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Grief & Bereavement Issues

by Nancy Geller
A.R.E. Press, 2002
Review by Su Terry on Jun 6th 2002

Beyond Goodbye

There is nothing more emotionally devastating than the death of one’s own child. When Nancy Geller’s two-year old son died, she had no religious resources on which to draw. Her search for meaning is a pilgrimage from despair to hope and from science to faith and proves to be a profoundly moving read.

Beyond Goodbye is an exploration of life, death, and life-after-death. In 1996, Nancy Geller’s two-year old son drowned. She was devastated. A nominal Jew, she found no comfort from either her religious tradition or the funeral ritual.  Her medical training also offered her no solace or any hope. When her five-year old daughter began asking question about ghosts and claimed to see her deceased brother, Geller began to wonder if perhaps there was not something to life-after-death after all. Her medical training left her no doubt that death was the physical end, but what about a spirit or a soul? Could some part of a person continue to exist after the body dies? Her research into life-after-death is a logical exploration of this topic. She explores the whole spectrum of the topic, but she is not easily swayed by new age gurus or by traditional religion. Her search is one that is logical and scientific whenever possible.

I found this book to be an excellent overview of the topic. Geller’s approach is logical and scientific. She struggles with her medical training and her faith does not come easily. She review sources and details each one’s strength and weaknesses. Her logical assessment of her resources and her own developing beliefs is often times brutal. She admits when she reaches dead ends and when her logic fails her. Even though the reader is well aware that the author wants to find proof in life-after-death as a means of hope, her logical searching and scientific testing of theories is still very honest. She is seeking real hope, not pie in the sky comfort. I found her search and her struggle very real and quite believable.

 Nancy Geller is a physician. She received her medical degrees from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She did her residence in internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine. Her husband is a former Navy doctor. She is a mother of six children (five still living) and currently lives with her husband and children in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Beyond Goodbye is a deeply moving, profound, and logical book. It may be too emotionally devastating for some one in the midst of grief, but can be very comforting for some one well beyond the crisis of bereavement. With its many cited and critiqued resources, it is not only a reader’s guide to the literature, but a wonderful beginning place or springboard for some one interested in exploring some aspect of the existence of life after death.  I definitely recommend this book.



© 2002 Su Terry

Su Terry: Education: B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in Library Science from Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S. in Religious Studies/Pastoral Counseling from Fairfield University, a M.Div. in Professional Ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual Direction from Sacred Heart University. She is a Licensed Minister of the United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor in Library Science at Dowling College, Long Island, NY. Interests in Mental Health: She is interested in the interplay between psychology, biology, and mysticism. Her current area of research is in the impact of hormonal fluctuation in female Christian mystics.