Healing Grief: A Story of Survivorship

Healing Grief: A Story of Survivorship

by Joan Heller Miller EdM

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Overview

Healing Grief: A Story of Survivorship is a memoir of a young woman who first loses her body, and then her mind. With the help of her gifted therapist, family, and friends, she is able to tell her story, and she has since devoted her career to becoming a grief companion for others. Tragedy strikes. It is a loss of such magnitude that it is impossible to imagine how life can go on. Grief crumbles your foundation, forcing you to question your beliefs about whether life makes sense at all. Previously held notions of time and predictability suddenly vanish, like a magician's cape, turned around to reveal an instant nothing. All you know to be true falls away, and you are entirely lost, drifting aimlessly in an outer space called Grief. You wonder how you will survive. Facing tragedy one moment at a time allows the miracle of hope and healing to begin, but where to begin and how? We begin with blind faith, as well as the comfort that, throughout history, life holds possibility even in the greatest depths of despair. Drawing on each other's courage and wisdom, we discover the hero in each of us to somehow carry on. Joan Miller holds a Master's Degree in Education from Harvard University with a focus in Counseling and Consulting Psychology. She has co-authored books and journal articles for parents and teachers on helping children with special needs develop communication skills, including The Language of Toys: Teaching Communications Skills to Special-Needs Children (Woodbine House, 1988) and The New Language of Toys: Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Special Needs (Woodbine House, 1996), published in English, Spanish, and Korean. Joan was treated for acute myelogenous leukemia when she was forty-one years old and was given a slim chance of survival. Her only chance of survival meant leaving three young children behind at home and suffering through a year of harrowing inpatient treatments which included multiple traumatic assaults, both physical and psychological. As a result of unaddressed trauma, grief, and loss, Joan developed an increasingly life-threatening clinical depression, which also required inpatient hospitalizations, this time on a psychiatric ward. Her hospitalization experiences for depression were more traumatizing than her brutal inpatient cancer treatment. While facing her own mortality, Joan made the commitment that, if her condition somehow improved and she managed to survive, she would devote herself to improving end-of-life care and psychosocial support services for patients with cancer, as well as for grieving children and families confronting life-threatening illnesses. Over the past ten years, Joan has developed and facilitated grief support programs for bereaved children and families, and she has lectured nationally and internationally on post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth, in schools, mental health centers, hospitals, and hospices. Joan Miller brings four unique voices to her new book, as a survivor of cancer and profound depression, as well as a mental health professional, an author, and the spouse of an oncologist.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478760016
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 08/26/2015
Pages: 150
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.32(d)

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