Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He reconnected with Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class:" lessons in how to live.
Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.
Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?
Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).
Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.
From a very young age James Van Praagh was aware of a dimension that most of us cannot see, and he has dedicated his life to explaining it to the rest of us. The New York Times bestseller Ghosts Among Us takes us on an incredible journey into the spirit world that brings to light one of our greatest mysteries—what happens to us after we die?
Through their stories we come to appreciate the near-miraculous ways in which the dying communicate their needs, reveal their feelings, and even choreograph their own final moments; we also discover the gifts—of wisdom, faith, and love—that the dying leave for the living to share.
Filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and helping them prepare emotionally and spiritually for death, Final Gifts shows how we can help the dying person live fully to the very end.
“It has such a hopeful message. Even though he’s telling stories of the dead, it’s really about living your life better and inspiring people to not have unfinished business.”
— Jennifer Love Hewitt
James Van Praagh, world-famous medium, co-executive producer of the primetime series Ghost Whisperer, and author of the New York Times bestseller Ghosts Among Us, is back with Unfinished Business. Fans of Sylvia Browne and John Edward will find this a useful and reassuring guide for the living… from those who have passed on.
Each year about eight million Americans suffer the death of someone close to them. Now for thse who face the challenges of sudden death, there is a hand to hold, written by two women who have experienced sudden loss. This updated edition of the best-selling bereavement classic will touch, comfort, uplift and console. Authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D. explore sudden death and offers a comforting hand to hold for those who are grieving the sudden death of a loved one.
Featured on ABC World News, Fox and Friends and many other shows, this book acts as a touchstone of sanity through difficult times. I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye covers such difficult topics as the first few weeks, suicide, death of a child, children and grief, funerals and rituals, physical effects, homicide and depression. New material covers the unique circumstances of loss, men and women's grieving styles, religion and faith, myths and misunderstandings, I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye reflects the shifting face of grief.
These pages have offered solace to over eighty thousand people, ranging from seniors to teenagers and from the newly bereaved to those who lost a loved one years ago. Individuals engulfed by the immediate aftermath will find a special chapter covering the first few weeks.
Tapping their personal histories and drawing on numerous interviews, authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D, explore unexpected death and its role in the cycle of life. I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye provides survivors with a rock-steady anchor from which to weather the storm of pain and begin to rebuild their lives.
PRAISE FOR I WASN'T READY TO SAY GOODBYE
"I highly recommend this book, not only to the bereaved, but to friends and counselors as well."
Helen Fitzgerald, author of The Grieving Child, The Mourning Handbook, and The Grieving Teen
"This book, by women who have done their homework on grief... can hold a hand and comfort a soul through grief 's wilderness. Oustanding references of where to see other help."
George C. Kandle, Pastoral Psychologist
"Finally, you have found a friend who can not only explain what has just occurred, but can take you by the hand and lead you to a place of healing and personal growth. Whether you are dealing with the loss of a family member, a close personal associate or a friend, this guide can help you survive and cope, but even more importantly... heal."
The Rebecca Review
"For those dealing with the loss of a loved one, or for those who want to help someone who is, this is a highly recommended read."
Midwest Book Review
Katy Butler was living thousands of miles from her vigorous and self-reliant parents when the call came: a crippling stroke had left her proud seventy-nine-year-old father unable to fasten a belt or complete a sentence. Tragedy at first drew the family closer: her mother devoted herself to caregiving, and Butler joined the twenty-four million Americans helping shepherd parents through their final declines.
Then doctors outfitted her father with a pacemaker, keeping his heart going but doing nothing to prevent his six-year slide into dementia, near-blindness, and misery. When he told his exhausted wife, “I’m living too long,” mother and daughter were forced to confront a series of wrenching moral questions. When does death stop being a curse and become a blessing? Where is the line between saving a life and prolonging a dying? When do you say to a doctor, “Let my loved one go?”
