Recovery Book for the Week

book-handbookOne of the tried and true books on my shelf is “The Grief Recovery Handbook” by John James and Russell Friedman. This book not only discusses the losses of death and divorce but also loss of faith, career, financial security, health, and growing up in a dysfunctional home. Loss is loss.

The loss of so many lives on a giant plane, the sudden loss of home and life in Washington mudslides, and even the loss of dreams and hopes in a basketball tournament all require a tremendous amount of energy from those who survive and those who must cope with change. The moments when we feel the energy to realize that something will never be the same is the beginning of the recovery process.

The authors of this handbook list six statements that are often meant to help in the process of living through loss but really are only distracters from the work of recovery: “Don’t feel bad; Replace the loss; Grieve alone; Just give it time; Be strong for others; Keep busy.”

Grief recovery, especially in the area of relationships, is a movement away from these forms of denial and toward awareness of any unfinished business within the loss. The authors focus on three main areas: apologies, forgiveness, and significant emotional statements. The next columns will further discuss the importance of these three main areas.

Grief is a process often complicated by past losses that have not been identified and worked through. It is never too late to direct energy to healing the past.

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