"How to survive..." was left on the desk in the phoneroom of a Crisis Line where I was a volunteer in 1981. It had been placed there by a counsellor who has recently lost a client to suicide. That client had given it to her on their last session. Having entered the helping field through a loss of my own, I found the book profoundly helpful to me and was soon quoting parts of it to callers where appropriate. The poetry was extremely helpful as I seemed to be able to grasp the poet's meanings easily. "Grief, it's a quiet thing" in particular, spoke to me.
Most important was the explanation of the "Grief Process," that I was still very much in at that time and many of which I have gone through since. That it can be as short as several seconds in the case of the missed phone call in the introduction, to years in the case of a divorce or death of a loved one. This was particularly helpful to a woman who had lost her husband of many years only a couple of years before her call to us. The call was prompted by the loss of a pet in the previous week. Having surrendered their children to their own lives years before, the dog had been the last living vestige of her marriage to a wonderful partner but it seems that all of her friends and family were ridiculing the depth of her grief at it's loss. Several pages of this book served to validate her experience and we ended the call on a very good note indeed.
My 32 year old daughter has recently gotten "slam-dunked" by Life and I sent her of "How to Sur-vive." That makes (25+) copies that I've been able to share... including one to her Mom when the guy she left me for moved on!