Disclaimer: Every person is different in what they find to be helpful, spiritual, humorous and comforting, which is why I include a section for general thoughts to clarify exactly what I liked and disliked about the book. This is simply meant to be a guide in helping you find the book that best suits your individual needs as a newly widowed person. I wish you peace on this difficult journey.
Title: I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping & Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One
Author(s): Brook Noel & Pamela D. Blair, PhD
Publishing Info: Sourcebooks, Inc., Naperville IL 2000
Helpful Meter 1-5 (1 being not at all helpful, 5 being very helpful) 5
Spiritual Meter 1-5 (1 being not spiritual, 5 being very spiritual) 4
Humor Meter 1-5 (1 being not humorous at all, 5 being very humorous) 1
Comfort Meter 1-5 (1 being not comforting, 5 being very comforting) 4
Staci’s Recommendation (1 being pass on this, 5 being read this today) 4
General thoughts and feelings on the book: I was intimidated by this book at first because it’s quite thick. But I soon discovered it’s extremely well organized into parts and chapters. It’s also very easy to read. The thing I really liked about this book is that it’s not just a book for widows. It covers grief in losing a parent, sibling, friend, spouse among others. It also offers advice on what children may go through and how to help them. It includes insight on dealing with different types of sudden death from car accidents to suicide. It’s really nice to have all that information in one place. You can not only use this book to help you through your own grief, but also to understand the grief of others.
There’s a general feeling of “spirituality” in the book that doesn’t really focus on any one religion or set of beliefs. It does contain a chapter dedicated to faith which gave it the high spiritual score. So while it does speak a bit about God, faith and personal beliefs it is not preachy or churchy.
It has an extensive list of resources in the back pages from support groups to book recommendations. It also has exercises to help you work through your grief and contains worksheets for preparing a memorial service and eulogy for loved ones.
Even though the book is written by two women it does contain a chapter on how men cope with grief, understanding the differences between men and women’s grief journey and ways to reach out to men.
The great thing about this book is its versatility. Since it contains so much information a lot of it is mostly a jumping off point to explore your own grief. I think it would be overwhelming to attempt to read the whole thing while in the throes of grief, however it’s so well organized that it would be very easy to go to the table of contents or index and find exactly what you need. It can be a little repetitive at times (which may have come from my reading it through), but I think overall it’s a great book to have that would be very helpful on any grief journey one may encounter.