THREE RECOMMENDED BOOKS
BY OTHER AUTHORS
All three of these books discuss grief with respect. They do
not treat it as a pathology but as an important element of human experience.
|Mourning Unlived Lives: A
Psychological Study of Childbearing Loss by Judith A. Savage, a Jungian analyst.
Published in 1989 by Chiron Publications in Wilmette, Illinois, this book considers grief
from a Jungian perspective. The author looks at the pain following a miscarriage,
stillbirth, or the death of a newborn, relating how the parents' reactions fit a universal
mourning pattern. Her use of religious and mythological archetypes to illustrate these
patterns, while stretching the comparison at times, gives the experience of grief a richer
and more elemental context than that presented in other books.
The density of this scholarly monograph may make it hard for
a newly bereaved parent to get through. But it has depth and is worth the effort. Unlike
the other books on grief written by psychologists, it does not limit itself to a simple,
rational dimension, or to the now-standard theory of grief stages. Going beyond those rote
categories, it offers a more intricate view of childbearing loss, and of mourning in
Out of print and very hard to find.
|Original Kin: The Search for
Connection Among Adult Sisters and Brothers by Marian Sandmaier, a writer on family
and gender issues. This is a sensitive, intelligent book that's not afraid to recognize
ambivalent feelings. Although Sandmaier writes about sibling connections, she began
thinking about the themes for her book after the sudden death of her brother. In the years
that followed, she found no books on sibling loss and, she says, she felt unprepared for
the "domino effect [it] set in motion" on her surviving siblings. Her book grew
out of her need to understand their bond and the meaning her brother's death had in her
Both the hardcover and the paperback
editions are out of print.
A Return to the Self by Anthony Storr, a noted British psychiatrist. The book
discusses the value of solitude as a source of creativity. Storr also examines the link
between creativity and depression, which he writes about with fairness since he does not
see depression, and other mental conditions, simply as disorders. With the same grace, he
explores the role childhood bereavement has on later attachments. He gives numerous
examples of writers, philosophers, artists, and other creative individuals who found an
outlet, as well as solace, in their work.
in the introduction that he chose such figures to illustrate his thesis because they left
behind compositions, paintings, and other tangible evidence of their creativity, he writes
that his ideas about personal fulfillment also apply to people who follow other pursuits:
"It is not only men and women of genius who may find their chief value in the
impersonal rather than in the personal. I shall argue that interests, whether in writing
history, breeding carrier pigeons, speculating in stocks and shares, designing aircraft,
playing the piano, or gardening, play a greater part in the economy of human happiness
than modern psychoanalysts and their followers allow."
The paperback edition is still in print.
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