Resources on Grief – Websites/ Books

Posted On: May 10, 2021

I’ve pulled together some resources for people dealing with grief in Singapore. These are some sites:

1) Refuge In Grief – Validation and practical tools for living with grief. Corporate consultation, creative writing courses, and one super good book.

2) The Sharing Place – Since 1993, The Sharing Place has been fulfilling its mission to “provide a safe and caring environment for grieving children, teens, and their families to share their feelings while healing themselves.” This is achieved through a support group model that emphasizes acknowledging any and all feelings related to grief, connection with others experiencing grief, and channeling feelings through art, play, and discussion.

3) Caring Connections – Caring Connections offers a variety of grief support groups throughout the year. Each of our support groups help you cope with a different kind of loss. The groups are eight weeks in length and are facilitated by expert clinicians in the fields of social work, nursing, counseling, and psychology. We use small groups to allow each person to fully participate in the group discussion. The groups help you adjust to the death of a family member or close friend. Through education and support from group leaders, and by sharing with others who are experiencing grief, we hope you will grow in your walk through grief. Caring Connections is a hope and comfort in grief program that was established in 1997 by Beth Cole, PhD. We are a program of the University of Utah College of Nursing.

4) Brain Picking – Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week’s most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children’s books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning.

5) Terrible, Thanks for Asking – You know how when someone asks “How are you?” you just say “Fine,” even if you’re totally dying inside, so everyone can go about their day? “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” is the opposite of that. Nora McInerny asks real people to share their complicated and honest feelings about how they really are. It’s sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both. TTFA was named one of the best podcasts three years in a row by The Atlantic. The New York Times calls it “a gift to be able to listen.”

Books:

1. It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine

When a painful loss or life-shattering event upends your world, here is the first thing to know: there is nothing wrong with grief. “Grief is simply love in its most wild and painful form,” says Megan Devine. “It is a natural and sane response to loss.” So, why does our culture treat grief like a disease to be cured as quickly as possible? In It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides―as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner―Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it.

Its OK That Youre Not OK
2) The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith by John W. James and Russell Friedman

Newly updated and expanded to commemorate its twentieth anniversary; this classic resource helps people complete the grieving process and move toward recovery and happiness.

Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on the capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories as well as from others’, the authors illustrate how it is possible to recover from grief and regain energy and spontaneity. Based on a proven program, The Grief Recovery Handbook offers grievers the specific actions needed to move beyond loss. New material in this edition includes guidance for dealing with:

  • Loss of faith
  • Loss of career and financial issues
  • Loss of health
  • Growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home
3) The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia

This story by Leo Buscaglia is a warm, wonderfully wise and strikingly simple story about a leaf names Freddie. How Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with winter’s snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf is a warm and thought-provoking story and both children and adults will be deeply touched by this inspiring book. This 20th anniversary edition of this beloved classic has helped thousands of people come to grips with life and death.

4) A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

Written after his wife’s tragic death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moment,” A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis’s honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: “Nothing will shake a man — or at any rate a man like me — out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.” This is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.

 

5) Chocolate Milk, Por Favor: Celebrating Diversity with Empathy by Maria Dismondy

It’s Gabe’s first day of school in America, and he doesn’t speak English. This story shows how a simple act of kindness is worth more than a thousand words. Kindness really is a universal language.

 

6) Tear Soup: A Recipe for healing after loss by Chuck Schwiebert, Pat & DeKlyen

If you are going to buy only one book on grief, this is the one to get! It will validate your grief experience, and you can share it with your children. You can leave it on the coffee table so others will pick it up, read it, and then better appreciate your grieving time. Grand’s Cooking Tips section at the back of the book is rich with wisdom and concrete recommendations. Better than a casserole!

Hardbound; 56 full-color pages. Affirms the bereaved. Educates the un-bereaved. A building-block for children….. WINNER! of the 2001 Theologos Book Award, presented by the Association of Theological Booksellers.