When doctors refused to disable the pacemaker, condemning her father to a prolonged and agonizing death, Butler set out to understand why. Her quest had barely begun when her mother took another path. Faced with her own grave illness, she rebelled against her doctors, refused open-heart surgery, and met death head-on.
With a reporter’s skill and a daughter’s love, Butler explores what happens when our terror of death collides with the technological imperatives of medicine. Her provocative thesis is that modern medicine, in its pursuit of maximum longevity, often creates more suffering than it prevents.
This revolutionary blend of memoir and investigative reporting lays bare the tangled web of technology, medicine, and commerce that dying has become. And it chronicles the rise of Slow Medicine, a new movement trying to reclaim the “Good Deaths” our ancestors prized.
Knocking on Heaven’s Door is a map through the labyrinth of a broken medical system. It will inspire the difficult conversations we need to have with loved ones as it illuminates the path to a better way of death.
Tender, heartbreaking, and eye-opening, this expanded edition of the New York Times bestseller offers more incredible windows into the world beyond and life after death.
Drawing on psychoanalysis, literature, and personal experience, Necessary Losses is a philosophy for understanding and accepting life’s inevitabilities.
In Necessary Losses, Judith Viorst turns her considerable talents to a serious and far-reaching subject: how we grow and change through the losses that are a certain and necessary part of life. She argues persuasively that through the loss of our mothers’ protection, the loss of the impossible expectations we bring to relationships, the loss of our younger selves, and the loss of our loved ones through separation and death, we gain deeper perspective, true maturity, and fuller wisdom about life. She has written a book that is both life affirming and life changing.
Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on the capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories as well as from others', the authors illustrate how it is possible to recover from grief and regain energy and spontaneity.
Based on a proven program, The Grief Recovery Handbook offers grievers the specific actions needed to move beyond loss. New material in this edition includes guidance for dealing with:
· Loss of faith
· Loss of career and financial issues
· Loss of health
· Growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home
The Grief Recovery Handbook is a groundbreaking, classic handbook that everyone should have in their library.
“This book is required for all my classes. The more I use this book, the more I believe that unresolved grief is the major underlying issue in most people’s lives. It is the only work of its kind that I know of that outlines the problem and provides the solution.”—Bernard McGrane, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Chapman University
Trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people; it is the bedrock of our psychology. Death and illness touch us all, but even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear are traumatic. In The Trauma of Everyday Life renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development.
Western psychology teaches that if we understand the cause of trauma, we might move past it while many drawn to Eastern practices see meditation as a means of rising above, or distancing themselves from, their most difficult emotions. Both, Epstein argues, fail to recognize that trauma is an indivisible part of life and can be used as a lever for growth and an ever deeper understanding of change. When we regard trauma with this perspective, understanding that suffering is universal and without logic, our pain connects us to the world on a more fundamental level. The way out of pain is through it.
Epstein’s discovery begins in his analysis of the life of Buddha, looking to how the death of his mother informed his path and teachings. The Buddha’s spiritual journey can be read as an expression of primitive agony grounded in childhood trauma. Yet the Buddha’s story is only one of many in The Trauma of Everyday Life. Here, Epstein looks to his own experience, that of his patients, and of the many fellow sojourners and teachers he encounters as a psychiatrist and Buddhist. They are alike only in that they share in trauma, large and small, as all of us do. Epstein finds throughout that trauma, if it doesn’t destroy us, wakes us up to both our minds’ own capacity and to the suffering of others. It makes us more human, caring, and wise. It can be our greatest teacher, our freedom itself, and it is available to all of us.
This special updated version of the New York Times-bestseller, Kitchen Table Wisdom, addresses the same spiritual issues that made the original a bestseller: suffering, meaning, love, faith, and miracles.
"Despite the awesome powers of technology, many of us still do not live very well," says Dr. Rachel Remen. "We may need to listen to one another's stories again." Dr. Remen, whose unique perspective on healing comes from her background as a physician, a professor of medicine, a therapist, and a long-term survivor of chronic illness, invites us to listen from the soul.
