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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael S. Goldsby, PhD, CCRP (Family Psychiatry of The Woodlands)
Description: This revised edition further explores the complexity of human response to loss, and expands on earlier concepts, theories, and ideas of how we grieve. The author goes beyond the mainstream theories of loss and grief and explores new avenues of scholarly thought, using real-life stories of the grief response to challenge commonly held ideas on the grieving process.
Purpose: The book offers insight and understanding about what it is to grieve the loss of a loved one and, through the personal stories of family members and friends who are have experienced a loss, how they manage to relearn their place and meaning in the world in the absence of the deceased.
Audience: It is intended for readers with theoretical and professional interests in bereavement and grieving, including counselors, clergy members, those who work in hospice or similar settings, survivors, and caregivers. Graduate students in counseling and clinical psychology will find the stories of human grief and profound loss to be insightful and pertinent to understanding how we grieve.
Features: The response to the first edition was overwhelmingly positive, as scholars acknowledged its originality, some in academia used it as a textbook, and graduate students gleaned useful material from it for their dissertations and theses. Counselors and others used it to guide their helping efforts, and many grieving persons found comfort in it. This edition offers the same unparalleled depth, adding material where new findings and acquired knowledge merit discussion. It also features an extended introductory essay about developments in the author's thinking about grieving as "relearning the world," as well as an updated review of the most salient scholarly thinking and current writings in the field. Chapter topics include stories of grieving which provide a personal and identifiable touch, respecting individuals as they grieve, relearning the world and themselves, and relearning relationships with the deceased through grief, love, and separation.
Assessment: Based on a lifetime of experience in the field of death education and counseling, the author moves far beyond the roots laid down in his first book to introduce new ideas and perceptions on how people grieve. He adds a profoundly human element to the dialog and writes in an engaging style, which both scholars and lay people will find approachable. I highly recommend this revised edition as the go-to book for those interested in gaining a better understanding of the complexity of thought and emotion inherent in how we grieve.