "applied philosopher" and past president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, by survivors who keep alive in their hearts their love for the departed. He repeats his message in each of some 50 brief chapters, using numerous anecdotes gleaned from his experiences as a counselor to explain how he has helped people cope with the loss of loved ones. Whatever the problem a survivor faces, Attig offers his mantra--keep love alive. If we can remember and sustain our connection with the departed, they will always remain with us. Among the death-related topics Attig covers are ways to help children deal with loss; ghosts; the solace of traditional religious rites; how to use memories and stories of loved ones in daily life; and finding the presence of loved ones in familiar places. He recommends that we honor the memory of the departed by acting as they would have wished us to, to work for causes they held dear or even just to reminisce about our relationships with them. While his message is valuable, Attig's one-note thesis may be too simplistic and repetitive to strike a distinctive chord for readers seeking solace among the offerings in this crowded category. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Attig, a philosophy professor turned professional lecturer, continues his examination of concepts he presented in the last chapter of his acclaimed How We Grieve, which contends that people can relearn relationships with loved ones after they die. He assures us that love for someone does not end or freeze in time upon their death but can be transformed into an active, meaningful relationship despite the physical separation. Although his message has a spiritual aspect, it is accessible even to those who may not consider themselves particularly religious. Touching narratives punctuate his gentle, wise, and hopeful counsel, offering many examples of how ordinary and extraordinary people have found ways to continue loving those who have died. His frequent use of the pronouns our, we, and us lends connection and empathy to his message. A reassuring and useful book for those grieving or counseling those who grieve. Recommended for all types of libraries.--Annette Haines, Central Michigan Univ., Mount Pleasant Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A sensible discussion of personal loss, and a program providing guidance and solace to mourners. Attig (Reclaiming the World, not reviewed) contends that we mustn't evade feelings of loss or wallow in them, but should continue to love the person we mourn; we must learn to love people in their absence. Mourners fritter away too much energy, in the author's view, yearning for what can no longer be: although we cannot expect a dead person to be present to us in an immediate or palpable way, we can keep our love alive, allowing the dead to forever enhance our lives. Ceremonies (particularly funerals and memorials) help us navigate the initial turmoil of grief, but they are merely the first"tentative steps toward lasting love." The path to healing is documented in the many stories recorded here. One grieving mother in Israel sought out her late son's friends and regularly visited his kibbutz: by better understanding his life, she was able to move beyond merely missing him. Another woman, whose husband died of a brain tumor, gathered memories and photos from friends and relatives so that her young children would have a permanent record of their father: after his death, these scrapbooks became a permanent memorial to her husband. Another tragedy involved the parents of a young son who died of AIDS after a tainted blood transfusion: they found solace in making a memorial panel for the AIDS Quilt. A bit redundant but effective method for transforming painful events into enriching experiences.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198027959
Publisher:
NetLibrary, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/19/2000
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,238,981
File size:
0 MB

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