This remarkable collection of true stories draws on the concept of "kitchen table wisdom"-- the human tradition of shared experience that shows us life in all its power and mystery and reminds us that the things we cannot measure may be the things that ultimately sustain and enrich our lives.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
After losing a loved one, grief can be overwhelming and seem impossible to conquer. Grief Healing Techniques gives you manageable, effective steps you can take to work through your grief on a daily basis, so you can start to find your new “normal.”
Grief Healing Techniques speaks to anyone who has ever suffered a major loss. With Grief Healing Techniques, you will be able examine your emotions and learn basic strategies for self-care to help you through this difficult time. Grief Healing Techniques helps you rebuild your daily routine, with tips for planning your meals and activities, finding a support network, and healing through journaling and meditation.
Grief Healing Techniques gives you practical support for working through grief, with:
• Useful insights on the physical effects and emotional range of grief
• Practical approaches for rebuilding your daily routine
• Advice on whether to pursue professional help
• Ideas for strengthening your relationships and involving others in your recovery
• Tips for dealing with birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations
• Perspectives on support groups, meditation, journaling, and religion
With straightforward and supportive advice, Grief Healing Techniques will show you how to make your grief manageable and restore balance to your daily life.
While grief is clearly a natural response to death, it should also properly accompany life's other difficult passages, including times of transition, the loss of a relationship, or even the loss of a pet. Healing Grief begins with chapters that each examine a specific kind of loss - death of a parent, a spouse, or a child, the end of a marriage, or the onset of a troubling life change, such as unemployment or grave illness - and considers the particular bereavement issues it may engender. The book also offers advice on explaining death to children, on distinguishing healthy from destructive grief, and on harnessing the powers of healing through special exercises, meditation and affirmations. Healing Grief should be, in Van Praagh's words, "a manual for grieving well," offering an inspiring new perspective on grief from a world-renowned medium who has become an expert at helping people cope with unresolvable sorrow.
Nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for a Nobel Peace Prize, Thich Nhat Hanh is one of today’s leading sources of wisdom, peace, compassion and comfort.
With hard-won wisdom and refreshing insight, Thich Nhat Hanh confronts a subject that has been contemplated by Buddhist monks and nuns for twenty-five-hundred years— and a question that has been pondered by almost anyone who has ever lived: What is death?
In No Death, No Fear, the acclaimed teacher and poet examines our concepts of death, fear, and the very nature of existence. Through Zen parables, guided meditations, and personal stories, he explodes traditional myths of how we live and die. Thich Nhat Hanh shows us a way to live a life unfettered by fear.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
—San Francisco Chronicle
A newly revised and updated edition of the internationally bestselling spiritual classic, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, written by Sogyal Rinpoche, is the ultimate introduction to Tibetan Buddhist wisdom. An enlightening, inspiring, and comforting manual for life and death that the New York Times calls, “The Tibetan equivalent of [Dante’s] The Divine Comedy,” this is the essential work that moved Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions, to proclaim, “I have encountered no book on the interplay of life and death that is more comprehensive, practical, and wise.”
Building on interviews with hundreds of mother-loss survivors, the author's personal story of losing her mother, recent research in grief and psychology, and with a new afterword exploring how the legacy of mother loss shifts with the passage of time, Motherless Daughters reveals the shared experiences and core identity issues of motherless women:
Why the absence of a nurturing hand shapes a woman's identity throughout her lifespan
How present-day relationships are defined by past losses
How a woman can resolve past conflicts and move toward acceptance and healing
What grief really is: not a linear passage, but an ongoing cyclical journey
Writing from his own experience, Wright covers such issues as the meaning of grief, blaming God, and learning how to express and share in times of loss. Now repackaged and updated with additional material, Recovering from Losses in Life will help readers find hope in difficult times. Study questions included.
