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Grief Like No Other: Surviving the Violent Death of Someone You Love

NCJ Number
Kathleen O'Hara M.A.
Date Published
252 pages
This book offers help to people who have experienced traumatic loss.
Violent death which includes suicide, drug overdose, and death by vehicular homicide and drunk drivers causes survivors a different kind of grief. From intense feelings of guilt, anger, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to years spent dealing with the legal ramifications, those left behind in the wake of violence have to contend with unique circumstances that are different from a natural death. As a therapist who has counseled many people through their grief, and as a mother whose college-age son was brutally murdered, the author developed a seven-stage journey to overcoming a traumatic loss; that seven-stage journey is at the heart of the book. Kathleen O'Hara offers concrete, practical, and compassionate steps for those who are grieving, allowing family and friends safe passage through this harrowing journey. The book offers help to those left behind to cope realistically with feelings of guilt, terror, anger, and anxiety; to develop inner resources and a support network essential to survival; and to find real answers to the most difficult question of how to go on after losing a loved one to violence. It is also recommended reading for victim service providers, therapists, and all those who can only imagine what it must be like to experience traumatic loss. The seven stages include: telling the story and speaking out to help gain mastery over emotions; discovering the eight qualities of inner resources-courage, hope, faith, spirituality, optimism, humor, patience, joy, and compassion, and learning how to use them; finding outside guidance and resources for assistance; learning to deal with the struggles of birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays; learning to practice the three principles of acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude; generating creativity to transform grief and sorrow into honor for the departed; and finally, embracing emerging possibilities in the future. List of resources