It's interesting to read a book like Greider's and see what struck her about my own work and how my thoughts contributed to her analysis and conclusions. For example, in a chapter on "Healing Work," Greider picks up on my comments about the practice of lament and says,
Grieving for his father, Albert Hsu wished for something like a Christian version of the Jewish tradition of sitting shiva, where lament is shared--and ameliorated. Lament was powerful for Albert as he sought healing after his father's suicide, because it felt to him to be an expression of love, some balance to the anger that was also predominant in his expression of grief. 'The agony we undergo is the score on which our love ballad is written.' Lament is a part of healing insofar as it serves as an outlet for the pain of loss that would otherwise undermine our capacity to do the work of rebuilding our lives.I'm grateful for Greider's work. The kinds of books in her study were of great help to me in my own grieving process, and this all reminds me again of the power of personal story and the ministry of books, that sometimes books can articulate for us what we are yet struggling to understand or express.
. . . Sometimes cultural tradition provides us such mechanisms: as he mourned his father, Albert Hsu realized anew the comfort provided through the Chinese custom of having at the funeral and afterward in the home a prominent portrait of the deceased. Whatever their specific forms, age-old practices of lament and remembrance provide structures that help make the expression of grief life-giving and not only a reckoning with death. [pp. 240-41]