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The Grief Recovery Handbook

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  605 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Newly updated and expanded to commemorate its twentieth anniversary—this classic resource helps people complete the grieving process and move toward recovery and happiness.

Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on the capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories as well as from others', the authors illustrate how it is possible to re
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ebook, Expanded, 20th Anniversary Edition, 224 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,359)
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LT
Dec 05, 2007 LT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone dealing with grief or general loss
This book saved my life! While dealing with mom's sudden death and my dad's impending terminal illness, I felt that no one understood me or wanted to hear about my sorrow. I decided to seek out some help in alternative ways and ran across this book. Their no-nonsense approach was refreshing and provided some much needed honesty and candor about a topic that everyone else was afraid to discuss with me.
N Klepacki
Dec 25, 2015 N Klepacki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first learnd of this book through Jim Beaver's Memoir of his wife, Cecily Adams in "Life's That Way" -I wish I'd read this years ago. I've read so much of the 'self help' and 'Twelve Step" genre over the years that I've become a bit jaded about a lot of it. Friedman throws a whole new approach and sensibility (tempered with good humor) that transcends the usual "Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps" or "Let Go and Let God Run the Dumptruck Over Her/Him" (had to throw in a funny, there) preachin ...more
Melanie
Aug 04, 2010 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with any grief in their lives. It's very hands on but worth the work it takes. It was very helpful for me and gives me a good place to go. Rereading my notes and assignments is always good for me if I'm struggling on one particular day. It helped me map out my life, document the major life events, and realize what affected me most. Then they help you through the process, talking you through each step and why it's important, and giving examples from ...more
Vicki G
Aug 16, 2013 Vicki G marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
It took me forever to find a partner. I know you don't HAVE to have one in this edition of the book, but I thought working by myself would be a disaster in terms of being completely honest and accountable, b/c I think I'm too close to myself to be able to do it.
Some people can do it alone but I had to have a partner.

I just hope I can handle it when he talks about what happened to him.

He was trapped in Tower 1 for over an hour and was burned across 40% of his body surface. He lost his entire face
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Alana
May 09, 2013 Alana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I really appreciated this book for the first half. I related to so many things, especially all the unhelpful phrases well-meaning people tend to say, like "You'll find someone better" or "It's all for the best," or "God has a plan." Hearing someone else say that none of these things is remotely helpful and learning ways that we often learn to repress our grief rather than work it out is very encouraging. However, I strongly disagreed with many statements made in the second half, including the co ...more
Jessica
Jun 13, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
The third section of the Grief Recovery Handbook details steps a grieving person can take in order to complete their grief work, and is helpful. However, the first two sections of the book explain, in detail, how most of society has been trained incorrectly on how to grieve, and how unhelpful this is. While I agree with this, it can be a bit much to read; as I felt it tore down everything I knew before it finally started to build me back up again, and if the authors' specific methods don't work ...more
Angelica Taggart
I read this a long time ago -- and led a class on it -- it was powerful stuff!
Paula Kirman
A good plan for finding completion after loss.
Jness
Jun 01, 2013 Jness rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am currently reading this book and so far it speaks to my loss more authentically and with more understanding than I've found in the dozen or so books I've read in the consecutive years in which my father and husband died. The first part of the book is also extremely useful for anyone supporting someone going thru grief/loss.

After reading a # of reviews however I want to be clear that I am going thru the exercises with an excellent therapist who is also using EMDR to help my poor brain process
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Zana
Wow. I started this book almost a year ago, when I realized that writing my Yuletide story was bringing up all kinds of things around the death of my mom. I only read up until the exercises began; I wasn't ready to tackle nineteen years of the hole in the fabric of my existence.

My therapist insisted that I take at least two full days devoted to grieving the breakup, that I couldn't keep putting it off indefinitely. I cleared my schedule for two entire days, and resolved not to do chores or erran
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Alma Meeker
Nov 21, 2011 Alma Meeker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a few years ago, while I was in the midst of an unraveling relationship. I was coping with that loss and a very difficult year and dealing with 20 years of unresolved grief from my father's death when I was six. At the time, I had taken baby steps toward healing by finally opening up to my friends and loved ones, but I was having a great deal of difficulty moving on. I decided to take a course on Death and Dying as part of my degree program, and this book was required reading. N ...more
Neyo
Nov 04, 2013 Neyo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read mostly fiction, but there was a time just after my bereavement two years ago that I scoured bookstore shelves and e-books list for any helpful grief books, hoping that they would give me wisdom to help me better understand my experience, and that they could speak to me on a personal level in the quiet solitude of my darkest days. A kind of lifeline to carry around.