This book is packed with short, biblically based, gospel-centered, topical chapters addressing the issues grieving people face but are often hesitant to mention to others. It helps readers accurately interpret the message their emotions are sending them and gently guides them to determine whether they're grieving in a way that leads to hope and ultimate healing. Developed from interviews with over 30 well-respected Christian counselors, teachers, and authors, as well as numerous personal testimonies, Grieving with Hope helps the bereaved discover how hope and peace are available amidst their heartache and pain.
In her work with thousands of families, Maggie Callanan has witnessed the tears, the love—and the confusion and conflict—this final passage can evoke. Now, with honesty, compassion, and even humor, she empowers patients and their families to write the last chapter of their lives with less fear, less pain, and more control—so that all involved can focus their energies on creating the best possible ending.
From supporting a husband or wife faced with the loss of a spouse, to helping a dying mother prepare her children to carry on without her, Callanan’s poignant stories illustrate new ways to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of this difficult and precious time. She brings welcome clarity to medical and ethical concerns, explaining what to expect at every stage. Each brief chapter also conveys a home truth about making crucial treatment decisions, supporting the patient’s dignity and individuality, and lightening the burden on caregivers.
Final Journeys is designed to be your companion, resource, and advocate. From diagnosis through the final hours, it will help you keep the lines of communication open, get the help you need, and create the peaceful end we all hope for.
From the Hardcover edition.
In Life After Death, Chopra draws on cutting-edge scientific discoveries and the great wisdom traditions to provide a map of the afterlife. It’s a fascinating journey into many levels of consciousness. But far more important is his urgent message: Who you meet in the afterlife and what you experience there reflect your present beliefs, expectations, and level of awareness. In the here and now you can shape what happens after you die.
By bringing the afterlife into the present moment, Life After Death opens up an immense new area of creativity. Ultimately there is no division between life and death—there is only one continuous creative project. Chopra invites us to become cocreators in this subtle realm, and as we come to understand the one reality, we shed our irrational fears and step into a numinous sense of wonder and personal power.
From the Hardcover edition.
In these pages we learn that transcommunication is not simply "a hello from heaven" but a powerful therapeutic tool that is available to any of us. Through the story of her deceased mother's many dream visits and manifestations--as well as those visits her patients receive from their loved ones-we learn to be alert to the signs of such phenomena and to recognize the messages they contain.
We see how her patients come to feel safe and protected again--as though they have a guardian angel-once they learn to open themselves up to these possibilities. Through this communication, which is at once spiritual and very concrete, the pain of grieving can be made more bearable. Ambivalent relationships can be healed. And a loved one's messages can bring relief and joy.
With a brand-new Foreword by the author.
In their own voices, these daughters--ranging in age from thirteen to seventy-eight--share their journeys of mourning and regeneration. Beginning with the initial period of adjustment and acceptance, covering the first years after a mother's death, and describing lives shaped by loss more than twenty years later, these letters reflect the challenges and triumphs motherless girls and women face over time. The words of these brave women illustrate the profound pain, astounding strength, and personal growth inherent in living through the loss of a mother--without ever outliving the need for her.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D., is the woman who has transformed the way the world thinks about death and dying. Beginning with the groundbreaking publication of the classic psychological study On Death and Dying and continuing through her many books and her years working with terminally ill children, AIDS patients, and the elderly, Kübler-Ross has brought comfort and understanding to millions coping with their own deaths or the deaths of loved ones. Now, at age seventy-one facing her own death, this world-renowned healer tells the story of her extraordinary life. Having taught the world how to die well, she now offers a lesson on how to live well. Her story is an adventure of the heart -- powerful, controversial, inspirational -- a fitting legacy of a powerful life.
By walking this mindful path, you will discover that you are capable of transforming and healing the grief you carry and finding the spiritual and emotional resilience you need to move through this challenging time. These mindfulness practices, explained here in simple and practical language, will help you bear your time of grief. But they will do more than that, too. They will guide you to a life more fully lived, with more meaning. These simple practices will help you experience what richness comes from asking deeper questions about loss and about life.
What do they communicate to us after they die?
How can we contact animals in spirit?
