When Their World Stops: The Essential Guide to TRULY Helping Anyone in Grief
By: Anne-Marie Lockmyer
Publisher: Joseph Allen Press
Publication Date: March 2016
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: December 10, 2016
As anyone reading this review will know, there are a plethora of books on the market (most written by PhD’s, M.D.’s and any other ‘D’ you can think of) in regards to grief, how to deal with the loss of life, and how best to cope in order to move on to the next stage. This book, however, will actually “speak” to you – all of you out there who has either lost a loved one, or had to find a way to help/aid/support/comfort a friend who was going through the grieving process. I say this will speak to you, because even though the degrees on the wall may state that the person holding said degrees is the “voice” that learned a specific area of medicine, it is not a degree that is at the core of a subject such as grief. Much like people believe you can better help an addict if you’ve gone through the same nightmare, the same can be said for a broken home or a broken heart.
Right from the onset, this author tells of one of the worst experiences a person could go through; the loss of a spouse. This is a woman who was in love with her mate and was just approaching their twenty-sixth wedding anniversary when her beloved passed away. This is a woman who raised her children with the love of her life; they created a world that was suddenly broken. She speaks of how she came to realize, once going through this horrible pain and feeling the whirlwind of emotions, that some of her very closest friends really had no idea how to deal with her grief. Even when they thought they were being helpful, they actually were saying some very wrong things and making her feel even worse. No. They weren’t trying to do this, and because of this she saw that when the shoe had been on the other foot, she had not been the best when it came to giving support/aid to her friends.
Bottom line: No one knows exactly how to respond to grief. Your friends look away and you can actually feel the tension in the room because there truly is no sure way to comfort someone who has just dealt with a loss of this magnitude. The author took it upon herself to let others know what she learned about grief, and offers a “door” to those who are hurt and those who are trying desperately to find the right way to comfort them during this time.
Is bringing a gift to the home right? How do you keep a schedule for the children; how do you best help them cope while your own heart is breaking? Sincerity and dependability are necessary, but when should you talk about the person who has passed? Is telling your friend they’re strong a good thing? When should you send a sympathy card, and what should it read? And, one of the biggest issues in many lives, how to help when Christmas comes to pass. The holiday is full of memories and the depression rates/numbers grow higher during the season.
This is not a tome with large, medical words or doctor ‘speak.’ This is a golden-nugget of a book, if you will, written with heart and, unfortunately, written from experience. These are helpful words and directions that will not solve the issues of grief, but allow you to better understand how to deal with grief and help a friend get through a horrible time.
Quill says: It is a fact that everyone grieves differently, but this author should be commended for tapping into her own traumatic experience to bring others a bit of peace.