A profoundly practical guide that aims to help widows and widowers cope with the many facets of grief.
Anyone who’s lost a life partner knows intimately well that one doesn’t simply feel sad. Surviving spouses feel an immense longing for lost loved ones, accompanied by a swirl of emotions that can keep them off-kilter for long periods. When it comes to stressful events, losing a spouse can be worse than imprisonment, according to a chart provided in this book, and many survivors wonder if there will ever be joy in their lives again. Ingolfs and Eydal understand this experience, and they gently wade into the process of dealing with the sorrow that loss leaves behind. They provide invaluable insights and real tools to help readers get free of pain’s grip. As they explore the heartache of losing a spouse, they uncover fear, anguish, hopelessness, depression and despair. They also delve into the guilt, anger, frustration, recrimination and doubt that can come with loss. They note that healing is elusive, in part, because conflicting emotions constantly bump up against each other in everyday life, and they point out that loss creates very practical challenges and dilemmas. For example, routine events, such as holidays and vacations, suddenly take on dramatic, ominous meaning: “When your husband/wife is gone, you can no longer plan for the future together, or share in anything that goes on in life.” The authors also look at the special problems of parenting devastated children. Short but illustrative case studies, in addition to the authors’ own life experiences, help flesh out important points and balance emotion with intellect. Losing a spouse is terrible to contemplate, but in doing so, Ingolfs and Eydal have found a way to help empower others.
A tender self-help book that could be a blessing for some readers during dark days.
Pub Date: June 1, 2014
Page count: 252pp
Publisher: Real Books
Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2014
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