When my 11 year-old stepdaughter was murdered back in 1984...
I remember thinking, when Angela was murdered, that I had to find some guidance, some books that would help us understand how to survive the murder of a loved one.
Since I had been a writer all my life, my inclination was to go to the library and ask a reference librarian.
To my surprise, she mentioned the word bereavement.
Now I had no idea what bereavement was.
She walked me to the stacks and there, on about 2 full shelves, they stared at me and I stared at them.
After a short while, I realized I wasn’t finding books that met my needs.
Some were on losing a baby.
Some on losing someone to suicide.
Others were for widows and widowers.
And still others were for people who were in the process of dying.
So to make it a little easier on myself, I just pulled them all down on the floor and arched them all around my folded legged body, with my back up against the stacks for support.
Little did I know I would be there for many hours.
Actually, all afternoon.
The time slipped away as I went through each one of them, placing the irrelevant on my left side and the possible on my right.
When all was done, I only left with two books on how to survive the death of a child.
And in the back of one, The Bereaved Parent, were resources in the last chapter.
It was there I found Sid and Barbara who offered a support group once a month for parents of murdered children on Long Island, New York.
My former husband and I had both grown up on Long Island and I knew exactly where they lived.
It was 24 miles to their home but on a Friday night it could take up to an hour for the drive.
Somehow, it didn’t matter.
Angela was killed in July and the first meeting we attended was at the end of August that year.
It took every ounce of emotional and physical energy to go to that group. It’s not the type of group anyone wants to become a part of.
It turned out there were four other couples there that night.
And they would all become like family to us as we moved forward in our grieving process.
But I always wished a librarian or someone would have known just the right books to refer us to when we needed it.
There was no book on homicide then.
And, even now, there are few, mostly because all of us who have experienced a murder of a loved one haven’t put our experiences down for others to learn from.
It’s just so painful.
As time passed, our small little support group needed a larger meeting space and eventually we obtained use of a facility not too far away.
It grew to over 80 people on a Friday night all trying to deal with the horrific death of a loved one.
We couldn’t get enough of each other because our fellow members were the only ones who truly understood what we were going through.
After the meetings, many of us would meet at a local diner and talk for several hours more.
It was truly a life-saving group of people.
Eventually, I knew I would have to write several books on grief – ones that would get to the main points.
Many books I had the ability to review when developing The National Directory of Bereavement Support Groups and Services, were edited by professors who, along with their colleagues, all contributed a chapter so they could claim they wrote many books.
Or a journalist would write the story of someone who was bereaved.
Or a Ph.D would write a book including small chapters on different types of grief when a bereaved individual only wanted to read about their exact type of grief.
All the other information was useless to them. It was just a better book for students.
Or a writer would research and write a book on some area of grief they themselves never experienced.
None of those books seemed to help me.
So I decided that the three most important areas of grief that you need at the beginning or when you're ready are:
- how to help yourself as an adult
- how to help grieving children and
- how to survive the holidays
And I didn’t want them to be 200 and 300 page books because we bereaved individuals don’t have the capacity and energy to get through them and find the most important information that we need. So, these three books were born...
Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One's Death How to Help a Grieving Child After a Loved One's Death
Holiday Grief: How to Cope with Stress, Anxiety and Depression After a Loved One's Death
A lot has happened since 1984.
We have the technology to simply speak into our phone and get almost any piece of knowledge we desire.
But, even with that, we still find ourselves researching for hours on the internet for books that would best help us with the grieving process.
So to make it much easier for you, I've created this three (or two) book Bundle of Hope.
It has all the most important points and information you need to help yourself and your children, if you have them or care for them, as you move through the grieving process.
And if you are helping someone who is bereaved, this information is also for you. To know what your friend or family member is going through and how to support them along their journey.
In Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death, you will learn about the: I. Myths Behind the Grieving Process II. Stages of Grief III. Manifestations of Grief - Emotional Challenges - Physical Challenges - Social Challenges - Intellectual Challenges - Spiritual Challenges - Financial Challenge IV. Effects of Grief on Marriage V. Effects of Grief on Children VI. Relationships with Family, Friends and Business Colleagues VII. Holidays, Anniversaries and Special Occasions VIII. Honoring Your Loved One IX. A Final Note X. Where to Find Help: Organizations for Those Grieving a Loved One’s Death XI. Selected Bibliography
In How To Help A Grieving Child After a Loved One’s Death, you will learn about:
I. Myths Behind the Grieving Process II. Stages of Grief III. Effects of Grief on Children IV. What Grieving Children Need to Know V. How Children Understand Death at Various Ages VI. Preparing Your Young Person for the Funeral and Memorial Service VII. What to Say | What Not to Say VIII. Helping Young Children Through the Grieving Process IX. Allowing Family and Friends to Help As You Comfort Your Children X. Holidays, Anniversaries and Special Occasions XI. Honoring Your Loved One XII. A Final Note XIII. Where to Find Help: Organizations for Those Grieving a Loved One’s Death XIV. Selected Bibliography
In Holiday Grief, How to Cope with Stress, Anxiety and Depression After a Loved One’s Death, you will learn about:
Welcome, my warrior… Introduction - How to Cope during this Season
I. Helping the Little Ones in Your Life during Christmas/ Holidays II. Support III. Christmas IV. Christmas/Holiday Gatherings and Party Invitations V. Cleaning Your Home for Holiday Events VI. Overnight Guests VII. Christmas/Holiday Baking VIII. Christmas/Holiday Cards IX. Christmas Tree Decorating X. Decorating Your Home XI. Christmas/Holiday Gift Shopping XII. Christmas/Holiday Gift Wrapping XIII. Christmas/Holiday Meal XIV. Ways to Include Your Loved One in Your Festivities XV. Attending Christmas and Holiday Services XVI. Visiting the Cemetery/Place of Remembrance XVII. New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day XVIII. Taking Inventory/Creating a Game Plan for the New Year, A New Life XIX. Conclusion
So as you can see, the most important, precise information that you need to learn about the grieving process is within these three books.