Losing an animal companion can be a painful experience, yet by examining their transition from a spiritual perspective, Animals in Spirit explores the process of dying from the viewpoints of animals and their people. Learn how animals choose their paths in each life, and the knowledge they leave behind for their humans. As animals make their way from the physical into the spiritual realm, Animals in Spirit can strengthen the union with our beloved friends by teaching us to accept and understand the full experience of life.
With true stories, insights from animals and their human friends, as well as meditations to help communicate with animals in the spirit realm, Animals in Spirit will help heal the feelings of loss and separation by connecting you to your faithful companion in spirit.
When a Woman Overcomes Life's Hurts explores the kinds of hurt women experience and offers gracious, biblical counsel on how and where to find healing. Cindi shares the faulty thinking that often accompanies life's wounds and replaces it with truths every woman needs to know about how God views her. She takes women from feeling insignificant to realizing how much the Lord loves them feeling undesirable to seeing their true beauty feeling they're not good enough to recognizing how special they are
This is a book filled with grace, redemption, and transformation-leading women toward a renewed focus on God, a resurgence of inner joy, and better relationships with others.
The Kundalini Book of Living and Dying shows how to awaken Kundalini and experience the power of spiritual rebirth. A twice-born person simultaneously enjoys the best of this world and the next – through an inner journey that conquers fear of death. That inner journey travels the world of meditation and unconscious dreams, as well as actual near-death experience.
This book describes: the seven divisions of the universe and details of the astral plane, the properties of the soul, experiences and anecdotes of people showing the power of the awakened soul, scientific evidence of the soul's existence, as well as various methods of achieving higher consciousness through Kundalini awakening.
As one practices the techniques and exercises that awaken Kundalini, one becomes twice born – the chain of repeated births is broken and one may enter the Kingdom of God.
The Kundalini Book of Living and Dying offers a spiritual practice that is the most direct path to self-realization. More than enlightenment, the awakened Kundalini is the triumph of eternal life over the fear of death.
Everyone grieves in their own way. While the hurt and sadness never completely fade, it eases with time. Contributors who have gone through the grieving and recovery process share their stories, offering guidance and support in this collection of personal and poignant stories. With its stories of regaining strength, appreciating life, coping, and faith, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery will ease the journey to healing.
Based on the author's own experiences, as well as those of many others, Surviving the Death of a Sibling helps adults who have lost a brother or sister to realize that they are not alone in their struggle. Just as important, it teaches them to understand the unique stages of their grieving process, offering practical and prescriptive advice for dealing with each stage.
In Surviving the Death of a Sibling, T.J. Wray discusses:
• Searching for and finding meaning in your sibling's passing
• Using a grief journal to record your emotions
• Choosing a grief partner to help you through tough times
• Dealing with insensitive remarks made by others
Warm and personal, and a rich source of useful insights and coping strategies, Surviving the Death of a Sibling is a unique addition to the literature of bereavement.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
When Sukey Forbes lost her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, to a rare genetic disorder, her life felt as if it were shattered forever. Descended from two distinguished New England families, Forbes was raised in a rarefied—if eccentric—life of privilege. Yet, Forbes’s family history is also rich with spiritual seekers, including her great-great-great-grandfather Ralph Waldo Emerson. On the family’s private island enclave off Cape Cod, apparitions have always been as common as the servants who once walked the back halls. But the “afterlife” took on new meaning once Forbes dipped into the world of clairvoyants to reconnect with Charlotte.
With a mission to help others by sharing her own story, Forbes chronicles a world of ghosts that reawakens us to a lost American spiritual tradition. The Angel in My Pocket is a moving and utterly unique tale of one mother’s undying love for her child.
You might be one of these women. Or maybe it's your friend, sister, coworker, or the woman sitting next to you at church. Regardless, post-abortive women are in pain, and at some point, most will experience post-abortion syndrome (PAS), a form of post traumatic stress disorder. But they may never talk about it. Many are silent because they are filled with shame, grief and guilt, afraid of judgment and condemnation. Few realize that peace is attainable through Christ's mourning process and the knowledge that because of His grace, they will reunite with their lost loved ones in Heaven.
