Thursday, February 10, 2011

About Grief

When my first child died shortly after birth in 2006, I was provided with so much love and support that I rebounded quickly. I was proud of my resilience; and my friends' awe of my speedy return to laughter and merriment made me feel even stronger. My husband's colleague, whom I had never met before, passed to me a book that helped his wife through her own baby loss. I took one look at the depressing title and thought, "I'm glad his wife was helped by reading a self-help book, but I don't need this. I'm grateful for what I have, acknowledge that shit happens and things could definitely be worse, I'm okay."

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby

A month or so later, I picked up the book, mainly because I don't like to leave book gifts unread. I started reading and the tears began to flow freely and plentifully. I re-read and highlighted and cried some more.   Such is the power of the written word, especially when it comes to verbalizing indescribable feelings regarding loss. The book helped me to better understand my own grieving process and the various emotions I was going through.

So when an acquaintance died in an accident a couple of days before Christmas, leaving lovely wife and two teenage daughters behind, the first thing I did was go to and order these books for them:

A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss While Others are Celebrating   I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One   Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins: A Journal for Teenagers Experiencing a Loss   The Grieving Teen : A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends

Like me, this family is strong and knows that laughter heals. Like me, they probably don't believe they need books to help them grieve for their husband/father. I left the books for them to pick up now or many months from now, to read a paragraph here and there or cover to cover. And hopefully, like me, they will also find a little comfort in the written word.

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