The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss

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A renowned psychologist reveals the power of human resilience in dealing with grief and loss
The conventional view of grieving--encapsulated by the famous five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance--is defined by a mourning process that we can only hope to accept and endure. In The Other Side of Sadness, psychologist and emotions expert George Bonanno argues otherwise. Mourning is far from predictable, and all of us share a surprising ability to be resilient. Our inborn emotions--anger and denial, but also relief and joy--help us deal effectively with loss. To expect or require only grief-stricken behavior from the bereaved does them harm. In fact, grieving goes beyond mere sadness, and it can actually deepen interpersonal connections and even lead to a new sense of meaning in life.
The Other Side of Sadness is a must-read for those going through the death of a loved one, mental health professionals, readers interested in neuroscience and positive psychology, and anyone eager to understand our ability to thrive in the face of adversity.
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About the author

George A. Bonanno is professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University's Teachers College. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Basic Books
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Published on
Sep 22, 2009
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780465019946
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Death, Grief, Bereavement
Medical / Nursing / Gerontology
Medical / Terminal Care
Psychology / Clinical Psychology
Psychology / Grief & Loss
Psychology / Psychotherapy / Counseling
Self-Help / Death, Grief, Bereavement
Self-Help / Personal Growth / Happiness
Social Science / Death & Dying
Social Science / Gerontology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In November 1998, millions of television viewers watched as Thomas Youk died. Suffering from the late stages of Lou Gehrig's disease, Youk had called upon infamous Michigan pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian to help end his life on his own terms. After delivering the videotape to 60 Minutes, Kevorkian was arrested and convicted of manslaughter, despite the fact that Youk's family firmly believed that the ending of his life qualified as a good death.

Death is political, as the controversies surrounding Jack Kevorkian and, more recently, Terri Schiavo have shown. While death is a natural event, modern end-of-life experiences are shaped by new medical, demographic, and cultural trends. People who are dying are kept alive, sometimes against their will or the will of their family, with powerful medications, machines, and "heroic measures." Current research on end-of-life issues is substantial, involving many fields. Beyond the Good Death takes an anthropological approach, examining the changes in our concept of death over the last several decades. As author James W. Green determines, the attitudes of today's baby boomers differ greatly from those of their parents and grandparents, who spoke politely and in hushed voices of those who had "passed away." Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, in the 1960s, gave the public a new language for speaking openly about death with her "five steps of dying." If we talked more about death, she emphasized, it would become less fearful for everyone.

The term "good death" reentered the public consciousness as narratives of AIDS, cancer, and other chronic diseases were featured on talk shows and in popular books such as the best-selling Tuesdays with Morrie. Green looks at a number of contemporary secular American death practices that are still informed by an ancient religious ethos. Most important, Beyond the Good Death provides an interpretation of the ways in which Americans react when death is at hand for themselves or for those they care about.

Now there is a hand to hold...

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

Shortly before her death in 2004, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler, her collaborator, completed the manuscript for this, her final book. On Grief and Grieving is a fitting completion to her work. Thirty-six years and sixteen books ago, Kübler-Ross's groundbreaking On Death and Dying changed the way we talk about the end of life. Now On Grief and Grieving will profoundly influence the way we experience the process of grief.
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.
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