Her Choice to Heal is designed to help women find a way to God's healing after this devastating choice. Written by a post-abortive woman, it includes testimonies of strength, healing and hope. Sydna compassionately leads you on the difficult journey through denial, anger, and grief, to forgiveness, redemption, and letting go. Her Choice to Heal offers a roadmap to healing - practical suggestions, resources for help, space to journal, with the encouragement and hope found in Christ alone.
It is the story of a man who in rapid succession has his wife die in his arms, loses his house and his job, and is left to care for his 19-month old daughter. Oddly enough, the best tools for coping with all of this were those he learned in more than two decades of martial arts practice. Not Afraid tackles this extremely heavy subject matter in a light-hearted style and with an attitude that acknowledges pain and suffering but denies them dominion over one’s life.
After You by Jojo Moyes | Summary & Analysis
After You, by Jojo Moyes, is the sequel to the 2009 bestseller Me Before You. It follows Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark’s struggle with grief after the death of the remarkable man who taught her how to live.
Will Traynor, a 35-year-old quadriplegic, hired 26-year-old Louisa Clark as a personal assistant. As as they grew close, he gave her six months to change his mind about assisted suicide. Will, a wealthy businessman, grew up privileged in the historic castle towering over rural Stortfold. His father was in charge of the castle while her dad was a groundskeeper. Will had to live with his parents after his accident. He exposed her to classical music, philosophy, fine art, food, and wine. In turn, she brought him out of isolation and softened his anger. They became best friends and fell in love. But their love was not enough to stop him from ending his life, with Lou at his side…PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book.
Inside this Instaread Summary & Analysis of After YouSummary of bookIntroduction to the Important People in the bookAnalysis of the Themes and Author’s Style
We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?"
UNFORGETTABLE is a son's spirited, affecting, and inspiring tribute to his remarkable mother and the love between parent and child.
When NPR's Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother's hospital room in July 2013, he didn't know that his missives would soon spread well beyond his 1.2 million Twitter followers. Squeezing the magnitude of his final days with her into 140-character updates, Simon's evocative and moving meditations spread virally. Over the course of a few days, Simon chronicled his mother's death and reminisced about her life, revealing her humor and strength, and celebrating familial love.
UNFORGETTABLE, expands on those famous tweets to create a memoir that is rich, deeply affecting, heart-wrenching, and exhilarating. His mother was a glamorous woman of the Mad Men–era; she worked in nightclubs, modeled, dated mobsters and movie stars, and was a brave single parent to young Scott Simon. Spending their last days together in a hospital ICU, mother and son reflect on their lifetime's worth of memories, recounting stories laced with humor and exemplifying resilience.
UNFORGETTABLE is not only one man's rich and moving tribute to his mother's colorful life and graceful death, it is also a powerful portrayal of the universal bond between mother and child.
Starting at the very foundations of Western culture, the eminent historian Phillipe Ariès shows how, from Graeco-Roman times through the first ten centuries of the Common Era, death was too common to be frightening; each life was quietly subordinated to the community, which paid its respects and then moved on. Ariès identifies the first major shift in attitude with the turn of the eleventh century when a sense of individuality began to rise and with it, profound consequences: death no longer meant merely the weakening of community, but rather the destruction of self. Hence the growing fear of the afterlife, new conceptions of the Last Judgment, and the first attempts (by Masses and other rituals) to guarantee a better life in the next world. In the 1500s attention shifted from the demise of the self to that of the loved one (as family supplants community), and by the nineteenth century death comes to be viewed as simply a staging post toward reunion in the hereafter. Finally, Ariès shows why death has become such an unendurable truth in our own century—how it has been nearly banished from our daily lives—and points out what may be done to “re-tame” this secret terror.
