LIVING-WHEN A LOVED ONE HAS DIED by Earl A. Grollman

LIVING-WHEN A LOVED ONE HAS DIED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A large-type, capsule aid for the bereaved, set up in the form of blank verse. Grollman uses comforting if well-worn assurances (""One touch of sorrow makes the whole world kin"") and words of advice to apply to the by-now familiar stages of loss, grief, and recovery established by recent research. There is the nightmare period of shock and suffering with its many symptoms--from numbness, anger, denial to depression. (""This depression is not weakness. It is a psychological necessity."") Grollman offers reasonable advice for aiding recovery: accept your loss, express your feelings, gradually move toward activities, other people, and new insights. He seems, sometimes, to be addressing only mature widows (""Never before was it necessary for you to balance a checkbook""), and his insistence that the reader say ""died"" rather than ""passed on"" or ""departed"" ignores some fairly common family and religious traditions. However, there is a larger problem for which Grollman alone cannot be faulted. This is the currently popular premise that a bereaved person in agony welcomes the assurance that his private anguish is nicely within the public norm. In the light, also, of our awe and fear of the fact of death--which, some feel, tilt our whole existence--this lulling sort of grief therapy can seem like a pair of waterwings in a maelstrom. But there appears to be a steady response to this approach, and Grollman's little book is simple, explicit, and undemanding.

Pub Date: June 22nd, 1977
ISBN: 0807027197
Publisher: Beacon