The Grief Handbook is an indispensable tool to help families and friends navigate the grief they experience after a loved one has passed away. This book, from the pen of local writer Bridget McNulty, was released in July last year, and is a project that arose from the author’s own grief after her mother suddenly passed away from cancer in 2019.
Speaking to ehospice, McNulty says that her mother’s unexpected and sudden passing just 13 days after receiving a cancer diagnosis led her on a search for a resource that could help her navigate the grief she was feeling. Despite looking far and wide, McNulty couldn’t find a to-the-point guide to recognising and managing grief, as all the literature available was either “too dense and philosophical, or too religious”.
“I was looking for some space to be really angry and really sad and channel that in some way, and some words of hope and inspiration to get me through the darkest days. I wanted a handbook – literally a hand to lead me through my grief. I couldn’t find it, and so I wrote it.”
In The Grief Handbook McNulty draws on her own experience of the grief she experienced when her mother died, but also offers practical advice and expert psychological insights to help the bereaved find peace in a way that suits them. McNulty emphasises that bereavement is by no means something that can be tackled using a one-size-fits all approach, and that everyone handles grief differently. For this reason, the book also features an interactive journal, which allows the friends and family of someone that has passed away to process their feelings at a pace that they prefer, while still looking their bereavement in the eye and coming to terms with their loss.
McNulty’s mother spent her last days in the care of the Highway Hospice in KwaZulu-Natal, and the help and comfort that this palliative care provider offered to her mother and to her moved McNulty to donate R10 from each book that is sold to hospices across the country via the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA).
Says the CEO of the HPCA, Ewa Skowronska, “We are so grateful to Bridget for her generosity. The pandemic has hit hospices hard. They have been caring for their usual patients, as well as patients with Covid-19 complications, throughout this challenging time. We are very dependent on donations, and with the economic situation in South Africa, it has unfortunately resulted in the closure of 14 hospices in 2020 and 2021. So, funds from a book that has so resonated with us, is a great gift.”
The Grief Handbook can be purchased on Takealot, where it has already garnered many excellent reviews, with one reader writing, “This is THE book to buy if you’re grieving or wondering how to support those that are. None of us really know how to go about grief, but Bridget McNulty comfortingly reassures her readers that whichever method one chooses, they’re doing a brilliant job just by surviving the process. I cannot rave about this book enough!”
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Purchase The Grief Handbook here.