10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: 'You'll Get Over It': The Rage of Bereavement (Paperback)
YOU'LL GET OVER IT by VIRGINIA IRONSIDE
I was recommended this book and it didn't disappoint. I was impressed by the author's down to earth realness and occasionally brutal honesty. Instead of offering platitudes and ways to come to terms with grief and listing the stages one should be passing through in order to "grieve in the proper manner", I really warmed to the reality of her words that there is no correct procedure. That it is a horrible experience and we will all react to it in different ways. I valued the way she she challenged the belief that if the bereaved did not cry he was in denial, or that if steps 2 and 3 weren't followed then the process would be interrupted etc etc. Her scorn for counsellors and age old theories about death and bereavement were very evident and I read with respect and amusement relishing her irreverent and sarcastic wit. But ultimately with a sense of knowing that she was right. At last someone who has the balls to tell it like it is.
I actually found myself laughing out loud on several occasions whilst reading this. The author has a very comical turn of phrase that refuses to let the book succumb to any maudlin sentimentality, yet at the same time there were some achingly poignant quotes from people who talked about their own experiences and pain. I found they were all the more powerful because of their simplicity.
I also found the book deeply comforting as several little niggles about my own behaviour when my mother and grandparents died were addressed by others who acted in a similar way to myself. I felt liberated to realise that I was normal and it was just a part of the process.
Lastly the book was invaluable to me as a guide on what not to say to a bereaved person, as there is a chapter devoted to the annoying and trite things that people tend to say to those who have suffered a bereavement. Several people have contributed their experiences and feelings about the well meant but insensitive things that so readily trip off the tongue at this time. Although the author does also say that at this time it is very likely that they will take offence very easily and it is hard to not say something that will annoy, but it is not personal, the anger is just misdirected at times.
I have been waiting for a book like this for years. I admire anyone who can share something so deeply personal as her own grief and who has the courage to say how it really was for her, warts and all. By writing this book, I fel she has really given everyone who reads it a great gift. That it's ok to do it your way.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is or has been bereaved. I personally feel it is more explanatory, real and helpful than most of the impersonal, patronising tosh most writers on the subject turn out.