In Inside Grief, Stephen Oliver, BBC Chief of Religious Broadacasting has compiled one of the best collections of writing on understanding your own and another’s grief.
This book will not cheer you up. It won’t help you cheer someone else up or give you the tools to ‘get over it’ or help another ‘get over’ their grief. It doesn’t give you any answers to why bad things happen or even suggest there’s a rational or religious reason for them. And for that alone, this is one of the best books on understanding your own and another’s grief on the bookshelf today.
Stephen Oliver’s collection brings together writings from a broad range of chaplains, counsellors, psychologists and writers intimately acquainted with grief, and with the depth and difference of experience of people who, for a lesser or greater time, will live in grief. The various writers recount their experiences honestly while warning that you can’t inhabit grief second hand. In the foreword Rowan Williams writes: “How ever much you think that exposure to other people’s grief might prepare you for your own tragedies, it doesn’t work like that.”
This book is hardly a preparation for grief – how could it be. But it is a helpful insight into what grief looks like from inside. That knowledge alone will help you avoid delivering the kind of crass statement, insensitive comment and crushing platitude that – even with the best intention, invariably only makes things worse.
April 16th, 2013 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison