Reader Comments on The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love

"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. I receive many books, few get that high a rating."

              ---Bernie Siegel, M.D. author of Love, Medicine & Miracles: Prescriptions for Living

"At oncehopeful yet realistic, this book poignantly informs how to ultimately transform the pain of bereavement into the sustenance of lasting and loving connections with those who predecease us. I highly recommend this valuable and unique book to anyone who has lost a loved one."

              ---Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., Clinical Director, The Institute for the Study and Treatment of Loss, Warwick, Rhode Island

"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

"When those we love die, our love for them does not. This compassionate book lifts up this simple truth and, in doing so, affirms and heals. Mourners will identify in particular with the many real-life stories. Truly, The Heart of Grief is a treasure trove of healing wisdom and guidance for anyone who grieves."

              ---Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition

"This book offers a powerful message to those who are grieving--'You do not have to let go'--that we can continue to love, remember and celebrate the lives and legacies of those we lost. If I were in the midst of grief, I hope someone would offer me this powerful, hope-filled book."

              ---Kenneth J. Doka, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation of America

"Tom Attig has long been interested in the concrete stories of individual grievers. In The Heart of Grief he retells a multitude of those stories in order to develop sensitive insights for bereaved persons and guide them in constructive ways. A masterful achievement!"

              ---Charles A. Corr, Professor Emeritus, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

"A brilliant sequel to Solomon's Song of Songs with 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

"Tom Attig has written a gentle, tender and very readable book with a strong message verifying what every bereaved person knows. Connections to the deceased don't end with death. There is no such thing as closure or putting the past behind us: advice often given to the bereaved that leaves them feeling as if something is wrong with them, rather than with the advice. Attig, through the stories he tells describes the fullness of human relationships and how we carry those we love with us even after their death.This is a must book 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

"This book throws new light on the topic of healing from loss and approaches the perils of grief from a new direction that reframes the process. Attig helps us to see that grief is related to learning to continue to love the person who has died without the advantage of having their body present. This is strikingly different from the traditional views of healing from grief through revisiting the past. It frees many of us to find ways of grieving that are considerably different from the traditional 'talking and crying' approach. This book shows us how to love the person who has died through embracing their legacies in ways that harmonize with our being and interests and thus unlocks us from the burden of grieving in the 'right way.' Through this process we develop a new relationship with the person who died and in many instances through our grief we learn to carry the person forward in a profoundly healing manner.

"Importantly, Attig links grief with love. In a clinical and detached world we too often forget that this is a most difficult aspect of dealing with loss. If we miss this, we are missing the major thrust of grief. Attig says, 'We can give places in our hearts to those who have died. As we do, we experience lasting love. We continue to love them. We sense that they still love us.' It is this continuation of love that rightfully permeates this book. I highly recommend it."

              ---Tom Golden, author of Swallowed By a Snake

"Dr. Thomas Attig's book, The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love, is an exceptional follow-up to his first book about grieving, How We Grieve: Relearning the World. Each chapter begins with a real life situation involving the death of a person and the consequences of that death on those who are still living. His premise is that people who have passed away can still be an important and essential part of one's life. You don't have to get on with your life without them; you can get on with your life with them. Although there is an element of 'advice' giving in The Heart of Grief, the book is much more story-telling. It's like a good novel-you can read it for the dramatization of some essential human truths. I recommend it highly".

              ---William McMillen, Perrysburg, Ohio

"'When people die, they're gone. There's nothing to do but get over it and go on.' This widespread myth of our culture is false. We can remember. We can celebrate joys. We can sense for what sharing life has taught us. We can take inspiration from the power of the deceased's spirit. We can be grateful for the dimensions of our souls that have been enlivened by times together. And not only can we do these things. We shall be the better for honoring the myriad of ways in which the deceased has enriched our lives. That's what I get from Attig's book. Only he makes all this very real for his reader with wonderful stories that give vitality and substance to these ideas. I think anyone who grieves the loss of someone treasured will gain solace and insight from this wonderful book."

              ---Donald Scherer, Bowling Green, Ohio

"A great companion to How We Grieve / and meritorious in itself. Not only do we, in the grieving process, relearn our world to survive our loss, but in this sensitive, well written book we find that there are many ways to continue our relationship with the loved one, through memories, long-lasting love, rituals and yes, even through 'ghostly' encounters. There is a wonderful discussion of soul and spirit and the connections made in soulful and spiritual ways that will appeal to any and all regardless of religious views or beliefs. Attig speaks from the heart as he tells wonderful stories that we can relate to in our own circumstances; he describes how we grieve, not only as a process, but how we grieve from the heart, maintaining connection with the loved one(s) as we get on with our own lives. A most helpful book to those who are grieving, and to those who want to prepare for the grief times that will come into their lives."

              ---a reader from the Midwest

"This is a masterful text that is thoughtful, interesting, and worth reading. It is scholarly, practical, and readable. I would highly recommend this for anyone who is grieving, those who work in care-giving fields, and for those who want to better understand the grieving process. It is a gripping mixture of stories, philosophy, theory, and insights. It is a wonderful book that should be read."

              ---Gerry R. Cox, Ph.D., Co-Editor, Illness, Crisis, and Loss

"This is such an important book that it is required reading in my Introduction to Death and Dying course. It has valuable information, yet it is very readable. It is presented as a very human book."

              ---John Morgan, Ph.D., Ontario, Canada


Table of Contents

Book Excerpt