I don’t deal with stress well. Physically it lets my disease get the best of me. So in my life I do my best to stay out of the drama, away from the stress, and take extra time to make sure I am not absorbed in the middle of conflict. This also means that I have to walk away from situations that I know are unhealthy. That’s not always the way other people want you to deal with their drama.
Retreating to a quiet corner to read is my way of dealing with stress. When I was going through some really hard times after the deaths of some family members, I turned to these books to help me find my way back.
I wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair PhD is a great book about surviving the sudden death of a loved one. I have really enjoyed this one and would suggest it to anyone trying to cope with losing someone you love as I am. This one has been a good book to help me sort out some of the things I was feeling and I wish I had read it before the loss of my best friend. It’s also a great book to read if you are a support for someone going through a loss.
I’ve turned to this book a few times when I just had no idea what to say or how I could help. The one thing that would drive me nuts is when people would ask that they could do to make me feel better. I didn’t have an answer and they didn’t know what else to say. This book taught me why this is such a common thing to say and how to respond.
Now when someone I know has lost a loved one, I have a list of things that I am happy to do for them so they don’t have to think at all about what they need or when.
A New Normal: Learning to live with Grief and Loss by Darlene Cross is another book working through the many emotions after a loss. This one is more dealing with how to understand the emotions and move through them in a healthy way. It is very helpful as you are able to see that you are not the only one trying to find more clarity on what you are feeling. This book feel almost like a survival manual for loss.
Both of these books were instrumental in helping me overcome the grief and loss I felt as losing 2 special family members a couple of years ago, one to death and one to a needed separation. I wasn’t sure that I would actually get something useful from the books at first but after reading them I realized that I have used the passages in both books regularly in coping with not only grief and loss, but also stress and chance.
I use the concept of needing to find a “New Normal” all the time when life takes a sudden turn, not just dealing with grief, but change in general.
There are so many great books about grief and learning how to cope. But these two brought me a lot of peace and helped me to understand what I was going through