“Grief Is a Journey is more than a collection of wise guidance and advice. Rather, this is a volume of rare sensitivity, penetrating understanding, and profound insights written by a foremost interpreter of grief and loss. It is a must read book for the bereaved and those who counsel them.” – Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, author of Living When A Loved One Dies. There is no “one-size-fits-all” way to cope with loss. The vital bonds that we form with those we love in life continue long after death—in very different ways. Grief Is a Journey is the first book to overturn the prevailing, often judgmental, ideas about grief, and replace them with a hopeful, inclusive, personalized, and research-backed approach. New science and studies behind Dr. Doka’s teaching upend the dominant but incorrect view that grief proceeds by stages.
Throughout Grief Is a Journey, Dr. Doka tells encouraging stories of his clients and other individuals, all working through unique losses. In doing so, he helps us realize that our experiences following a death are far more individual and much less predictable than the conventional “five stages” model would have us believe. Common patterns of experiencing and expressing grief still prevail, yet many other life changes accompany a primary loss. For example, the deaths of parents, even for adults, modify family patterns, change relationships, and alter old family rituals.
Unique to this book, Dr. Doka also explains how to cope with disenfranchised grief—the types of loss that are not so readily recognized or supported by society. These include the death of ex-spouses, as well as non-fatal losses like divorce, the end of a friendship, losing a job, or infertility. In addition, Dr. Doka considers losses that might be stigmatized, including death by suicide or from disease, or self-destructive behaviors like smoking or alcoholism.
Since no two people experience grief in the exact same way, Grief Is a Journey offers a variety of self-help strategies for coping with grief. It delineates the many ways we can create personal and private therapeutic rituals throughout our grief journey. This book also offers counsel on when—and where—to seek professional assistance. And finally, Dr. Doka reminds us that, however painful, grief provides opportunities for growth.