The author, a former clergyman and now a family counselor, stretches the not particularly elastic word ""grief"" to cover an unusually wide range of deprivations. ""Grieving,"" he states, ""is basically mourning the lost parts of ourselves we invested in a person, place or object we have lost."" One grieves for a lost spouse (dead, divorced, or estranged), a vanished lover, a dead pet, a failed exam, an amputated limb, etc. To cure the enervating effects of grief Tanner advises ""pushing out"" feelings, rather than ""flattening"" them via drugs, over-eating, or other diversions. Once we face up to feelings, then we should adopt new pastimes and rituals, but above all see the struggle as an opportunity to find new strengths. Some of the advice is routine bedside cheer; some is definitely odd--like the suggested answer to a child's query, ""Is Grandma still sitting up in the ground?"" ""The family wanted to make sure Grandma is comfortable so she is lying down."" This is to be accompanied by a hug--if the kid hasn't shot up to the ceiling. Well-meaning but muddled.