Academy of Parish Clergy Review of Good Mourning: Getting through Your Grief

Good Mourning:  Getting Through Your Grief, by Allan Hugh Cole, Jr.  Louisville:  Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.  102 pp.

In prose form, the author has written a comprehensive handbook on grief and mourning.  He makes a helpful distinction between the two, advancing the understanding that Granger Westberg initiated in his best-selling book Good Grief (republished in 1997).  Despite the book’s title, “Grief describes how we respond to loss, including how we feel, think and behave.  Mourning refers to the process whereby we loosen the emotonal attachment (bond) to a loss, relocate the loss in our emotional life, and create emotional space for investing anew in relationships and other aspects of living. There is a lot of overlap between grief and mourning.”  The book is written directly to the person who is suffering any kind of loss, not just through death.  This is one of its strengths.  The book may be seen as a self-guided tour or journey for those who grieve and mourn.  A thorough book on the subject.

Paul Binder, Academy of Parish Clergy, United Church of Christ, Sarasota, FL.

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