In this new approach to understanding the impact of grief, Susan A. Berger goes beyond the commonly held theories of stages of grief with a new typology for self-awareness and personal growth. She offers practical advice for healing from a major loss in this presentation of five basic ways, or types, of grieving. These five types describe how different people respond to a major loss. The types are: - Nomads, who have t yet resolved their grief and don't often understand how their loss has affected their lives - Memorialists, who are committed to preserving the memory of their loved ones by creating concrete memorials and rituals to hor them - Normalizers, who are committed to re-creating a sense of family and community - Activists, who focus on helping other people who are dealing with the same disease or issues that caused their loved one's death - Seekers, who adopt religious, philosophical, or spiritual beliefs to create meaning in their lives Drawing on research results and anecdotes from working with the bereaved over the past ten years, Berger examines how a person's worldview is affected after a major loss. According to her findings, people experience significant changes in their sense of mortality, their values and priorities, their perception of and orientation toward time, and the manner in which they fit in society. The five types of grieving, she finds, reflect the choices people make in their efforts to adapt to dramatic life changes. By identifying with one of the types, readers who have suffered a recent loss--or whose lives have been shaped by an early loss--find ways of understanding the impact of the loss and of living more fully.
Susan A. Berger, EdD, LICSW, counsels people who are confronting significant loss and other life changes. She also trains professionals in using her unique approach to helping the bereaved. She has twenty-five years' experience in the health and mental health fields as a researcher, practitioner, administrator, and consultant in both Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. She lectures widely in professional healthcare, business, government, and university settings. She has held faculty appointments at three colleges, teaching courses in human behavior and psychology. She has also served as a hospice volunteer. Dr. Berger is herself a survivor of early parental loss.