’An interesting thought provoking book, which describes the trauma experienced by the author of losing her husband to cancer and then provides psychological techniques to move forward from sorrow to healing and growth.’
Title: Before and After Loss
Author: Lisa M Shulman
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Reviewer: Carol Singleton, Queen’s Nurse
What was it like?
An interesting thought provoking book, which describes the trauma experienced by the author of losing her husband to cancer and then provides psychological techniques to move forward from sorrow to healing and growth.
There are two main sections: firstly covering ”The Before Life”, only three chapters which describe the feelings and challenges faced by the author and her dying husband in a poignant, gentle way, and secondly “The After Life” consisting of two subsections “Grief and Loss” and “Healing and Restoration”.
I particularly enjoyed the chapter on “Journaling as a Tool of Emotional Healing”, which provides the tools to start using this useful technique, allowing the reader to be reflective and introspective encouraging insight and discovery for themselves. I also enjoyed the section called “Reflections”, which offers strategies for when life is interrupted by loss related to death or a job or a relationship providing mindful activities for immersion and distraction.
Strengths & weaknesses:
There is a comprehensive index and a bibliography divided by chapters that makes it easy for the reader to find any further reading without distracting from the flow of the chapters.
There are regular breaks in the book called “a pause for journeying”, providing exercises for the reader to undertake that may increase their understanding of what has just been discussed but are not essential and can either be ignored or completed at a later time.
Who should read it?
This book will provide insight and learning to anybody interested in or who has suffered a loss themselves regardless of age or profession so that they can understand and adopt the suggestion made by the author when she says “Let’s not be satisfied with healing and restoration alone, let’s strive for growth”.
before and aftger loss