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When someone close to us dies, the world-our relatives, acquaintances, and society at large-expects us to grieve. Of course, as taboo as it is to admit or talk about, not every death brings with it overwhelming or exclusive sadness. Labeled a “nontraditional grief response” by therapists and counselors, a measure of relief or even happiness is far more common than the clinical description would have us believe. Sometimes we are relieved that our loved one is no longer suffering; at the other end of the spectrum, a death might finally free us of an abusive or unhappy relationship. In either case, feeling any measure of relief breeds guilt and, in turn, continued silence. Jennifer Elison and Chris McGonigle have experienced the discomfort and shame of mixed relief firsthand. In this groundbreaking book, they share their own and others’ stories, compassionate clinical analysis, and pragmatic counsel with other disenfranchised survivors. Shedding light on feelings that many deem insensitive, callous, or even strange, and suggesting ways to come to terms with them, Elison and McGonigle generously validate the reaction so many feel obliged to hide, ultimately relieving the corresponding guilt with which so many are burdened.
Da Capo Lifelong Books
Chris McGonigle, Jennifer Elison