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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Giving Grief Meaning: A Method for Transforming Deep Suffering into Healing and Positive Change by Lily Dulan is a powerful and insightful guide to allowing the process of grief to play a positive role in your life. The author writes from the painful experience of losing a child and shares her journey and outcomes with readers. When loss happens, grief follows, and it's a life-altering experience--a time of confusion, instability, loneliness, and inner pain. You think this state of being will last forever. But the author will show you steps you can take to heal and feel whole again, to feel like grief actually has a purpose and shouldn't be the end result of your lost loved one.
I like that this therapist/author turned her loss experience into a book that can help others going through a similar situation. She came up with a plan called The Name Work to turn grief into something good, a helping tool, using a combination of spiritual healing, 12-step philosophy, yoga, and meditation. The idea of The Name Work is that names and the letters in them have a powerful meaning and that you can attach positive affirmations to the letters. Even if this approach feels new to you, consider it with an open mind--it may or may not be right for you. Only you can decide what you want to take from it. The author uses thoughtful questions and prompts that readers can reflect on in individual ways, which gives this already-personal book even more intimacy. I like how Dulan explains that letting go of grief doesn't mean you're letting go of your loved one.
This book is perfect for the mourning person, but also for a broader audience of helping professionals, teachers who may have grieving students, leaders of support groups, first responders, or those rendering support after a community's tragedy or disaster. Other issues the book covers are addiction, unhealthy relationships, depression, and anger. Readers will appreciate the author's honesty and clarity, and the brave way she shares her inspiring story. My favorite part is The A-Z affirmations at the end. For those who feel they are drowning in grief, Giving Grief Meaning, by Lily Dulan, is the book that could save your life.