The experience of grieving is an intensely personal one. Whether grieves the loss of a spouse, a pet, or a relationship, the feeling of despair and sadness comes to all. Editors Gillespie and Tanney give the reader a look into the face of grief through the essays of several individuals.
Laura House understands that grief can include denial, anger, bargaining and final acceptance. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Laura began to deal with the reality that her mother would one day be separated from her. But it was the finality rather than the journey that brought her the most pain. Now, it is the small things like seeing something on a shopping trip and knowing her mother would like it but remembering that she is no longer here to accept it which keep the grief new.
In “Before Loss,” Debbie Less Wesselmann talks about referred grief when her 36-year-old cousin dies suddenly from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. As much as she is saddened by this death, she is also grieved over the possibility that this may be a warning to her about health concerns that she has overlooked.
Holly Whittaker shares what it is like to lose a child. Parents are supposed to die before their children; that is the natural order of things. When that order changes, depression and anxiety often result. Working through the grieving process allows one to be open to new possibilities and new beauty, to allow the one left behind to slowly let go of the bad memories and only keep the good ones.
Grief, pain and tears are reality. No one makes it through this life without them. Sharing them with others is a way to help yourself and then help others. The experiences of grieving shared by the editors and by those whose experiences are gathered here will help the reader move through the process.