But I got no success, or perhaps I didn’t search well. I’m not the religious type of a person, and I’m not so much into readin
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Tasha
May 08, 2014 Tasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I use this book quite a bit in practice with clients and have found it to be an excellent resource. I've referred friends to this, and I have received positive feedback as they've used it as well. I find that the information is easy to understand, true to the experience of those having difficulty managing loss of any sort, and relatively easy to translate into information that both youth and adult clients are able to use.
Carolyne Gathuru
Excellent Excellent piece of work. I read the first orginal piece by John James and Frank Cherry published in 1989. Couldn't find it on the database here. I'm not too sure therefore how much has changed in this edition and the co-author in this one has changed. However, that original piece read now 26 years later has been a fantastic read. Very useful, very practical, very freeing, very liberating. It is a must read for both grievers and non grievers. Very insightful perspectives on loss.
Paula
Jun 20, 2014 Paula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While there are worthwhile elements of this book, I found that there were a number of psychologically, spiritually and relationally inaccurate and/or unhealthy statements sprinkled across the text as assertions-termed-as-facts. I'd be uncomfortable recommending this as a whole, though pieces of it are certainly useful to grief-support group facilitators.
J Crossley
Navigating Through Grief

This book provides a program and methods to understand, come to terms with, and complete your grief. While working through the book, I realized that I had many grief episodes that I never healed. As I work through the methods I find that I am becoming whole.
Julie
Nov 18, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!!
This book was really eye-opening for me. It also includes some activities to be completed as you go along that I found very useful and plan to continue. One of the key takeaways I got from this is how we learn/are taught to cope with loss and other stresses from a very young age. And how most of those "lessons" are fallacies that just create problems rather than resolve them. Society wants us to be ok, to be strong and in control. So we act like we are, when in reality, we may be hanging on by a ...more
Julie
Sep 28, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone. Should be required reading!
This book was really eye-opening for me. It also includes some activities to be completed as you go along that I found very useful and plan to continue. One of the key takeaways I got from this is how we learn/are taught to cope with loss and other stresses from a very young age. And how most of those "lessons" are fallacies that just create problems rather than resolve them. Society wants us to be ok, to be strong and in control. So we act like we are, when in reality, we may be hanging on by a ...more
Linda Quinton-Burr
Had a bad experience with this book. May be good for residual grief in cases where that is the only issue. My client -- who had real issues with stress generally, got into a "certified group" based on this book and being pushed to bring back all the details of her traumas in excruciating detail threw her in to multiple seizures and migraines. I've worked a lot with grieving and most people are able to deal with and let go of trauma without essentially reliving the traumas in such detail. That sa ...more
Moe
Nov 09, 2008 Moe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this about 10 yrs ago, before I even had a close loss due to death - I chose to read it to better understand the psychology of loss and to help others around me going through various losses - what to say, what not to say, how to offer assistance, etc. I recently picked it up again because I've experienced a major loss and wanted to review the book through "new eyes." We've all experienced losses to some degree - relationships, jobs, deaths, etc., and this is a no-nonsense, real-world "how ...more
Mike Day
Jul 23, 2016 Mike Day rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was excellent. I still have some of the work to do assigned in this book, but from what I have done so far, it has really helped me through the loss of my mom. I would recommend this book if you have experienced a loss recently.
Sarah
Mar 18, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Best for Loss of Loved One or Divorce

This workbook focuses mainly on the loss of a loved one or divorce, but has supplemental material at the end about loss of health (my interest). I wish that they'd noted the supplemental material at the beginning of the workbook section. The first 5 chapters or so, though, are applicable to anyone going through a hard emotional time because everything from depression to anxiety seems to be related to unmet expectations (for whatever reason) and it is importan
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Amber
Mar 14, 2012 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I didn't like everything about this book, I found that it did significantly help me work through issues I thought had been settled long ago. However, I would recommend working through the issues on your own instead of at a set pace. Healing time will be different for each individual's unique situation. Having participated in a structured group whilst reading this book, each week brought new exercises and it was obvious that some people weren't ready for different aspects of the process wh ...more
Camille
Mar 03, 2011 Camille rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have finished this book, but continue to still refer to it for guidance in my daily life.
This book has allowed me to see that I have had more losses in my 47 years than the average person.
Quite a few of those losses, I have dealt with effectively. Two or three, due to reading this book ,I realize I have not even scratched the surface to deal with the loss of the relationship with the person no longer in my life. I have been able to move forward in my life through some very rough times due to t
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MB
Dec 18, 2015 MB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pillar

I am 31. I read this book when I was around 17. The knowledge acted like a pillar in my life.
Elizabeth
May 24, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had known about this book much earlier in my life. So very helpful.
Daniel Rue
Oct 08, 2012 Daniel Rue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The exercises were very helpful. I read this book as part of a class offered by Banner Health hospital. I found it particularly useful to do these exercises in the group setting.

If you are currently grieving, books are going to be a comfort, but grief support groups are much, much more helpful. You can talk about things in the grief group that your everyday friends and family are just not going to be able to understand, or want to hear.

I read a few books in the past year (I'm coming up on the 1
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Stephen Bonnette
Jul 27, 2015 Stephen Bonnette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had to read for work. Very helpful in framing grief therapy
MaryLee Robinson, Author, The Widow or Widower Next Door
Given to me by my counselor, I found it helpful, but talking it out with a qualified counselor helped more.
Mary Day
Mar 19, 2016 Mary Day rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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