A loss—whether it be of a loved one, a career, or anything else of importance—shapes the rest of a person’s life. It leaves a void that can never really be filled. But there are healthy ways to deal with that loss—ways that permit life to go on and even be strengthened. Yeagley teaches us to say goodbye to those things we have lost.
Dealing with such issues as divorce, loss of home, and the emotional pain of problems that simply will not go away, he shows how we can successfully cope with primary losses and secondary losses, or the loss of all those things in our life entwined with the primary loss. When a loved one dies or leaves, for example, we also lose all those things that we did with the individual, and we may spend the rest of our lives discovering and coping with the secondary losses. We may feel unending guilt or regret over things we wish we had or hadn’t done.
Yeagley also discusses the constant grief endured by caretakers such as nurses, physicians, and the families of sick and dying persons, and offers practical ways to deal with it.