"I highly recommend this book, not only to the bereaved, but to the friends and counselors as well." ---Helen Fitzgerald, author of The Grieving Child
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Brook Noel is a CEO, author, speaker, and mom. She has been featured in hundreds of shows and magazines, including ABC World News, CNN Headline News, and Fox & Friends. She is the author of Good Morning, I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye, The Change Your Life Challenge, and other books. She lives in Wisconsin. Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and pastoral counselor in private practice in Hawthorne, New York.
Not a book you want to have to buy, but I found it useful when my husband died suddenly of a cardiac condition we didn't know he had. I bought the workbook too, but I gave it to my mother-in-law since the book seemed to cover what I needed.
I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye is the best non-religious book I have read on grieving from an unexpected death.
The authors have direct experience with the subject and share their own deep traumas in considerable detail that added to the relevance of the book.
They also sought out the stories of people who had experiences with unexpected death that were different from their own so that you would have specific examples that come closer to your own situation.
In my case, my Father was 87 when he unexpectedly passed away last September. We all thought that he was good for 100, but he died quietly in his sleep that night. Since then, we've all been in one stage of shell shock or another. I can hardly imagine how much worse it is when the person is younger . . . or is a child or sibling. My heart aches for anyone who has had those experiences.
I found the book to be "right on" in describing the issues that my family and I have dealt with. I wish I had known about the book before my Dad died. It would have helped even more then.
The book helps in many different ways. First, you get advice on the help you need immediately after the death. Second, you learn about the various ways that you may be affected. Third, you find out how long the effects may last. Mourning in these situations takes much longer than I realized. Fourth, you find out how to help others grieve. Fifth, you find many old beliefs questioned that don't seem to be true. Sixth, you get help with dealing over the long term. In part two, there are stories that relate to different types of sudden losses: a friend, a parent, a child, a partner, and a sibling. The third part deals with practical resources for recovering including self-help, therapy, exercises, organizations and support choices (including books). The appendix includes suggestions for a memorial service, a eulogy, calls that need to be made and things to ask friends to do.
In one helpful section of the book, an overwhelmed person can just hand the pages to a friend and point. The friend can take over from there.
Even if you don't think you will ever face an unexpected death that is close to you, I suggest you read this book. There's no way to know. When it happens, be sure that you know what to do when you aren't ready to say goodbye to a loved one.
I drew a lot of my comfort during the experience from my religious beliefs. If you haven't yet developed that side of your life, I strongly urge you to do so.