As Bertman says in her introduction, this book "is meant to refuel therapists, counselors, social workers, physicians, nurses, clergy and all others who are committed to providing support to those in grief." While the caregivers' focus is on those in grief, they also have to give some attention to their own bodies, minds and spirits. This collection of essays, poems and stories, illustrated with drawings and photographs, examines grief from several perspectives.

The opening section looks at professional roles in experiencing and understanding suffering and empathy. Section two provides several descriptions of how caregivers use the arts for themselves and for those they companion. Section three is devoted to lessons from old and new cultures. The final section explores basic needs of grieving people.


This rich and varied collection is a valuable resource of information about how to achieve healing through art, music, photography, therapeutic touch, drama, poetry, movies, puppets, the natural world, etc. It also contains powerful stories and poems which instruct in their own way.

Cortney Davis , for example, achieves a wonderful empathy in her poem "Becoming the Patient," while Carol Picard, in "The Nurse and the Art Are One," gives a touching interpretation/meditation on the Vietnam Women's Memorial. Drawings by suffering children speak volumes, as do sculptures by a woman who is trying to recover from a mastectomy.



Place Published

Amityville, N.Y.




Sandra L. Bertman

Page Count