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Grief Works : Stories of Life, Death and Surviving - Julia Samuel

Grief Works

Stories of Life, Death and Surviving

Paperback Published: 28th May 2018
ISBN: 9780241270776
Number Of Pages: 320

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A warm, moving and practical guide to grief from one of the UK's leading bereavement counsellors.

Death affects us all. Yet it is still the last taboo in our society, and grief is still profoundly misunderstood . . .

In Grief Works we hear stories from those who have experienced great love and great loss - and survived. Stories that explain how grief unmasks our greatest fears, strips away our layers of protection and reveals our innermost selves.

Julia Samuel, a grief psychotherapist, has spent twenty-five years working with the bereaved and understanding the full repercussions of loss. This deeply affecting book is full of psychological insights on how grief, if approached correctly, can heal us. Through elegant, moving stories, we learn how we can stop feeling awkward and uncertain about death, and not shy away from talking honestly with family and friends.

This extraordinary book shows us how to live and learn from great loss.

Industry Reviews

A profoundly moving book by an extraordinary storyteller - Julia Samuel describes her patients' stories of loss with great sensitivity and fascinating psychological insight. Essential for anyone who has ever experienced grief, or wanted to comfort a bereaved friend -- Helen Fielding, bestselling author of 'Bridget Jones' Diary'
Fascinating. A wise and compassionate book full of insight and understanding that would help anyone experiencing grief, or those surrounding them. I am so glad this book exists. -- Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of 'The Last Act of Love'
What an amazing book! I absolutely LOVE it. Intelligent, empathetic, modest, funny, and learned - it's an amazing feat. -- Rabbi Julia Neuberger
A wonderfully important and transforming book - lucid, consoling and wise. -- William Boyd, bestselling author of 'Sweet Caress'
Julia Samuel's wise, compassionate voice speaks out on every page of this exceptionally moving book offering courage and hope: emotions that are sometimes inaudible and and unattainable to those who grieve. Her exceptional understanding of the way human beings think/love/mourn makes Grief Works an invaluable guide to understanding the complex emotions around death. Through the inspirational stories of those many people she has helped, both the dying and the surviving, Julia Samuel dissipates fear and demonstrates the extraordinary resilience of humankind. -- Juliet Nicolson, author of 'A House Full of Daughters'
The stories of [Julia's] clients are set out with such eloquence, sensitivity and insight and I learned something from each one of them. I liked her honesty about how difficult it can be for a therapist to find a way into communication with someone who is in the throes of grief, and how much the therapist can doubt herself. And the way she teases out the slow, arduous process of recovery is truly heartening. I don't often read a book which offers such direct and generous support. -- Helen Dunmore
The book will allow us to stop feeling awkward and uncertain about death - and why we should talk honestly about grief * Guardian *

A moving guide to dealing with grief - a rigorous, researched but above all readable study of how to deal with death, dying and grieving. The book is self-help at its most philosophical, practical and profound... Anyone who has every struggled with the obscure, muddled, vulnerable, uncertain, fearful, elemental process of bereavement, or facing their own mortality, should find this book of help

-- Helen Davies * Sunday Times *
This invaluable guide gets to the heart of grief, showing how a simple act like making a meal for someone who is bereaved, or sending a card with memories of the deceased, can make all the difference * Sunday Express S Magazine *
Psychotherapist Julia Samuel's case studies provide vital and compelling insights into bereavement (...) fascinating and affecting * Observer *
If a single book could help you to be kinder and more compassionate, could expand and deepen your understanding of other people (and possibly yourself) and make you less afraid of dying in the process, you would surely be eager to acquire it at once. Well look no further, for Grief Works is that book * Spectator *
Brilliant -- Mariella Frostrup
Samuel turns out to be a remarkable writer (...) what is impressive is that such harrowing material should result in such a readable book * The Oldie *
A very helpful book * The Lady *
A brilliantly insightful look at the complexities of bereavement * Daily Mail Ireland *

The Perfect Companion for the Bereaved and Their Loved Ones


Grief Works is a beautiful book. The first time I read it I borrowed it from our local library. I loved it so much that I bought my own copy. I intend on buying more if/when my family and friends need the comfort that it offers. Julia Samuel clearly has a wealth of experience when it comes to the bereaved and the many paths that our lives take after loss. She also has a lovely, respectful way of sharing her experiences and the experiences of her clients. I found the book deeply comforting and interesting and I've since referred to it many times. I've also shared some of Julia's insights and her patients' stories with friends and family. My motivation for buying Grief Works was to make sense of my own grief after the death of my beloved dad and the devastation of multiple pregnancy loss. The stories shared in Grief Works normalise grief. Things that we may feel, think, do, our behaviour, etc., that might strike us as odd or problematic, we learn are normal responses to grief, and in fact they are common amongst the bereaved. For those of us who are bereaved, the days can be long, lonely, sad and hard, and it can feel never-ending. I found that learning that we are not alone to be a tremendous comfort. Julia also offers practical suggestions for things can help us through, including what others could do or say, or indeed not do and not say. If you are reading this as a person who is supporting a recently bereaved friend or family member, and perhaps you don't know what to say or do to help them, then I wholeheartedly recommend buying this book. Read it before you gift it or buy a copy for you and a copy for them.

Newcastle, Australia



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ISBN: 9780241270776
ISBN-10: 0241270774
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 28th May 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.24
Edition Number: 1

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