The Courage to Grieve by Judy Tatelbaum

The Courage to Grieve was donated to our library, and I became interested in it. I thought it might be helpful to students who are grieving over the death of a loved one.  It’s quite short and covers both the grief experience and the recovery process.

Tatelbaum starts each chapter with a quote from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, a book clearly meaningful to her. She tells us that the problem with the western view of death is that we deny it or are obsessively afraid of it. Her goal in the book is to help those in grief to a “healthy awareness and acceptance of death as a natural reality that gives our lives context and meaning.”

Beginning with the mourning period—which varies depending on individuals and their connection to the deceased, Tatelbaum describes grief as a “time of convalescence . . .for facing the loss and all the feelings that the loss evokes in order to at least begin to heal the great wound created by the death of a loved one.”  She takes us through shock, suffering and disorganization, aftershocks and reorganization, to the recovery process that includes helping others with grief and recovery from grief. She has set aside a chapter for children’s grief, which includes adolescents’ grief.

If you are looking for some help in dealing with your grief, The Courage to Grieve may be an option.


About Victoria Waddle

I'm a high school librarian, formerly an English teacher. I love to read and my mission is to connect people with the right books. To that end, I read widely--from the hi-lo for reluctant high school readers to the literary adult novel for the bibliophile.
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