Time to Say Good-Bye: Moving Beyond Loss

Mary McClure Goulding, M.S.W., Author Papier-Mache Press $14 (168p) ISBN 978-0-918949-74-5
Goulding begins her book with the painful recollection of a childish prank she pulled on a solitary old woman, the neighborhood ""witch."" ""It wasn't just her age that made her vulnerable, even to children. It was that she lived alone. And now I am her, a white-haired old lady, alone."" Goulding had always been surrounded by people. After her children had left, she and her second husband, Bob, founded the Western Institute for Group and Family Therapy where they were surrounded by colleagues. Then when she was 67, Bob died. Although a psychotherapist, she couldn't recognize the depth of her depression. Unable to sleep, she resorted to sleeping pills; not committed to life, she decided to ignore what her doctor called a ""spooky"" mammogram. ""A therapist who tries to cure herself can be like a lawyer who does her own legal work: both may have fools for clients."" Eventually she turned to friends in the therapeutic community and, some three-and-a-half years after Bob's death, came to some sense of peace. Some readers will find the let-it-all-hang-out mode of the therapeutically inclined a little hard to take: ""`Let your body talk,' `I'm lonely, lonely, lonely.' `Let your body say more.' `I need to be touched. I am so lonely for touching.'"" For them, Goulding's most valuable contribution is her honest narrative of her loneliness; her panicky response to petty things; the companionship of the dimly heard voice on the radio; the doubly-felt absence of women friends who have died; and regrets about the occasional harsh word. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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