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How We Grieve Relearning the World,9780195397697

How We Grieve Relearning the World

Edition: Revised
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 11/4/2010
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press


If we wish to understand loss experiences we must learn details of survivors' stories. The new version of How We Grieve: Relearning the World tells in-depth tales of survival to illustrate the poignant disruption of life and suffering that loss entails. It shows how through grieving we overcome challenges, make choices, and reshape our lives. These intimate treatments of coping with loss address the needs of grieving people and those who hope to support and comfort them. The accounts promote understanding of grieving itself, encourage respect for individuality and the uniqueness of loss experiences, show how to deal with helplessness in the face of "choiceless" events, and offer guidance for caregivers. The stories make it clear that grieving is not about living passively through stages or phases. We are not so alike when we grieve; our experiences are complex and richly textured. Nor is grieving about coming down with "grief symptoms". No one can treat us to make things better. No one can grieve for us. Grieving is instead an active process of coping and relearning how to be and how to act in a world where loss transforms our lives. Loss forces us to relearn things and places; relationships with others, including fellow survivors, the deceased, even God; and our selves, our daily life patterns, and the meanings of our life stories. This revision adds an introductory essay about developments in the author's thinking about grieving as "relearning the world." It highlights and clarifies its most distinctive and still salient themes. It elaborates on how his thinking about these themes has expanded and deepened since the first edition. And it places his treatment of those themes in the broader context of current writings on grief and loss.

Table of Contents


Introduction to the Second Edition

Chapter 1 - Stories of Grieving: Listening and Responding
·Martin and Louise
Bill, Diane and Margaret
Ed, Elise, and David
Stories Are the Heart of the Matter: The Point of Thinking about Grieving
Why Do Persons Look to Books on Grieving?
They Seek General Understanding
They Seek Respect for Individuality
They Seek Ways to Deal with Helplessness in Grieving
They Seek Guidance for Caregivers

Chapter 2 - Grieving Is Active: We Need Not Be Helpless
·The Story of Martin and Louise
·Jennifer's Story
Bereavement Is Choiceless, but Grieving Is Not
Grief Is an Emotion, Grieving a Coping Process
Some Say We Grieve in Stages or Phases
Some Describe Our Grieving in Medical Terms
Is It Helpful to Talk of Stages, Phases and Medical Analogies?
Some Say that as We Grieve We Address Tasks
A Task-Based, Active View
Some Choices We All Have as We Grieve
Grieving Is Active: A Summary

Chapter 3 - Respecting Individuals When They Grieve
·The Story of Bill and Diane
·Respecting Individual Flourishing
Respecting Individual Vulnerabilities
Acting Respectfully Once We Understand Individual
Flourishing and Vulnerability
What Our Self-Respect Requires

Chapter 4 - Relearning the World: How We Grieve
·The Story of Ed and Elise
·How We Relearn Our Worlds
The Worlds We Relearn
We Relearn Our Physical Surroundings
We Relearn Our Relationships with Fellow Survivors
We Relearn Our Selves
We Relearn Our Places in Space and Time
The Power of the Relearning Idea

Chapter 5 - Relearning Our Selves: Grief and Personal Integrity
·David's Story
·Margaret's Story
How Are We to Understand Ourselves in Loss and Grief?
An Image of How We Become the Selves We Are
Our Selves in Loss and Grief: Elaborating the Image
As We Cope, We Engage with and Move beyond Suffering
We Struggle to Put Our Shattered Lives Back Together
We Seek New Ways to Complete Our Life Stories
We Become Whole Again as Parts of Larger Wholes
Together We Reshape Our Families and Communities
Advantages of This Idea of Relearning Our Selves

Chapter 6 - Relearning Our Relationships with the Deceased: Grief, Love and Separation
·Kathryn's Story
·Colleen's Story
What We Lose, and What We Do Not Lose, When Someone Dies
Let Go We Must, but Not Entirely
We Continue to Love and Cherish the Stories of Lives Now Ended
We Still Care About What Those Who Died Cared About.
Advantages of This Idea of Relearning Our Relationships with the Deceased


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