SEVEN CHOICES: Taking the Steps to New Life After Losing Someone You Love by Elizabeth Harper Neeld

SEVEN CHOICES: Taking the Steps to New Life After Losing Someone You Love

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A chart of the bereavement process through seven stages, each of which must be resolved lest one become entrapped in a ""cycle of unfinished grieving."" After the sudden death of her husband of four years, Neeld (then an English professor/textbook author; today a free-lance writer/lecturer) plunged into the first way station of mourning: disorientation, anger, self-blame. Her only choice was not to suppress grief and to accept the nurture of others. In the ""Second Crisis"" (irrationality, depression), she spent money foolishly, took unnecessary risks, and talked endlessly of her loss. Some hope surfaced with the ""Observation"" stage, during which she began evaluating her feelings and action. Healing began with ""The Turn,"" which involved focusing on the future rather than on the past. Concrete planning for the future came with the ""Reconstruction"" period, and action on those plans in the ""Working Through"" phase. Four years after Greg's death, she said goodbye to mourning in the ""Integration"" process. Neeld is forced to convolute her findings in order to cram them into her seven pigeonholes and demonstrate how each involves a ""choice."" Yet this is a useful, wide-ranging work, containing many reports by others mourning deaths or divorces and pertinent citations from experts on bereavement. It is less self-involved (yet equally self-revealing) than Rebecca Rice's A Time to Mourn (reviewed below) and more trenchant than Virginia Graham's breezy Life After Harry (1988).

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
Publisher: Potter/Crown