After Goodbye: How to Begin Again After the Death of Someone You Love

Ted Menten, Author, Ted Menton, Author, Theodore Menten, Author
Ted Menten, Author, Ted Menton, Author, Theodore Menten, Author Running Press Book Publishers $12.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-56138-295-8
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Hardcover - 128 pages - 978-0-7624-1006-4
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Menten ( Gentle Closings: How to Say Goodbye to Someone You Love ) uses his experience with the Harmony Project in comforting terminally ill children to offer his insights into finding a way out of grief. This slender volume is the natural successor to Gentle Closings ; according to Menten, the only real death is being forgotten. He proposes that death must be faced without evasion in order to get on with the task of living. To this end, he divides the book into four parts: ``Questions,'' ``Grieving,'' ``At Sea'' and ``Coming Ashore.'' And though his prose is filled with cliches (train and boat imagery is particularly favored), his basic message is simple and important: with each death, despite shared grief, mourners move forward at different paces, and with distinctly different strategies for survival. Language plays an important role in the process, though all too often it's difficult even to say, ``I'm sorry your partner died.'' Instead, the words we tend to use suggest an ambiguity death does not have. Menten's prose is too touchy-feely at times (``I believe in the human heart and the human spirit. I believe that we have the innate ability to change shadows into rainbows''), but his intentions are irreproachable. Surveys indicate that Americans have little patience with the grief-stricken; when asked how long one should grieve, most responded, ``a few weeks.'' Menten teaches that there is no prescribed manner of grieving and that the process is as individual as those who mourn. All he asks is that we learn a little patience. (May)
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