Book Review: The Healing Power of Grief

BY: Kathryn Harrison Brown, MA, LPC

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

Book Review: The Healing Power of Grief, by Gloria Lintermans & Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., L.M.F.T.


I​n this sensitive and compassionate book, the authors address grief experiences that may happen during specific blocks of time after death. (The reader can easily reference a chapter that points to where they are in the grief cycle; anywhere from 1 to 4 months and up to 18 to 24 months.) Various issues and areas of concern for the bereaved are considered.

The authors consider several aspects of grief such as shock, numbness, anxiety, depression, feeling overwhelmed and anger. While these may seem negative, they also look at hope and ways to honor and take care of oneself while grieving. Helpful “Do’s and Don’ts for the Bereaved, Friends and Family” are also provided.

The authors offer ideas on why grief may feel worse later than it did right after the death. A transitional object is recommended such as a loved one’s ring, picture or key chain when other things can’t seem to comfort an individual.
Ways in which emotions can change after the initial numbness has worn off and reality has set in are also discussed. The question “How will you know when you are healing?” is looked at and the authors suggest that “when you think of your loved one without the accompanying strong emotion of longing and sadness you are healing.”

This doesn’t mean you have forgotten your loved one, it is saying that they don’t occupy all your waking thoughts. The overriding theme of the book is that everyone grieves in their own way and there is no right or wrong way to walk this journey of grief. The authors assure people that what they are feeling is probably normal grief.

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