Physicians are familiar with grief. They have learned to accept, better than most of us perhaps, that death, loss, and heartache are a natural and inevitable part of life.
But for people who are suffering from their first major loss, it feels anything but natural. They may feel as if they’re going crazy. They can’t eat, can’t sleep, and can’t imagine that life will ever be worth living again. They have wild mood swings — bouts of rage and then plunges into loneliness and depression. They are often gripped with fear that the pain will never go away.
Grief counselor and internal medicine physician D. Keith Cobb, M.D., who has had more contact with death and grieving than most people, wants to help survivors understand more about how they’re feeling and what they can do to help themselves heal. Based on his own experiences and those of patients and families he's worked with, Dr. Cobb has written a short, sensitive new book for people who are going through the painful grieving process following a major loss.
In The Grief Survival Handbook: A Guide from Heartache to Healing (Trafford Publishing), Dr. Cobb offers keen observations, useful strategies, and targeted recommendations to help grievers move through a healing process that feels right for them. He devotes a succinct chapter to each of several topics that are universally difficult, including the death of an adult child, the pain of miscarriage, the grieving child, losing a spouse, and even the grief we suffer from having our heart broken in love.
People grieve in very different ways, says Dr. Cobb. For some people, grieving can take a serious toll on their physical and emotional health. He covers the chemistry of grief — the very real ways grief puts stress on your body, leading to such symptoms as fatigue, lowered immunity, and chest pains. Dr. Cobb reassures readers that these and many other seemingly unrelated symptoms are all quite typical.