I Wasn’t Ready to Say Good-Bye

Sourcebooks, Inc./2008

Both Brook Noel and Pamela Blair have both experienced a sudden loss of someone they loved.  This book shares their stories as well as those of other people.  It is filled with wisdom and information that they wish they would have had access to during their own grief journeys.  They tell you about those who had “hit the wall, stumbled in the maze, skinned their knees, and risen up to emerge in a new place – for as much as this book is about death, it is also about beginning.”

One of the chapters in this book that I found to be very helpful was chapter 4 entitled ‘Myths and Misunderstandings of the Grieving Process’.  Noel and Blair listed 28 myths and some of these are:

Death is death, sudden or long-term, and we all grieve the same way.

By keeping busy I can lessen or eliminate my grief.

I must be going crazy or “losing it”.

I need to make sure I don’t grieve for too long–one year should be enough.

If I express my anger at God or the circumstances of the death, I am a bad person and will “pay” for it.

I won’t have to grieve as much and I will feel better if I use alcohol or medication to alleviate my sadness.

Shouldn’t I be strong enough to “tough it out” by myself?

I’ve done something wrong because my family and friends are turning away from me.

Not only is the sudden death of a spouse dealt with in this writing, but also losing a parent, losing a child, losing a sibling, and losing a friend.

Death by suicide or when tragedy causes multiple deaths is also discussed at length and those who have suffered a loss due to something like this will find it most helpful.

Noel and Brooks suggest that there are themes of grief by years:  First Year….a First Time for Everything, Second Year…..Reorganizing, and Third Year…..Regaining Equilibrium.

The Ten-Step Pathway of Grief is given:

Step 1 – Shock and Survival

Purpose:  To survive the shock of our loss while tending to the basics of reality.

Step 2 – The Feelings Rollercoaster

Purpose:  Acknowledgement & Active Grieving

Step 3 – Understanding Our Story

Purpose:  To find a beginning, middle, and end so that we may cease obsessive thinking.

Step 4 – Acknowledgement & Active Grieving

Purpose:  To acknowledge the reality of our loss and fully grieve our loss.

Step 5 – Forgiveness

Purpose:  To release ourselves from unnecessary pain through the act of forgiveness.

Step 6 – Faith

Purpose:  To explore, define, rebuild and repair our faith in life and/or in God.

Step 7 – Finding Meaning

Purpose:  To understand that even the deepest tragedy can bring meaning, and to uncover that meaning.

Step 8 – Redefining Ourselves

Purpose:  To understand the void that has been created by our loss and how that void will change our personal belief system.

Step 9 – Living with Loss

Purpose:  To integrate the discovered meaning into our day-to-day lives.

Step 10 – Accepting Life

Purpose:  To take responsibility that life is ours to be lived to its fullest.

I found this book to be one of the most thorough resources for grief whether you have lost a loved one suddenly or not.  This review has only begun to touch on its riches.

Heartfelt thanks go out to Brook Noel and Pamela Blair for all the hours and hours of interviewing and research that they spent to bring us this book.

One response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s