Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Handbook for Companioning the Mourner: Eleven Essential Principles, by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Companion Press, 2009

 This tiny book contains few words but lots of ideas- well, eleven of them to be exact. It’s an outline of how best to be with a person who is morning, as a companion who lets the person grieve rather than trying to cheer them up or distract them. Listen. Respect their pain. Allow that grief is not linear, and that it is messy and disorderly. Be curious about the mourner and what they are going through-you can learn from them. Simple ideas, but powerful ones, laid out neatly so (if you’re lucky) you can remember them when the time comes. (This is not to say that distraction or cheering up is wrong; those have an important place, too. But that’s for others-the mourner’s friends and family, or, if you are friend or family rather than volunteer companion, for a different time) It’s short, but it took me an oddly long time to read, because I had to stop after each chapter and think about what the author was saying. 

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Sounds like a book to have on hand when the time comes you need it.