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Transcending Loss: Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make It Meaningful Paperback – 1 Aug 1997
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About the Author
Ashley Davis Bush is a licensed psychotherapist and grief counselor in private practice. The author of Transcending Loss and Shortcuts to Inner Peace, she has appeared on NPR's Diane Rehm Show, as well as on MSNBC. She lives in Epping, New Hampshire, with her husband and their five children.
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Most writers stress that grief is not a linear process, with stages that one goes through bing, bing, bing. Anyone who has experienced it knows that it's cyclical, comes in waves, often unexpected. One writer called it a "spiral staircase". However, there is some sort of progression that one follows, just naturally if nothing else. These writers often use a "re" word to describe the end phase, like "resolution," "reintegration," or "recovery".
I like the idea of a "trans" word like "transform" or "transcend" because they suggest the idea, not only of continued life, but continued growth, of using this horrific experience to make yourself even better. Sameet Kumar's excellent "Grieving Mindfully" takes a Buddhist philosophy toward explicitly describing how to make yourself an even better person as you go beyond the grief. It is not the easiest book to read, however.
This book is much easier to follow and, I think, has an implicitly Buddhist slant, though she never mentions it specifically.
She describes five phases that one goes through from Shock and Disorganization to Transcendence.
The most valuable part of the book to me is the discussion of what she calls the "SOAR" model toward Transcendence. She describes four paths that one can follow and recommends trying one or all of them. The paths are Spirituality, Outreach, Attitude, and Reinvestment. Each of these is discussed in detail with examples of individuals who have taken these paths.
In the last part is an excellent discussion of Roadblocks and Detours and how to negotiate them.
While it's not the first book that one ought to read in working through grief, at some point I think most people would really benefit from her intelligent and practical advice.