Cover image for Mourning and dancing : a memoir of grief and recovery
Title:
Mourning and dancing : a memoir of grief and recovery
Author:
Miller, Sally Downham.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Deerfield Beach, Fla. : Health Communications, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xiii, 215 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781558746718
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library BF575.G7 M55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Robert Downham died on Wednesday, August 23, 1967 of Reticulum Cell Sarcoma. Three weeks before he died, he did not know he was sick. Nine days after diagnosis, he was dead. This is his story, and the story of Sally, his young wife and mother of his two young children, and all the others whose lives touched his life - and who had to go on living. It is about life and death and grief and the lessons that the survivors learned.This inspiring work chronicles Sally Miller's thirty-year journey of grief and recovery. A professional educator, Dr. Miller has constructed a book that leads readers through their grief as they read about hers. Along with her own moving story, Miller provides a framework that readers can use to identify and process their own grief. Mourning and Dancing is designed for people who are trying to cope with any loss, even if years have passed since the loss or losses occurred. Its format includes true-life stories of the author's family and individuals with whom she has walked through grief.

The vignette-style of presentation allows the newly aggrieved to read the book in small doses, a key ingredient for healing. Written after thirty years of learning, this touching book will show readers how to incorporate loss into their lives, how to live with the pain, and how to have hope and heal as a result of that brave endeavor.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter 1 For all it's worth, life holds innumerable disappointments, setbacks and sorrows. The joy of living is humanity's greatest claim--the desire to excel the biggest challenge. And yet, regardless of humanity's stubborn resistance to reversal and hardship and its boast of achievement, the time arrives when words, wisdom and great deeds are totally insufficient. Such an occasion came to pass one week ago, Wednesday August 23rd, when Elwood Panther football coach Bob Downham succumbed in his battle against Hodgkin's Disease. --Gene Conrad, sportswriter Kokomo Tribune, Kokomo, Indiana The First DayRiding north out of Indianapolis, the now-tall fields of corn passed in a blur. My thoughts fastened for a minute on making raspberry jelly, and my eyes scanned the fences for the ripening fruit. But we were on the interstate, moving too fast to see. And besides, it was probably too late for raspberries. What was the date anyway? August something. Oh yes, the twenty-third. I wrote it somewhere earlier in the morning on a form. We passed a roadside billboard showing a man on crutches with his aproned wife and two children standing on their front porch. The caption read: "Coming home is wonderful with Blue Cross/Blue Shield." We had Blue Cross/Blue Shield, too, but my husband wasn't coming home. I wondered how much of the bill Blue Cross/Blue Shield would cover, and I knew that I would never forget the irony of seeing that billboard. The next sign I saw on the highway gave directions for Methodist Hospital, where our son was born, and I allowed my thoughts to move from death to life. . . . Nineteen Months EarlierThe labor was hard; the baby weighed ten pounds, and when he announced his arrival into the world, I passed out. I came to in the recovery room and Bob was with me, looking haggard and worried. A nurse was checking a catheter tube and my body was crying out to be left alone. I tried to move away, but Bob touched my shoulder and told me to try to relax. "Everything's going to be okay," he said as he took my hand, yet kept an eye on what the nurse was doing. "The baby . . . ," I queried into his concerned face, "is the baby okay?" "Yes. Fine. Don't worry. Everything's going to be fine," he said in short, clipped words. The nurse gave me a shot, and I winced from the pain and the fact that I still had not been told what I wanted so desperately to hear. I felt myself slipping into unconsciousness again, so I squeezed Bob's hand, as if to hold on to him until I found out about the baby. "But . . . what is it?" I could barely stay with him. "A boy," he said, with no joy, no smile, and I slid into a darkened realm, away from the brightness around me. "A little boy!" I thought, "we have a little boy. Tamara has a little brother. . . . we have a son." But in the ensuing hours of troubled slumber, my mind kept replaying Bob's empty words of reassurance, the concern in his eyes, the way he kept telling me not to worry. What was ther Excerpted from Mourning and Dancing: A Memoir of Grief and Recovery by Sally Downham Miller, Sally Miller All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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