 

7) When Your Spouse Dies: A Concise and Practical Source of Help and Advice by Cathleen L. CurryThis book deals with a variety of practical concerns for those who have lost their mates to death, including stages of grief for adults and children, mourning, loneliness, sexuality, networks of support, financial priorities and planning, good health practices, and healing.
8) The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller

Noted psychotherapist Francis Weller provides an essential guide for navigating the deep waters of sorrow and loss in this lyrical yet practical handbook for mastering the art of grieving. Describing how Western patterns of amnesia and anesthesia affect our capacity to cope with personal and collective sorrows, Weller reveals the new vitality we may encounter when we welcome, rather than fear, the pain of loss. Through moving personal stories, poetry, and insightful reflections he leads us into the central energy of sorrow, and to the profound healing and heightened communion with each other and our planet that reside alongside it.

The Wild Edge of Sorrow explains that grief has always been communal and illustrates how we need the healing touch of others, an atmosphere of compassion, and the comfort of ritual in order to fully metabolize our grief. Weller describes how we often hide our pain from the world, wrapping it in a secret mantle of shame. This causes sorrow to linger unexpressed in our bodies, weighing us down and pulling us into the territory of depression and death. We have come to fear grief and feel too alone to face an encounter with the powerful energies of sorrow.

9) On Loss and Living Onward: Collected Voices for the Grieving and Those Who Would Mourn with Them by Melissa Dalton-Bradford

After experiencing the loss of her first-born son, Melissa Dalton-Bradford thrust herself into literature searching for those who have experienced similar, devastating loss. What she found was comfort and guidance to help her overcome the pain of losing a loved one and the faith to face her own life without him. In On Loss and Living Onward, she has compiled the best resources that will guide the living through the process of grief.

Superbly written essays by author and bereaved mother accompany each of five sections: Life at Death; Love at Death; Living After Death; Learning From Death; Life, Love and Light Over Death. Quotes are from across history, geography and the philosophical spectrum. A substantial bibliography and suggested readings list is included.

10) The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

11) Love, an Index (McSweeney’s Poetry Series) by Rebecca Lindenberg

A man disappears. The woman who loves him is left scarred and haunted. In her fierce, one-of-a-kind debut, Rebecca Lindenberg tells the story—in verse—of her passionate relationship with Craig Arnold, a much-respected poet who disappeared in 2009 while hiking a volcano in Japan. Lindenberg’s billowing, I-contain-multitudes style lays bare the poet’s sadnesses, joys, and longings in poems that are lyric and narrative, at once plainspoken and musically elaborate.

Regarding her role in Arnold’s story, Lindenberg writes with clear-eyed humility and endearing dignity: “The girl with the ink-stained teeth / knows she’s famous / in a tiny, tragic way. / She’s not / daft, after all.” And then later, playfully, of her travels in Italy with the poet, her lover: “The carabinieri / wanted to know if there were bears / in our part of America. Yes, we said, / many bears. Man-eating bears? Yes, of course, / many man-eating bears.” Every poem in this collection bursts with humor, pathos, verve—and an utterly unique, soulful voice.

This widely anticipated debut, already selected as a finalist for several prominent book awards, marks the first collection in the newly minted McSweeney’s Poetry Series. MPS is an imprint which seeks to publish a broad range of excellent new poetry collections in exquisitely designed hardcovers—poetry that’s useful and meaningful to anyone in any walk of life.

12) The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss by George A. Bonanno PhD

The conventional view of grieving–encapsulated by the famous five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance–is defined by a mourning process that we can only hope to accept and endure. In The Other Side of Sadness, psychologist and emotions expert George Bonanno argues otherwise. Mourning is far from predictable, and all of us share a surprising ability to be resilient. Our inborn emotions–anger and denial, but also relief and joy–help us deal effectively with loss. To expect or require only grief-stricken behavior from the bereaved does them harm. In fact, grieving goes beyond mere sadness, and it can actually deepen interpersonal connections and even lead to a new sense of meaning in life.

The Other Side of Sadness is a must-read for those going through the death of a loved one, mental health professionals, readers interested in neuroscience and positive psychology, and anyone eager to understand our ability to thrive in the face of adversity.

I provide relationship and sexuality counseling. Contact me here.

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than 10 years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore. She is also a Red Tent Women’s Circles Facilitator from Star of Ishtar.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

         

 

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