Niles woman’s book on grief published Aug. 1

Published 12:51 pm Wednesday, August 13, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A local expert on death and grief counselling has recently written a book which was published nationwide on Aug. 1.
Linda Van Dyke, who received her master's degree in ministry from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind., has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for more than thirty years.
She began counselling in the area of death and dying at Logan Service Provider in South Bend, Ind., while developing a life cycle curriculum to help people with disabilities understand problematic issues.
Van Dyke is also responsible for establishing Niles-based Luvability Ministries, a non-denominational not-for profit organization that networks with agencies, organizations and communities of faith and who provide services for those with disabilities.
Her new book, "Lessons in Grief and Death: Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities in the Healing Process" is a guide to ways of helping people suffering a death loss to grieve healthily and move toward closure.
The book, which it took Van Dyke a year to write, is published by nationally renowned publishing company High Tide Press, a company well known for publishing works related to disabled people.
Van Dyke said her book is written for professionals, but also for people with a general interest in the topics she deals with, which details how to explain death losses ranging from children, to parents, to terrorist attacks.
Her inspiration to write the book was multi-levelled, but her main source of inspiration was her own disabled son Danny, who experienced the loss of a grandfather.
But, her love for the arts and using arts as a communication tool was also an important inspiration for her to write the book.
As was the many people who simply told her to write the book so they themselves could benefit from her extensive knowledge about death and grief counselling.
Van Dyke, however, is not new to writing.
She has always written and loves to write, often using metaphors in her writing because that is the way many children with disabilities learn.
Van Dyke said the High Tide Press' editing crew would often send the manuscript back to her, asking her to elaborate on and further explain some sections because her approach to writing isn't that of a research writer.
Having worked with and around disabled people for so many years, Van Dyke thinks there is a real love for disabled people in this community.
She also said it seems like churches are opening their doors more to disabled people, perhaps because of the size of the community.
Although her first book is fresh of the shelves, available in paper back only, Van Dyke already has four new ideas.
She will develop those ideas while under the wings of her current publisher.
Proceeds from the book sales goes back to Luvability and will be used to help people with disabilities.