Sunday, September 8, 2013

Part 2 of Reading Grief Books

continued from last week...

Grief books were a great help to me. Last week I talked about the first one I received that continues to be one of my favorites. This week I'd like to switch gears and tell you about a book called "Remembering With Love" by Elizabth Levand and Sherokee Ilse.

This book has messages of hope for the first year of grieving and beyond. The purpose is to affirm your feelings and bring you hope to light your have a constant source of support. You are not alone. Within this book you will find the voices of many others who have struggled along their own paths, coped and survived. Their experiences emphasize that every individual has a right to their feelings and ways of coping and that no matter what others may say, you have the right to grieve for as long and as hard as you need to. It is their hope that these messages, combined with their words, will help you find the courage and strength that are within you.

Each of the 300 entries includes a wide range of feelings, options, issues and experiences that hopefully, you can relate to as your grief ebbs and flows over time, not only the first year but also beyond. Special days, moments and concerns, a collection of poetry and prose for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays is also included. Each page has a quote from the bereaved of his/her feelings, one or two paragraphs from the author about how to handle the pain, and then a promise for the bereaved to make to themselves to begin the healing process. I found the examples could relate to any death...a child, a spouse, a parent, a sibling..but allows us to identify within ourselves if this is how we feel.

The index at the front of the book is by subject matter, so that if there is a specific topic that appeals to you, it will be easy for you to find.

A couple of examples on these pages inside the book to show you how it is constructed are:

                                     WELL MEANING FRIENDS

"Friends cleaned my house, took everything I had in my daughters' room except their cribs, and put it all away. If made me mad. I felt they were taking away what little bit I had left."

     Our family and friends want to help us in any way they can. They care for us and want to ease our pain. In an attempt to help, they may decide to get rid of the painful possessions that might be reminders of our loved one, or pressure us to take care of this task right away. However, this is a decision which we must make for ourselves.
     If we are distressed because people have made inappropriate decisions for us or given us unhelpful advice, we can consider sharing our feelings with them. We can let them know that while we appreciate their good intentions, they are not being helpful. we can tell them what we might have preferred.

I have a right to my feelings when decisions are made or advice given that isn't helpful to me. When possible, I will ask others to give me the freedom to make my own decisions.

                                CALMNESS FROM WALKING

"During the hard days of grieving, as well as the less intense days that followed, I would take many walks, to be by myself and to reminisce. They always seemed to refresh and calm me, as I recalled my loved one's influence on my life."

     Something so simple as walking may surprise us in its power to calm and refresh us. the adrenaline pumps through our body, our heart beats faster, and our emotions can be refreshed from the exercise of a brisk walk. Or, a slow and peaceful walk can help calm us, even if just for the time being. We may also find walking to be an opportunity to relive the influence our loved one has had on our family's lives.
     When we walk, we can try to keep our heads up high, our bodies straight, and our thoughts open to the moment. We may find this activity quickly becoming a habit--our daily pick-me-up.   

I can use walking to help me gain peace, solitude, and a respite from my daily problems and issues. I will let my walk revitalize my mind and body.
____________         _____________       ______________   _____________    __________

Some pages have poems on them and the author's analyze that. It is their hope that by immersing yourself within these pages you will gather these messages of hope to your heart and your soul, so that you can live the rest of your life 'Remembering With Love.'

Some of the other grief books I enjoyed are "The Worst Loss" by Barbara Rosof, "A Broken Heart Still Beats" by Anne McCracken and Mary Semel, "After the Death of a Child" by Ann Kinkbeiner and "Roses in December" by Marilyn Heavilin. There are hundreds out there now, so look them over and see which ones might be right for you. And don't forget my two books, "I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye" and "Creating a New Normal...After the Death of a Child," both of which were inspired by the books I read and the people I met who needed resources.