Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Review: The Five Ways We Grieve, by Susan Berger

It wasn’t until 2009 when I was 31 that I experienced death in my family. Sure, I had gone to distant relatives’ funerals or heard about the passing of people in our community, but nobody was really close to me. They weren’t people whom I would miss each and every day and still think about all the time. But everything changed that year.

First, it was my Nanny, a lady who was everything to me. My family sat by her bedside 24/7 on Labor Day weekend 2009, waiting for her to let go and be free of her sickness and pain. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do, but we pulled through as a family, which made it so much easier in the end. My husband then lost his grandmother in December 2009. That was easier on me, but now the roles were reversed. I was the comforter, and it only brought back many memories of that day in September. Then we had a few months to heal before receiving an early morning call from my dad the following April. The flood gates opened again with the news that my grandfather had passed away suddenly. I am not sure what is worse ... waiting and knowing it’s going to happen or not knowing and losing the chance to say good-bye. Once again, our family came together for each other, and we made it through another funeral. A mere eight months later, I received another call from my dad. My last living grandmother had fallen ill and was given 24 hours. I was working and told my dad I would meet them after work at the hospital to see her before she left us. Not an hour later, another call from Dad informed me that she was gone. Although her passing was peaceful, it was yet another grandparent to whom I couldn’t say good-bye. I lost the opportunity to thank them for all they had been to me.

After these experiences, I was very happy to read The Five Ways We Grieve: Finding Your Personal Path to Healing After the Loss of a Loved One, by Susan A. Berger. I still thought about my loved ones all the time, and I wanted to know that I was dealing with all these deaths in the right way. The Five Ways We Grieve is a wonderful book that lays out five different ways in which people handle losing a loved one. They are Nomads, Memorialists, Normalizers, Activists, and Seekers. I found myself to be a Normalizer, somebody who places primary emphasis on family, friends and community. I wanted to commit to being like my grandparents, and to carry on their legacy and who they were. It was so nice to sit around and hear stories about what they were like as parents, friends and relatives.

I highly recommend The Five Ways We Grieve for yourself or somebody who is going through a tough time trying to heal from the loss of a loved one.


Author’s Website: http://drsusanberger.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheFiveWaysWeGrieve
Blog: http://drsusanberger.com/blog/

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to facilitate this review. No financial compensation was provided. The Amazon links in this post are the blog owner’s affiliate links.


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