Borrowed Narratives: Using Biographical and Historical Grief Narratives with the Bereaving

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Routledge, 2012 - Psychology - 285 pages
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What do Dexter King, Condoleeza Rice, Mackenzie King, Corazon Aquino, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bill Cosby, Tony Dungy, Theodore Roosevelt, George H. W. and Barbara Bush, Caroline Kennedy, Arthur Ashe, Lady Bird Johnson, Colin Powell and C. S. Lewis have in common? They all have significant grief experiences that have shaped their lives in dramatic ways, stories that have also shaped our lives.

Grieving individuals, through "borrowing narratives," look for inspiration in biographic, historical and memoir accounts of political and religious leaders, celebrities, sports figures, and cultural icons. In a time of diminishing trust in heroes and "sainted leaders", who will speak to us from their grief? In a diverse society grief counselors and educators need to identify and "mine" the experienced grief(s) of historical personalities for resources for reflection and meaning-making. This book will help readers:

  • find, "read," evaluate, extract, and adapt historical/biographical materials
  • create bio-narrative resources for use in grief counseling and grief education
  • explore the wide diversity of experienced grief in biographical narratives
  • identify ways to "harness" grief narratives for personal reflection.

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Part II A Sample of Borrowed Narratives
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About the author (2012)

Harold Ivan Smith, DMin, FT, is a speaker, writer, and consultant with Harold Ivan Smith and Associates in Kansas City, Missouri. He is on the teaching faculty of the American Academy of Bereavement/CMI and runs seminars and workshops at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City. In 2009 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Death Education Counseling. His area of research is the grief of US presidents and first ladies.

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