Because You Care

            Hurting is human, but unfortunately most of us do not know how to help when a grief-stricken friend is suffering. We feel a sense of helplessness.
            Most of us, however, are caring, compassionate human beings who sincerely want to help—if we just knew what to do and how to do it. This book provides practical ideas about what we can do when a friend faces one of life's most shattering experiences—the death of a loved one.
            Based on years of research and numerous interviews with people who have experienced painful deathblows, the author tells how people might reach out in ways all of us are capable of to help bereaved friends and relatives. The insightful and heartwarming illustrations in the book come straight from real life.
            Much thought and serious study underlie the suggestions and substance of Seven Steps for Handling Grief. This book is psychologically valid and spiritually sound. All suggestions given are based on universal human needs.
            The suggestions in this book can also aid in sustaining those who are stricken with grief over other losses besides death such as divorce or other broken relationships, termination of a job, decline of financial security, a move from familiar surroundings and friends, the "empty nest" syndrome experienced by some when grown children leave the home, or the destruction of a home and personal belongings caused by a fire or horrendous storm. Other heart-wrenching losses, or "little deaths" as Elisabeth Kübler-Ross calls them, may include having to put an aging parent in a nursing home, having a baby with multiple handicaps, amputation or loss of the use of an arm or leg, loss of sight or hearing, or reduced social standing resulting from moral improprieties or imprisonment of a family member.
            Some other situations in which caring individuals can offer solace involve the death of dreams, such as the inability to have a child, unfulfilled commitments, and failing to secure a desired job or promotion. The poet John Greenleaf Whittier captured the poignancy of these unfulfilled dreams:
      For all sad words of tongue or pen,
      The saddest are these: "It might have been!"
            Seven Steps for Handling Grief is not sad; rather it is practical and helpful. The book describes sensitive life-enhancing acts of reaching out in friendship to the grief-stricken. Everyone should read this book, for all of us will need its message sooner or later. I believe in the power of positive thinking, and I like this book—Seven Steps for Handling Grief—because it is written with compassionate understanding and empathy, offering positive ways that individuals can help the bereaved.
            The author is uniquely qualified to write this book. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in human development and behavior, and has an outstanding record in university teaching, research and writing, and counseling. The author has herself personally experienced many of the losses about which she writes and is therefore provided with an unusual personal and professional background. From a storehouse of knowledge and experience, Dr. Chesser offers a definitive and moving book that is well designed to meet an important human need.
            Thomas Huxley once said, "The great end of life is not knowledge but action." I believe the real measure of a book is whether it prompts people to take meaningful and appropriate action. Seven Steps for Handling Grief will help you do just that—it will help you take steps to turn grief of futility and despair into understanding, faith, and hope.
      —Norman Vincent Peale