While both authors offer guides to dealing with the death of a loved one, Fitzgerald concentrates on the wide range of topics associated with grief and mourning, including anticipatory and complicated grief. Though offering practical advice on making funeral arrangements and disposing of belongings, the author focuses primarily on how to deal with particular symptoms of grief, like depression, fear, and guilt. Fitzgerald (The Grieving Child, LJ 4/15/92) also considers the varying effects on the survivor of traumatic deaths (murder, suicide, etc.), the deceased's relationship (death of a parent, child, spouse, pet, etc.), and special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries). Her final sections are devoted to moving on from grief and advice on helping others through loss. A good, selected bibliography follows. Similar topics form the subject matter of Shaw's text, though she has designed more of a how-to guide for dealing with matters not ordinarily discussed in books on grief and mourning. Among many other things, the author discusses autopsy, securing a death certificate, choosing between funerals and memorial services, dealing with wills, insurance policies and the deceased's estate, dealing with the press when the death is a media event, and numerous other matters that survivors are often faced with and ignorant about. Each chapter includes up-to-date referral guides for getting help and information. While each book offers support for the grieving, Shaw's is the more useful in practical matters relating to the death of a loved one and also for those who wish to think about and plan for their own death. Both are recommended for the general reader.-Bonnie Hoffman, Stony Brook, N.Y.
From Barnes & Noble
A resource of practical and compassionate advice on coping with all aspects of death and dying, from the different kinds of grief & specific ways of dealing with them to viable recovery techniques.