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by
02 November 2006

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Sooner or later, sorrow will enter all our lives, says Hans Stolp, a Protestant minister in the Netherlands. He has written When a Loved One Dies: How to go on after saying goodbye, to help with the process of grieving, and the transformation it brings (O Books, £9.99 Church Times Bookshop £9; 1-903816-95-5).

A personal account of coping with her son and his terminal bone cancer is Sue Grant’s Standing on His Own Two Feet. She promised Alexander that he wouldn’t die in hospital; and her book includes ways of providing the best possible care at home, and maintaining the person’s dignity until the end. It would be of interest to nurses, and social and health-care workers (Jessica Kingsley, £13.95 Church Times Bookshop  £12.55; 1-843103-68-0).

Time to Go: Alternative funerals: The importance of saying goodbye deals with ways to “create a personal and meaningful rite of passage”. These include a sea burial at sunset, followed by champagne at a maritime museum; a woodland burial with a bamboo coffin and the grave marked by a bush; a burial in pastureland, the singing of “We plough the fields and scatter”, and a picnic at which everyone flew a kite; a cheerful cremation, with the body in a bright-red coffin and Beatles songs played on a guitar, followed by mince pies and mulled wine. The book, which also details the music and readings that formed part of each funeral, is by Jean Francis, and can be obtained from her for £10 plus p. & p., from Lilac Cottage, 28 Depot Road, Horsham RH13 5HA.

Called to Care: A handbook for helpers, by Elisabeth Wilson, is a slim paperback written by a professional social worker and aimed at those working with the dying, the bereaved, and the suicidal, or at anyone who feels called to that work (Church in the Market Place Publications, Buxton, £5; 1-899147-35-7).

 

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