In the Presence of Grief: Helping Family Members Resolve Death, Dying, and Bereavement Issues

Article excerpt

DOROTHY S. BECVAR: In the Presence of Grief Helping Family Members Resolve Death, Dying, and Bereavement Issues. New York: Guilford, 2001, 284 pp., $35.00, ISBN: 1-57230-697-1.

From the title, a reader might think that this is a self-help book about death and dying. But this is much more than a self-help book or a book to teach mental health professionals deal with issues of death and dying. It is a comprehensive compendium that covers all the possible facets of the process of dying in its multidimensional aspects.

After an introductory chapter about understanding the process of death, dying, and bereavement, there is a two-chapter classification of the different kinds of death that parallels closely similar classifications of stressful, traumatic events, namely, unannounced and anticipated, including a whole chapter on the thorny question of euthanasia. There is one chapter each specifically focused on the person who dies: child, sibling, parent, spouse, extended family members or friends.

In a second section there are three chapters about dealing with grief within the context of therapy by creating funerals, ceremonies, and other healing rituals. …


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