"WHEN A SPOUSE DIES: What I Didn't Know About Helping Myself and Others Through Grief," by Barbara R. Wheeler, Cedar Fort Publishing, $14.99, 102 pages (nf)
Queen Elizabeth said, "Grief is the price we pay for love." Everyone has experienced some amount of grief or sorrow related from loving someone, whether it be the death of a spouse or other family member or from having your heart broken by someone or something. Grief is a common occurrence in life, yet it hardly makes common conversation. The sufferer often feels as if he or she is the only one in the world that is feeling the pain.
In Barbara R. Wheeler's new book, "When a Spouse Dies: What I Didn't Know About Helping Myself and Others Through Grief," she presents her experience of losing her husband not as a "how to" cope with grief, but rather with memoirs of "how it was done." She gives a unique perspective on what grief really is like from her experiences as a therapist, educator, her personal loss as well as the thoughts of her friends, clients and acquaintances.
Quoting Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Wheeler maintains the perspective that the process of mourning was “never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages,” but is a rather complicated process that can be confusing and full of contradictions. She begins by describing what is felt immediately after the shock of the loss, then the realization of the loss, and then proceeds into explaining the different ways people have coped with grief.
The book is a short and quick read, yet it contains many wonderful lines about what grief really is. Wheeler challenges the idea that grief should be dealt with as fast as possible, but instead states that grief is “alive” and needs to run its course before one can move forward. Then after the mourning period is done, Wheeler shows how grief, even with its darkest pain, can help one move forward and grow by leaps and bounds. This book is recommended for anyone who is dealing with loss, grief or sorrow and those who want to understand better how to help those who are suffering with grief.
IF YOU GO:
What: Barbara Wheeler book signing
When: Saturday, March 24, 2 p.m.
Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City
Lauren Zachary is a recent college graduate from Southern Utah University with an English degree. She works at a local city library while working towards obtaining a master's of library science.