Finding a Way Through Bereavement
Highly recommended book for any who are grieving and all who are trying to help them
Help! Someone’s Died - Finding a Way Through Bereavement
By Mary Sim
Reviewed by RoseMary Morris
This is a book which I wish had been available 40 years ago when I was bereaved by the sudden death of my husband! The book is a personal account by the writer of her own experience of the sudden death of her eldest son. The writer explores her journey, the people who helped along the way, the thoughts, feelings and practicalities involved. At each of the stages of the journey there are comments on the tasks to be coped with.
After the initial shock and disbelief there are practicalities to organise - in the case of sudden death the Post Mortem, Coroner’s Court, Inquest and report and then the usual Death Certificate, funeral arrangements and settling up of the estate including the more tangible personal effects and how they may be distributed. The latter is a potential minefield for family dispute. Along the way there are clear indications and advice on the steps and potential pitfalls involved. And after the practicalities, the grieving process begins in earnest and for each person this is a different journey.
There is a section too on "Responding to the Bereaved” aimed to help people who don’t know what to say to the bereaved person and are afraid of doing the wrong thing; some of the helpful and not-at-all helpful ways are explored.
Having read this book, the newly bereaved can emerge feeling “I am not going mad, this is quite normal”. Those who “walk alongside”, such as pastoral carers, counsellors, family and friends, will gain some understanding to step with more confidence into this area of “death" which is often a taboo subject in our society. There are helpful suggestions for preparing for our own death, for our own peace of mind and to ease the emotional pressure of organising the funeral for those left behind.
The writer expresses her experiences with beauty, tenderness and insight. I found myself both identifying and empathising with her journey and would highly recommend the book to any who are grieving and all who try to help them.
RoseMary Morris qualified as a counsellor in 1994. In 1995 she joined The Lyttelton Well Counselling Service in Malvern. She is a member of The Association of Christian Counsellors and a member of Upton upon Severn Baptist Church