In The Heart of Grief, Attig gives us an inspiring and profoundly insightful meditation on the meaning of grief, showing how it can be the path toward a lasting love of those who have died. Recounting dozens of stories of people who have struggled with deaths in their lives, he describes grieving as a transition from loving in presence to loving in separation. The thing we long for most--the return of the one who is missing--is the very thing that we can never have, kindling the intense pain of our loss. But Attig argues that we can, in fact, build an enduring, even reciprocal, love, a love that tempers our pain. He tells stories, for instance, of a young girl taking some of her dead sister's practical advice as she enters high school, a widower realizing how much intimate life with his wife has colored his character, and an athlete drawing inspiration from his dead brother and achieving what they had dreamed of together. Far from forgetting our loved ones, Attig urges us to explore ways in which our memories of the departed can be sustained, our understanding of them enhanced, and their legacies embraced, so they continue to play active roles in our everyday and inner lives.
Groundbreaking and original, inspiring and compassionate, The Heart of Grief offers guidance, comfort, and a new understanding of how we grieve.
Thomas Attig is the author of How We Grieve: Relearning the World (OUP). A former professor of philosophy and Past President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, he is a highly sought-after speaker. He lives in San Francisco, California. He invites you to visit his website, www.griefsheart.com.
"A book that will touch your heart, bring you to tears and heal your life. It is a book of truths because it contains the only thing which reveals the truth, a story. Everyone suffers loss so have the wisdom and courage to read, learn, feel and heal. I think so highly of this work that every one of our children will receive a copy. "--Bernie Siegel, MD, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles
and Prescriptions for Living
"With simple eloquence and clear compassion, Attig topples the myth that grieving those who die requires letting go, and instead explores the sustaining connections that survive physical separation. This book is an invaluable guide to all bereaved persons who strive to restore wholeness to a love strained by loss, and who seek practical and spiritual counsel on how to find hope and even growth in the wake of desolation."--Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D, author of Lessons of Loss: A Guide to Coping and editor of Death Studies
"Exquisite story-images, thoughtful and sensitive wisdom resulting in the life-affirming message that 'love is stronger than death.'"--Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, D.H.L., D.H., author of Living When a Loved One Has Died
"Gentle and tender...a must not only for the bereaved but for those who want to help them."--Phyllis Silverman, Ph.D., author of Never Too Young to Know: Death in Children's Lives