I read this book 14 months into grieving my husband and best friend, who died suddenly, in my arms, with no warning of illness. Shock, trauma and loss.
At the time, I was only 8 months into my own recovery from massive brain surgery, so had little energy reserves or coping skills available to fall back on, which turned out to be a good thing: I had little choice but to live the grief wherever it took me.
However, 14 months along, I still felt locked in grief, unsatisfied with friends' responses, advice from experts in books, widows groups, and physicians. Losing him had resurrected, unbidden, many ungrieved losses in my life so that the mass had become an enormous weight still carried in my body and spirit. I was full of dread each and every day.
My bewlidered refrain: "I don't know how to do this!"
A friend gave me a copy of this book. At first, it seemed too simple to be effective, but 20 pages in, it was clear that the authors had learned how to cut through all the stuff we carry around from infancy on, and get down to the work of cleaning up old and new losses.
Grieving may never completely end, but by doing the hard work in this book honestly and completely, I found myself clearing away regrets and sadness and fears over losses in my life that I had no idea I still carried. I also came to new insights about how to continue the grieving process for my husband enough so that I could look out on the world with an open heart.
Each time I do and redo the excercises in this book, the letting go continues, and as it takes place, old losses surprisingly surface to be honoured and resolved. I no longer feel I don't know how to do this.
The Grief Handbook is so valuable, multiple copies have been purcahsed and sent to friends who have lost loved ones, or who still carry emotional wounds from unresolved relationships with the living.
The most honest and simple guide out there.