When psychotherapist Jeanne Safer lost her mother, she was determined to turn her loss into an opportunity for insight and growth. Through her own experience, her work with patients, and in-depth interviews, Safer shows that the death of a parent can be a catalyst for change. In this updated paperback edition, Safer includes a helpful resource section, including information on hospice care, rehabilitation programs, and more. Bold, surprising, and compassionate, Death Benefits challenges the idea that loss must simply be endured or overcome.
|Edition description:||First Trade Paper Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Jeanne Safer, PhD, is the author of The Normal One, Beyond Motherhood, and Forgiving and Not Forgiving. She appears frequently on television and radio and has written for O, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and more. She lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Author's Note ix
Introduction: Life After Death 1
Part I Death Changes Everything
Chapter 1 My Death Benefit (Autobiography) 11
Chapter 2 Death Benefits: The Last Taboo 49
Chapter 3 Going Through the Stuff: Choosing a Legacy 63
Part II Life Benefits: Body, Mind, and Spirit
Chapter 4 Using the Good China: Deserving a Life at Last 81
Chapter 5 My Body, Myself: Health and Beauty Benefits 91
Chapter 6 Till Death Do Us Part: Marriage and Divorce 103
Chapter 7 Lifted Up in My Mother's Arms: Religious Epiphanies 119
Chapter 8 A Voice of My Own: Creative Self-Expression 131
Part III Orphans' Benefits: Seeing Parents with New Eyes
Chapter 9 Father Knows Best? The Punitive Parent Dies 145
Chapter 10 Mom's Best Friend: The End of Emotional Caretaking 157
Part IV In Morte Veritas: The Insights Death Brings
Chapter 11 The Eleventh Hour: Near-Death Revelations 171
Chapter 12 Perspectives from the Deathspace 183
Chapter 13 In Their End Is My Beginning: Cultivating Death Benefits 205
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A different view of how to look at the loss of a loved one. Most of us will lose someone close to us with whom we have ambivalent feelings. All close relationships foster ambivalent feelings. How does a person cope with these conflicting feelings while dealing with grief. Safer gives us all permission to feel the relief of the ending of parts of the relationship that were difficult while at the same time grieving the loss of the loving parts of the relationship.
Dr. Safer uses a rich array of stories gleaned from patients dealing with the death of one or both parents to present an airtight case for how the death of a parent can hold a multitude of benefits for even the oldest of orphans. Though Dr. Safer becomes repetitive when she's really trying to pound home a point, all in all she is quite sincere and articulate in her desire to help the grieving.
I wanted this book to help, and I'm sure it does for some, but for me it seemed that it was probably more therapeutic for Ms Safer to write than it was for me to read.I think it would be more helpful to a reader who wasn't all that close to their parent... or had a very controlling parent, upon the parent's passing.