And that was the intent when I wrote them. No fluff.
No searching online for hours trying to figure out which books would be the best for you.
No searching for support groups for just the right type of loss which you have endured because I've researched and included a comprehensive list of the national organizations in the back of the books just for you.
And even though many are based in the USA, you can connect with them to use their resources and knowledge and possibly a contact in your part of the world.
As I’ve said in many episodes of my weekly podcast, The Mary Mac Show, the very best support system you can use is with other families who have endured the exact type of loss that you are going through.
If your loved one took their life, attend groups for suicide survivors.
If your loved one was murdered, attend groups for survivors of homicide victims.
If you are widowed, attend groups for those who have experienced the death of a spouse.
If you have experienced the death of a child, or infant child, search out those groups.
You don’t have to look online, you can simply go to the back of my books.
I’ve done the work for you. All the links are right there!
And when it comes to books, well I’ve reviewed hundreds of books on the grieving process.
And the best ones have made it to the back of my books.
They are conveniently separated by need.
Books for adults and children.
Books for each type of loss.
Even pet loss, since many times this is the first loss for a child, but, of course, we adults are also devastated when we lose our furbabies.
They can be such a big part of our lives.
Perhaps even our child or children.
So, do take advantage of this two or three book Bundle of Hope today.
It was very important that we could deliver them digitally so no matter where you live in this great big world, you could obtain their knowledge immediately.
Once you click the button below for the book bundle you prefer, you will be forwarded to our cart.
You can use your credit or debit card, if that is easier for you.
And once payment is complete, you will receive an email with a link to your login page to create your own portal where the books are available for you to download to your computer or you can read them immediately right here on our site, no matter where you may find yourself in this entire world.
It’s that simple.
And your downloadable version will stay on your computer, laptop, tablet or phone for you to continue reading and refer back to whenever you need to.
Thank you for joining our family, my warrior.
Mary Mac xoxo
P.S. Remember to subscribe to my podcast, The Mary Mac Show, for additional knowledge as you move through this painful time. We can be found on all podcast platforms.
P.S.S. And also remember to share our site and my podcast with those who are currently grieving or who will endure the death of a loved one in the future.
“After debunking myths about the grieving process, that it lasts only a few months, Mary M. McCambridge (editor, The National Directory of Bereavement Support Groups and Services) traces the stages of grief (shock, denial, despair, renewal), manifestations (e.g. regrets, depression, anger, workaholism) and effects on marriage, children, friendship and work relationships in Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death.
Even if we’ve seen others mourn a loss, says Mary, we may be taken by surprise at our responses to the death of an intimate, particularly the sense of being out of control that often accompanies bereavement. Grieving readers will appreciate this warm, wise guide by an experienced bereavement counselor and crime victims’ rights advocate.”
-- Publisher Weekly
“Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death is an invaluable guidebook on how to offer comfort to the bereaved.
Mary touches on every aspect of the aftermath of loss, from dispelling myths surrounding the grieving process to how to deal with anger and stress, to how to handle the belongings of a lost loved one and how to help one’s children through the grieving process.
Mary has also reviewed over 175 other books on the grieving process and categorized them by need in this clear, simple, helpful, and solace-filled reference.
Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death is very highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library and grief counseling collections.”
-- Midwest Book Review
“Very well done – informative, supportive. I highly recommend this book to all survivors and especially to those dedicated professionals in this field.”
-- M. Regina Asaro, MS, RN Psychiatric Nurse/Consultant Co-Author The Military Widow
“When we lose a loved one, we are in a wave of confusion and find it hard to deal with the new me – the person who has been changed unlike ever before because of death. We daily face new emotions, new kinks in our relationships and old myths that need to be discarded. How do we do it all?
Author and Counselor, Mary M. McCambridge, shows us how to understand what is happening to our lives in our raw bereavement in her newest book, Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death. This book is a practical guide to living life after the unthinkable death of a loved one has happened to us. Mary has the gift to hold our hand and tenderly show us how.”
-- Alice J. Wisler Editor Tributes Book Review
"This sensitive, yet practical book goes some way to answering the many agonising questions posed by the bereft and suggests many strategies that may bring comfort during the grieving process.
Mary is an American bereavement specialist who has written several books on the many aspects of death and loss. She is quick to point out the 'uniqueness' of grief to each individual so affected and stresses that there is no normal time span and no set time frame for recovery. She goes into the well-documented stages of grief - shock, denial, despair, renewal, etc. - with great insight and compassion, yet always bringing some positive ideas to help during these stages.
The chapter on children's grief is especially illuminating, as is the section dealing with those agonising anniversaries of Christmas, Birthdays, etc. She discusses the effects of grief on marriage and also how financial worries need to be addressed during mourning. Mary ventures into the spiritual area of sorrow and speaks most movingly of how we try to make "bargains" with God. This book has a comprehensive section on where to find help, which refers to the USA. However, I feel that similar institutions do exist in the UK and the book list is also very extensive. In conclusion, I feel that this is a useful and thoughtful book with a great deal of genuine understanding of grief and much compassion for those who grieve.”
-- E.B. Daniels The Compassionate Friends United Kingdom