1. Twyeffort, Linda L. Reviewer

Article Content

I Remember You: A Grief Journal Laynee Gilbert L.O.A. Publications PO Box 6107 San Jose CA 95150-6107 Tele: 408-806-5756 E-mail: ISBN 0-9678966-0-6 200 pages $15.00


There is nothing more personal than death. In I Remember You: A Grief Journal, Gilbert allows the newly bereaved to explore a new relationship with the person who has died as well as the bereaved person's reaction to the absence of that person from his or her life. Gilbert has an easy and almost conversational style that gently leads the reader through a 15-page introductory section about the grief process. Within this section, the reader is given permission to feel and to grow at an individual pace. Normal grief work is explained and presented in a framework from which the reader can check personal progress. The reader is encouraged to practice nonjudgmental acceptance of self and the death through the introductory passages.


The information in the introduction is forthright though gentle and provides a means of processing loss immediately and over time. The breadth of material was limited and so more easily digested by the person experiencing the loss. Each idea is thoughtfully broken up into titled sections and is accompanied by quotes that further express the universality of loss.


After the introduction, there are 162 pages that can be used for self-journaling, notes, reflections, drawings, or whatever else the reader would like to put on the pages. Quotes are placed throughout to stimulate thoughts and feelings. They also serve to reinforce the message that grief and loss can be a catalyst of growth and change for the survivor/bereaved. The quotes are drawn from easily recognized masters (Shakespeare, Emerson, Jung) and lesser known writers (Rilke), from recent authors (Grolman, Kubler-Ross) and ancient scholars (Tzu, Buddah). The accompanying art work is powerful and compelling yet consoling and relaxing. Gilbert has created a harmonious blending of different styles and periods of art work through the use of consistent coloring and tones.


I found myself choosing to use Gilbert's book on a number of different levels. After the loss of my 55-year-old brother-in-law I chose it as a bridge for his wife as she started her long road toward living with the absence of the man who had comforted her for the previous 28 years. I shared it with our hospice chaplin as a resource for memorial services and committals. I also gave it to a newly widowed woman who had worked with her husband as a team to reach the decision to discontinue his treatment knowing that death would come swiftly.


As with all grief tools in hospice, this one will not fit all people. I do think, however, those in the early to middle adult years who are comfortable with introspective writing will find I Remember You; A Grief Journal a pleasing vehicle for self exploration and discovery. The book is well produced and worthy of the cost. It is available at a 40% discount with no shipping charges to caregiving organizations.


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