"What's gone and what's past help," Shakespeare wrote, "should be past grief." But Thomas Attig argues that Shakespeare is wrong--that a grieving survivor need never let go.
In The Heart of Grief, Attig gives us an inspiring and profoundly insightful meditation on the meaning of grief, showing how it can be the path toward a lasting love of those who have died. Recounting dozens of stories of people who have struggled with deaths in their lives, he describes grieving as a transition from loving in presence to loving in separation. The thing we long for most--the return of the one who is missing--is the very thing that we can never have, kindling the intense pain of our loss. But Attig argues that we can, in fact, build an enduring, even reciprocal, love, a love that tempers our pain. He tells stories, for instance, of a young girl taking some of her dead sister's practical advice as she enters high school, a widower realizing how much intimate life with his wife has colored his character, and an athlete drawing inspiration from his dead brother and achieving what they had dreamed of together. Far from forgetting our loved ones, Attig urges us to explore ways in which our memories of the departed can be sustained, our understanding of them enhanced, and their legacies embraced, so they continue to play active roles in our everyday and inner lives.
Groundbreaking and original, inspiring and compassionate, The Heart of Grief offers guidance, comfort, and a new understanding of how we grieve.show more