As feeling human beings, it is guaranteed that we will, at one time or another, suffer our own losses and the ensuing grief, or be called upon to support someone who is experiencing this complex emotion.
“A Friend In Grief, Simple Ways to Help”, is a deeply heartfelt and graphically delicate handbook that should sit on everyone’s bookshelf for times in need.
Author Ginny Gallaway loses her ten year old daughter, Sara Jane, in a horrific car accident. Reflecting on the experience and all that it entailed, she uses this tragedy to aide her in the creation of a detailed and sensitive guide book for all of us who often wonder when faced with a friend’s grief, “What do I do? How should I respond? What is the right thing to say?”
Gallway’s tragedy brings to light endless lessons about people who are feeling grief, and ways to be supportive and help ease the griever through their transition to a “New Normal” life. Gallaway uses many of her interviews with people experiencing loss as the basis for practical information needed to help someone to the point of recovery and the knowledge that, “We will never be the same, but life will go on”.
Gallway’s list of practical needs are things that we might not think consider. Most often the griever is in a state of shock, so the details such as informing people, funeral arrangements, obituaries, receptions, and self-nourishment are only a few of the practical tasks following a death. As supporters of the grieving one, these tasks will often fall on our shoulders so the knowledge of what needs to be done is invaluable.
People often turn their backs on a griever for fear of not knowing the appropriate thing to say. Gallaway gives us an extensive and valuable list of the dos and don’ts of communicating with a griever, including a grief time-line, response to a griever in the work place and the first year without the loved one.
“A Friend In Grief” is a gem of a guide book that treats the tragedy of death and the feelings of us who are left behind with a great deal of insight and sensitivity.
Reviewed by Peggy La Vake for IndieReader