Book Review Grieving the Death of a Friend


BY: Laurie Mason, MSSA, LISW-S

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

​Grieving the Death of a Friend - Harold Ivan Smith

The death of a friend is very often felt intensely and yet may go unrecognized by society. In his book, Grieving the Death of a Friend, Harold Ivan Smith shares his personal friend loss experiences as well as why this type of loss is often so painful. He illustrates this well through his conversational writing style and his use of quotations from other sources.

In this enlightening book, Mr. Smith examines “The Friending” process and shows how men and women’s friendships change as they reach adulthood. In his chapters, “The Remembering” and “The Reconciling,” he discusses ways to honor and remember the friend who has died. It is not about getting over the death, rather welcoming the thoughts and memories.

He uses a quote from bestselling author Helen Fitzgerald, which helps captures the nature of why the death of a friend can be so painful. “Don’t be surprised if you grieve for a friend more than you did a recently deceased relative. The old saying ‘you pick your friends, relatives are thrust upon you’ holds true here. Friends are special people in our eyes because we hold them to be. Friends fill time in our lives that will be vacant when they die.”

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