The richness of Ariès's source material and investigative work is breathtaking. While exploring everything from churches, religious rituals, and graveyards (with their often macabre headstones and monuments), to wills and testaments, love letters, literature, paintings, diaries, town plans, crime and sanitation reports, and grave robbing complaints, Aries ranges across Europe to Russia on the one hand and to England and America on the other. As he sorts out the tangled mysteries of our accumulated terrors and beliefs, we come to understand the history—indeed the pathology—of our intellectual and psychological tensions in the face of death.
On the night of April 15, 1990, Jill Bialosky’s twenty-one-year-old sister Kim came home from a bar in downtown Cleveland. She argued with her boyfriend on the phone. Then she took her mother’s car keys, went into the garage, closed the garage door. She climbed into the car, turned on the ignition, and fell asleep. Her body was found the next morning by the neighborhood boy her mother hired to cut the grass.
Those are the simple facts, but the act of suicide is anything but simple. For twenty years, Bialosky has lived with the grief, guilt, questions, and confusion unleashed by Kim’s suicide. Now, in a remarkable work of literary nonfiction, she re-creates with unsparing honesty her sister’s inner life, the events and emotions that led her to take her life on this particular night. In doing so, she opens a window on the nature of suicide itself, our own reactions and responses to it—especially the impact a suicide has on those who remain behind.
Combining Kim’s diaries with family history and memoir, drawing on the works of doctors and psychologists as well as writers from Melville and Dickinson to Sylvia Plath and Wallace Stevens, Bialosky gives us a stunning exploration of human fragility and strength. She juxtaposes the story of Kim’s death with the challenges of becoming a mother and her own exuberant experience of raising a son. This is a book that explores all aspects of our familial relationships—between mothers and sons, fathers and daughters—but particularly the tender and enduring bonds between sisters.
History of a Suicide brings a crucial and all too rarely discussed subject out of the shadows, and in doing so gives readers the courage to face their own losses, no matter what those may be. This searing and compassionate work reminds us of the preciousness of life and of the ways in which those we love are inextricably bound to us.
Since its 1987 release, When Will I Stop Hurting? has received praise like this from readers grateful for June Cerza Kolf's understanding and beneficial guidance. With almost 70,000 copies in print, this small but powerful book has been a boon to many wounded souls. Readers have found in Kolf a gentle guide to lead them through the stages of grief and eventually the healing process. This new edition of her book is revised and updated and includes a study guide ideal for bereavement groups.
On Death and Dying began as a theoretical book, an interdisciplinary study of our fear of death and our inevitable acceptance of it. It introduced the world to the now-famous five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. On Grief and Grieving applies these stages to the process of grieving and weaves together theory, inspiration, and practical advice, all based on Kübler-Ross's and Kessler's professional and personal experiences, and is filled with brief, topic-driven stories. It includes sections on sadness, hauntings, dreams, coping, children, healing, isolation, and even the subject of sex during grief.
"I know death is close," Kübler-Ross says at the end of the book, "but not quite yet. I lie here like so many people over the years, in a bed surrounded by flowers and looking out a big window....I now know that the purpose of my life is more than these stages....It is not just about the life lost but also the life lived."
In one of their final writing sessions, Kübler-Ross told Kessler, "The last nine years have taught me patience, and the weaker and more bed-bound I become, the more I'm learning about receiving love."
On Grief and Grieving is Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's final legacy, one that brings her life's work profoundly full circle.
Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge and Robert C. De Vries know firsthand the sorrow of bereavement: Both lost a spouse. Yet as they faced their pain and gleaned insights from their professions--Susan is a psychologist, Robert, a minister--they found renewed richness on special days that once brought heartache.
In The Empty Chair, the authors share a comforting blend of emotional support, spiritual guidance, and personal experience to help readers honor their loved one on important days. Those who support the bereaved--mental-health professionals, pastors, funeral home staff, and others--will also appreciate this book for its reflective yet practical approach.
For to adults and older children to reflect on alone, Little Tree can also be used as a starting point with younger children to discuss feelings they may have after a loss.