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Don't Ask for the Dead Man's Golf Clubs:
What to Do and Say (and What Not to) When a Friend Loses a Loved One

Lynn Kelly

Through what may seem to be a series of simple comments, observations and epigrams, Kelly tells an essential truth; in life, there are no guarantees, there are no promises, there are no certainties other than death. How we deal with it, for good or ill, is what makes us human.

"This is a book that touched me, enraged me, made me laugh, cry and remember. I remembered those who had gone before and those I could not bear to lose.

"And I thought of my grandfather. His fishing gear. And all the friends who appeared before his body was cold asking for just something to remember him by.

"The truth is here, in a way that provides better advice and more insight than a hundred grief therapy books. It is the human experience—shared.

"This small book fills a large void in helping friends figure out how to show their support to those who have lost a loved one. Full of practical advice culled from interviews with survivors of all ages, the book suggests things to say and do and what not to say or do—an invaluable guide for friends of survivors." Tom Auer, Publisher, Bloomsbury Review

Book Description
People from across the country who have lost family members dear to them provide practical suggestions on what friends can do to comfort a friend. This book emphasizes the importance of support from friends. Comments include what to say, what to write and how to help now as well as over time. The book also includes advice on what not to do.

Widowed at age 34 and left with three small children, author Lynn Kelly said she wrote the book because so many people asked her what they should say and do for a friend who lost a loved one.

Some friends do things that are so incredibly kind that you can never begin to repay them, Kelly said. On the other hand, while no friend wants to say or do the wrong thing in this situation, they sometimes do, and it hurts.

I did some research and found little available for those who wanted to support a grieving friend. I knew what I thought was helpful, but I wondered what others thought, so I decided to find out. I interviewed people across the country, ages 17 to 90, from all walks of life, who have suffered all kinds of loss. This book is a compilation of their suggestions as well as my own. It is meant to provide friends of the bereaved some ideas on how to comfort a friend, and in so doing, I think people will find they receive a little comfort for themselves. Lynn Kelly

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Updated January, 2005

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