Fatherloss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Deaths of Their Dads 

Fatherloss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Deaths of Their Dads 

by Neil Chethik. (2001)

From Amazon: FatherLoss is a nuanced look at one of the most common and least-studied events in men’s lives. Offering a fresh view of the grieving process and practical advice, this book contains information on: how a son can prepare for his loss; coping immediately following the death; a woman’s role in helping men through it; and the different ways men grieve.

Liberating Losses: When Death Brings Relief

Liberating Losses: When Death Brings Relief, by Jennifer Elison, Ed.D. and Chris McGonigle, Ph.D. (2003)

From Amazon:

When someone close to us dies, the world-our relatives, acquaintances, and society at large-expects us to grieve. Of course, as taboo as it is to admit or talk about, not every death brings with it overwhelming or exclusive sadness. Labeled a “nontraditional grief response” by therapists and counselors, a measure of relief or even happiness is far more common than the clinical description would have us believe. Sometimes we are relieved that our loved one is no longer suffering; at the other end of the spectrum, a death might finally free us of an abusive or unhappy relationship. In either case, feeling any measure of relief breeds guilt and, in turn, continued silence.Jennifer Elison and Chris McGonigle have experienced the discomfort and shame of mixed relief firsthand. In this groundbreaking book, they share their own and others’ stories, compassionate clinical analysis, and pragmatic counsel with other disenfranchised survivors. Shedding light on feelings that many deem insensitive, callous, or even strange, and suggesting ways to come to terms with them, Elison and McGonigle generously validate the reaction so many feel obliged to hide, ultimately relieving the corresponding guilt with which so many are burdened.For more information, please visit the authors’ website: www.liberatinglosses.com

Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression

Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression, by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah. (1998)

The first book to focus on black women and depression, seen through the personal journey of a young black woman’s descent into despair.

Meri Danquah, a “working-class broke,” twenty-two-year-old single mother, began to suffer from a variety of depressive symptoms after she gave birth to her daughter, which led her to suspect that she might be going crazy. Understanding the importance of strength in a world that often undervalues black women’s lives, she shrouded herself and her illness in silence and denial. “Black women are supposed to be strong—caretakers, nurturers, healers of other people—any of the twelve dozen variations of Mammy,” writes Danquah. But eventually, she could no longer deny the debilitating sadness that interfered with her ability to care for her daughter, to pursue her career as a writer, and to engage in personal relationships. “This is how the world feels to me when I am depressed,” she writes. “Everything is blurry, out of focus, fading like a photograph; people seem incapable of change; living feels like a waste of time and effort.”

She moves back to the city of her childhood where she befriends two black women who are also suffering from depression. With their support she confronts the traumatic childhood events—sexual abuse, neglect, and loss—that lie beneath her grief. This is not simply a memoir about depression, it is a powerful meditation on courage and a litany for survival.