Living With Loss and Grief
Julia Tugendhat, Sheldon Press
STAR RATING: 3/5
The cover depicts a little boat on a calm sea. The boat has ridden stormy waters, and “the skipper emerged somewhatbruised but rejoicing in survival and the dawn of a new day”, writes Amy Leadbeater.
This simple analogy gives the positive view: that losses can be overcome and grieving is the necessary journey we need to go through to reach a state of equilibrium.
The book focuses on bereavement but explores other types of loss including the complex losses involved in infertility and adoption and the multiple losses experienced by asylum seekers.
The author shows why we experience loss in different ways and how we can recover. William Worden’s theory of proactive involvement in the grieving process is emphasised.
It is written for a general audience, but the style and structure compromises its accessibility. The combination of theory, anecdotal stories and client interviews, achieves an awkward balance.
There are valid messages in the book, including the social importance of grieving rituals. In western, secular, cultures, we have removed ourselves from these experiences. As a result, we may not have such a smooth ride through the grieving process.
Amy Leadbeater is a social worker, adult care team, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital