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I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye


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Table of Contents

Introduction Part One: An Unfamiliar World: The Journey into Grief Chapter One: The Starting Point: Notes from the Austhors Pam's Story Brook's Story Sudden Loss Comes Again Chapter Two: Notes for the First Few Weeks Treat Yourself as if You Were in Intensive Care Expect to Be Distracted Have Someone Near You Accept the Help of Friends Caring for Your Children Someone to Take Calls and Check Email Seek Assistance with Final Arrangements Don't Worry about Contacting People Let Your Body Lead You Religious Traditions Wills and Arrangements Cultural Differences Going Back to Work Grief Sessions A Guide for Those Helping Others with Grief Chapter Three: Understanding the Emotional and Physical Effects of Grief Exhaustion Days of Distraction Denying Our New Reality Anger . . . a Normal Response Grief Knows No Schedule Physical Symptoms Emotional Ambushes Grief and Dreams If You Don't Dream If You Do Dream Important Things to Remember on the Pathway Feeling the Presence of the Deceased When You Don't Feel the Presence of the Deceased Communicating with Your Loved One (and If You Haven't) The World Becomes Dreamlike A Time to Withdraw Hurtful Self-talk Impulsive Living Instant Replays and Obsessive Thoughts The "If Only" Mind Game Fear Chapter Four: Myths and Misunderstandings of the Grieving Process Myth #1: Death is death, sudden or long-term, and we all grieve the same way Myth #2: By keeping busy I can lessen or eliminate my grief. Myth #3: I must be going crazy or "losing it." Myth #4: I will need to make sure I don't grieve for too long - one year should be enough Myth #5: If I express my anger at God or the circumstances of thedeath, I am a bad person and will "pay" for it. Myth #6: My friends tell me it is time to let go. Since others haveacclimated to life again, I should too Myth#7: I must wear black for a designated time period or I willdishonor the person who died Myth #8: I won't have to grieve as much and I will feel better if Iuse alcohol or medication to alleviate my sadness Myth #9: If I talk about the loss of my loved one I'll feel worse Myth #10: Shouldn't I be strong enough to "tough it out" by myself? Myth #11: I've done something wrong because some of my family and friends are turning away from me Myth #12: I should be relieved that they didn't suffer a long and lingering illness Myth #13: Someday I'll have another (spouse, child, parent, lover...) and that person will erase the pain and replace what I have lost. Myth #14: Once I am done with one stage of grief, I will simply move on to the next Myth #15: If I relive the good times, I'll stay stuck in the pain Myth #16: Children really don't understand death and probably don't need to be included in the funeral plans or memorial services Myth #17: To properly honor the deceased, I must have the standard wake and burial Myth #18: I am scared that if I grieve, I'll "get over my loss." I don't want to forget him! Myth #19: Help, I'm stuck on instant replay. I can't get this out of my thoughts - something is wrong with me Myth #20: This kind of thing doesn't happen in my family Myth #21: There must be something wrong with me. I'm not crying Myth #22: I'm not grieving right - I should be doing something differently. Myth #23: I should feel guilty. Myth #24: I shouldn't feel so angry Myth#25: I'll never be happy again. Myth#26: After a while I will no longer think or feel anything about the loss Myth #27: In order to process my grief effectively I need to advance through the Five Stages of Grief Myth #28: The final stage of grief requires acceptance Part Two: The World Is Upside Down: Collecting Our Scattered Pieces Chapter Five: The World is Upside Down Assumptions Are Shattered Loss of Purpose Redefining Ourselves What Matters Now? Finding a Beginning, Middle, and End Why Did This Happen? Do We Ever Get over Grief? Chapter Six: Relating to Others Too Close to Home You Are a Different Person The Ten-Day Syndrome Repeating the Story Awkward Questions Chapter Seven: Difficult Days: Holidays, Anniversaries, and More Birthdays Anniversaries Weddings Holidays Happy New Year? Next Year Chapter Eight: Grieving Together: Understanding How Men and Women Grieve Problem Solving and Facing Challenges Processing Grief Communicating Different Losses, Different Worlds: When One Member of a Couple Experiences Tragedy Masculine Grief Guidelines for Grieving Couples Chapter Nine: Helping Children Cope with Grief Babies (Birth to Eighteen Months) Toddlers (Eighteen Months to Three Years) Young Children Age Three to Six Years Age Six to Nine Years Age Nine and Older Adolescence Teenagers to Young Adults Does Your Child Need Professional Help? Grief by Proxy General Guidelines for Helping Children Part Three: Sharing Our Stories Chapter Ten: Losing a Friend Reaching for the Phone Some Things You Can Do Chapter Eleven: Losing a Parent Daddy Generation Shifts Some Things You Can Do Chapter Twelve: Losing a Child Extreme Emotions Losing an Adult Child Your Relationship with Your Partner For Parents with Surviving Children Some Things You Can Do after the Loss of a Child Chapter Thirteen: Losing a Partner Loss of Identity Circles of Friends Lingering Memories and Images Marilyn's Story Joan's Story Learning to Do Things Alone Funeral Arrangements For Widows with Surviving Children at Home Will I Ever Love Again? Seeking Purpose Some Things You Can Do Chapter Fourteen: Losing a Sibling Being Overlooked in the Grieving Process Double the Loss Idealizing Guidelines for Young Siblings Identity through a Sibling Birth Order Is He Still My Older Brother? The Hot and Cold Nature of Sibling Relationships Grieving an Adult Sibling Terri's Story Some Things You Can Do Chapter Fifteen: Fallen Heros Limited Circles of Support Deepened Denial Political Challenges Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Military Losses Outside of the Public Eye I Should Have Said Standing with Pride Some Things You Can Do Chapter Sixteen: Suicde Common Reactions to Suicide Religion and Suicide The Stigma Some Things You Can Do Chapter Seventeen: One of Many: When Tragedy Causes Multiple Deaths Trauma Obsessed with Revenge and Retribution Talking to Children Mental Health Aspects of Terrorism Typical Reactions Post Traumatic Stress The Path toward Healing Chapter Eighteen: Other Unique Challenges The Challenge of Closure: When Our Loved One's Body Is Not Recovered Non-Traditional Relationships Grief Is Cumulative When Our Darkest Hour Becomes Front-Page News Suggestions for Dealing with Media Part Four: Pathways through Grief Chapter Nineteen: The Road Ahead: Understanding the Grief Journey Themes of Grief by Year Grief Steps The Ten-Step Pathway Chapter Twenty: Faith A Fork in the Road Anger at God Faith Communities and Grief What Do I Believe? Reconnecting with God Some Things You Can Do Chapter Twenty-One: Self-Help and Therapy What are Grief Therapy and Grief Counseling? Does Anything Good Ever Come of All This? Maggie's Story Is It Really Possible to Transform My Grief and Pain into Creative Energy? Journaling and Letter Writing Self-Help Books Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Help, Therapy, and Healing So much change has happened in my life since the loss. How do I cope? Chapter Twenty-Two: The Grief Recovery Process and Exercises to Guide You Anger Exercise Thank You Exercise Learning through Loss What My Loved One Has Left Me Screaming Exercise Defining Priorities Coping with Guilt Poetry The Gratitude Journal Calming Visualization Memory Books Rituals Chapter Twenty-Three: The Journey Continued... Parting Notes from the Authors Brook Noel . . . October 4, 1999 Brook Noel . . . July 29, 2007 Pamela D. Blair . . . 1999 Pamela D. Blair . . . July 29, 2007 APPENDIX I The Memorial Service The Eulogy A Checklist of Calls to Make Friends Support Group Invitation APPENDIX II: GRIEF RESOURCES AND SUPPORT Support for Loss of a Partner Support for Grieving Children Support for the Loss of a Child Support for Loss through Suicide Internet Support for Siblings General Bereavement Support Other Recommended Books by Topic BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX ABOUT THE AUTHORS

About the Author

Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and pastoral counselor in private practice in Hawthorne, New York. Brook Noel is a CEO, author, speaker and mom. She has been featured in hundreds of shows and magazines, including ABC World News, CNN Headline News and Fox & Friends. She is the author of The Change Your Life Challenge and several other books.

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