Ninety million baby boomers will, in the next 20 years, face the loss of one
or both parents. This book discusses society's lack of acceptance of
grief in general and the way past generations have taught us to deal
with this life event. "Time will heal.", "They had a good life" are some
examples of empty phrases so often used when dealing with loss. The
reader is taken on a journey in this book by providing support and
understanding of the grieving process. In this writer's opinion this
generation, known as the baby boomers, through the sheer force of their
numbers, has the ability to make positive changes in the way this and
succeeding generations handle grief.
The grieving process is explained; how it differs for all of us; that
there is no "right" way to grieve and that the pain of grieving cannot
be avoided. Suggestions are offered for managing grief. Ceremonies and
rituals surround death and grieving is discussed and suggestions about
how to structure a meaningful ceremony to honour loved ones are given.
The book makes it clear that change can occur in our society, with this
generation, that will allow people to manage grief in a constructive
way; that sharing experience can allow others to be more prepared and
more open in dealing with this life altering experience and that people
can find comfort in knowing that others have had similar experiences.
This book allows a glimpse into what we will all face and some
strategies to cope with our loss, in an easy to read, personal narrative
FORWARD BY Dennis Walker MSW
Individuals facing bereavement differ in many significant ways. However, they often have in common the experience of isolation and of being unable to measure the “normalcy” of their loss. As a counselor it is important to be able to recommend a book that deals with the process of grief as a personal experience and which offers non-judgmental ways of measuring its impact on us.
Framed in the context of the “boomer” generation Jane starts with her own open discussion of the death of her mother, but extends her discussion to all aspects of loss. She describes how death affects the individual, his or her relationships, as well as how societal attitudes can worsen the impact of loss on us all. She gives specific ideas about the preparation before the impact of loss and the suggestions for constructively dealing with the aftermath of death.
From the outset, she notes that many of us find unexpected change to be difficult. Her book provides a careful antidote to the tendencies in our culture to avoid facing grief and to the “quick fixing” of personal loss.
Throughout, the theme is that of not judging one’s reactions; of not trying “to do grief according to the book”; to stay open to the possibility that grief can eventually create change. Her book is open, practical and ultimately conveys a strong and positive message to anyone struggling with loss.
In the past I have feared recommending books about loss, as they can in spite of their intent, leave people feeling worse. This book will leave people feeling confirmed in their experience and hopeful for their future.