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Paperback How We Grieve: Relearning the World Book

ISBN: 0195074564

ISBN13: 9780195074567

How We Grieve: Relearning the World

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Book Overview

What do we do when a friend, relative, or loved one dies? If we wish to understand loss experience, we must learn details of survivors' stories. In How We Grieve, Thomas Attig tells real-life tales to illustrate the poignant disruption of life and suffering that loss entails. He shows how through grieving we meet daunting challenges, make critical choices, and reshape our lives. These intimate treatments of coping hold valuable lessons that address...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Relearning Grieving

Is grief an illness? Are there stages of grief? Does time heal all wounds? For Thomas Attig, the answer to all of these questions is NO! Grief is a process by which one relearns his/her world, a world that has been permanently altered by the death(s) of significant persons in one's life. Using the stories of eleven persons, Attig demonstrates the active nature of grieving. For Attig, the stories are the heart of the matter. The reader is introduced into the stories at the point of the loss experiences. Attig takes us through their coping behaviors as he develops the model of relearning the world; including relearning our selves and our relationships with the deceased. How We Greive is a very special book. It does not simply restate the stages and phases of grief so frequently outlined in like texts. Attig presents a different and important perspective to the understanding of how one copes with the death of a loved one and why grief occurs. Although Attig's book may be perceived as a resource for the professional caregiver, it can motivate all of us to examine the nature of our own relationships and assess our own coping styles and support systems.

Extremely helpful and insightful

This is a very, very good book. It helps immensely in understanding why grief can be so difficult and absorbing. It teaches how to be patient and understanding in dealing with grief, our own grief or the grief of others. It offers deep and valuable insights into the many aspects of the grief process--including why the world seems so strange after somebody dies, the importance of stories in grieving, our choice-making in bereavement, the ways we remain connected to a loved one who has died, even why so many of us want to read about grief when we are grieving.

Great case studies make this book accessible

Grief is a topic that has been explored only in recent years, with Kubler-Ross getting it all started. Attig brings this topic a step further in discussing not only how we grieve, but in suggesting that in doing so, we must relearn the world. We have lost a loved one and our world has been vastly changed in just a few quick moments. We need to cope, to allow ourselves to grieve, and ultimately to create or "relearn" a world that can never be the same. The wonderful case studies Attig presents are the most helpful in helping the grieving reader to do this important life task. They tell real stories of real people that we can identify with and relate to. They evoke emotional responses that help us grow and believe we too can relearn our world in the face of grieving. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is grieving the loss of a beloved relative or friend, or to those who wish to prepare themselves in advance for the inevitable.

Penetrating--accessible and philosophically sophisticated

This is a profound and immensely practical work on grief. It is emotionally compelling and deeply moral, with sophisticated epistemological and religious stances. Clearly it's the culmination of twenty years of listening, teaching, and writing on the subject of grief.

Learn to deal with grief after loss.

TO GRIEVE IS TO RELEARN THE WORLD. The relatives, lovers, and friends of those who die face inevitable bereavement. For many, however, the grieving that follows death is poorly understood, and hence, poorly handled. *** Thomas Attig's recent book, How We Grieve: Relearning the World (Oxford University Press, 1996), offers a powerful conceptualization of bereavement and grief, and thus offers immediate help to those who may have come across only the facile generalizations of some of the "death and dying" popularizers, such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. *** Thomas Attig is President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. In a series of six intertwined essays, each with a slightly different emphasis, he develops his central metaphor: "relearning the world." Attig argues that bereavement is a "choiceless event"; grieving, by contrast, is full of choices, all of which require tremendous amounts of directed energy. Grieving, in other words, requires that survivors choose to relearn the world. And this relearning--this making of choices-- is an active, difficult, and not always successful, process. *** Relearning the world encompasses a frighteningly wide range of choices. Attig illustrates these choices through the ingenious use of a small number of case studies (i.e., concrete instances of grieving), each of which occurs over and over in various contexts as the notion of "relearning" is unpacked and deepened. If you now think of grieving as simply a matter of "feeling sad," you need this book. *** In less than 200 pages of clean, concrete, sharply focused prose, Thomas Attig illustrates and explains what it means to relearn the world (i.e., what it means to grieve): 1)We relearn our physical surroundings; 2)We relearn our relationships with our fellow survivors; 3)We relearn our places in space and time; 4)We relearn our spiritual places in the world ; 5)We relearn our selves [one entire essay is devoted to grief and personal integrity] ; 6) We relearn our relationships with the deceased [another essay is devoted to love, grief, and separation]. *** The brute reality of death remains, no matter what. No book can prevent bereavement or block the pain of bereavement when it does come. No book can make grieving easy. No book can remove the mystery of life and death. Still, reading does help. Thomas Attig's How We Grieve: Relearning the World may help survivors think a bit more clearly about grieving and make more positive choices as they struggle with their bereavement. *** As a bonus, the book is beautifully printed. I recommend it to you.
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