DEATH AND THE FAMILY: Completing the Mourning Process by Lily Pincus

DEATH AND THE FAMILY: Completing the Mourning Process

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Out of her long professional background (Lily Pincus is a counselor and social worker with a British institute for human relations) and personal experience (her husband achieved that rare ""perfect death"" after eleven years of cancer) this book emerges. Much of it is based on her own casework, on the philosophy of her good friend Martin Buber, on the assorted ideas of psychiatrists from Melanie Klein to Laing -- although here the inflection is perhaps more Freudian than anything else. She not only views death as the major cultural taboo of our time replacing sex, but as an experience regressive in character -- summoning up earlier attachment/abandonments. Mrs. Pincus deals not only with the expected repercussions of guilt, anguish, repression, regression but also with projection (often the dead person's role is assumed by the survivor); with the curiously high incidence -- usually in old age -- of a husband and wife dying within days, weeks or months of each other; with the phases or ""processes"" of mourning; with the widow, the likeliest statistic, and the children. A clear-eyed and informing book which offers no little distractions or placebos for the finality which is death -- an experience we cannot escape, however much we try to negate it.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1974
Publisher: Pantheon