• I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye

  • Surviving, Coping, and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One
  • By: Brook Noel, Pamela D. Blair Ph.D.
  • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (214 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Each year about eight million Americans suffer the death of someone close to them. Now, for those who face the challenges of sudden death, there is a hand to hold. Written by two women who have experienced sudden loss, this updated edition of the best-selling bereavement classic will touch, comfort, uplift and console. Authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D., offer a comforting hand to hold for those who are grieving the sudden death of a loved one.

Featured on ABC World News, Friends, and many other shows, this book acts as a touchstone of sanity through difficult times. I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye covers such difficult topics as the first few weeks, suicide, death of a child, children and grief, funerals and rituals, physical effects, homicide and depression. With new material covering the unique circumstances of loss, men and women's grieving styles, religion and faith, myths and misunderstandings, I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye reflects the shifting face of grief.

This book has offered solace to over 80,000 people, ranging from seniors to teenagers and from the newly bereaved to those who lost a loved one years ago. Individuals engulfed by the immediate aftermath will find a special chapter covering the first few weeks.

Tapping their personal histories and drawing on numerous interviews, authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D., explore unexpected death and its role in the cycle of life. I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye provides survivors with a rock-steady anchor from which to weather the storm of pain and begin to rebuild their lives.

©2000 Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D. (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"I highly recommend this book, not only to the bereaved, but to the friends and counselors as well." (Helen Fitzgerald, author of The Grieving Child)

Featured Article: Comforting Audiobooks About Grief and Loss That Actually Help


When it comes to the death of a loved one, there is no easy path forward. Grieving can place significant mental strain on those who are mourning. And because everyone grieves a little differently, it can be hard to know where to turn for help, or what to say to someone who is in the throes of grief. Audiobooks on grief can offer insight to those looking for ways to support the mourning, or a bit of comfort for anyone struggling with loss themselves.

What listeners say about I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye

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Best Grief Book yet

As someone who lost a spouse way too soon, suddenly and unexpectedly, I have found this book to be the best of the five I've read or listened to so far. Start with this book, then you can go on to others.

17 people found this helpful

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All Mourners Should Read This

My son died two months ago, so I have been searching for books to help me get through the mourning process. This book is absolutely perfect. It covers all kinds of relationships with the deceased as well as all kinds of deaths which are unexpected. Though they all did not apply to me, reading about them all helped me understand the common threads throughout all the mourning experiences. This is a very cohesive book. The narrator was perfect with her voice and her nuances so that it was very enjoyable to "read". Every time I meet someone mourning my own son's death or someone else's death, I highly recommend this book.

15 people found this helpful

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The Best of the Best!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye to be better than the print version?

Yes, because your too depressed to read.

What other book might you compare I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye to and why?

I have read them all and non compare.

Which scene was your favorite?

This is not A/P.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

That healing will take along time.

Any additional comments?

If you have suddenly lost a loved on this is the book for you.

9 people found this helpful

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Not for Everybody

I found nothing in this book that I didn't already know, but appreciated the authors' heartfelt attempts to be consoling and practical. Written on an eighth-grade reading level, it will contain cognitive therapy insights only for the unsophisticated, and not much for the unspeakable agony of an educated survivor. Such folk should stick with Joyce Carol Oates and Joan Didion. The performance leaves something to be desired, too, because the reader mispronounces words repeatedly, such as "et cetera," not a real challenge, as "ek cetera." Some of the quoted authors have their names mispronounced as well.

But the worst aspect of this book is that gay survivors simply do not exist for these authors. The unique problems that beset us get not even a token mention. And we are likely to be among the most devastated, because of the lack of family and legal protections. If the authors do a third edition, perhaps they will give us the dignity of not being invisible in yet another way.

7 people found this helpful

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Thank you...

I reasently lost my mother, it's been a pain I had never in my life felt before and couldn't deal on my on so I started taking therapy. My therapist suggested this book and I'm so glad I read it, it has been the best help to understand so many things and answer so many questions after losing her. I personally think that the book gave me more help than the therapist.

6 people found this helpful

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Not what I needed

This book is more for a traumatic death. Not for someone who has lost an elderly parent. It only briefly touched on this. Both of my parents were 79 when they passed but it was sudden and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

4 people found this helpful

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Life changing

This book was life changing with handling the grief process and what to expect. HIGHLY recommended especially for anyone that has experienced a sudden death.

4 people found this helpful

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Chapter numbers are off by one

Chapter two is all about how confused you will be in the first few weeks, yet it is labeled as chapter three, which was very confusing. Maybe what is labeled as chapter 1 is really the preface?

Beyond that glitch, it was great reading a book about sudden death because everything I had read was focused on decline in health and preparing for death. We had no time to prepare.

In chapter 2 they talk about not making any decisions during their the first few weeks but we did not have that option. There was no will and the autopsy delayed the death certificate so it was very hard to get anything done.

There is so much to do that I haven’t had any time to do any of the things that are suggested. We had to fly across the country, liquidate his business property, meet with lawyers, go through, divide, and move all of his personal belongings, deal with whether to have a viewing or not, schedule and pay for the cremation, and negotiate a trust that passed down.

One month has passed and we still are waiting for the cause of death and death certificate. However, when talking to a friend I realized that I was getting caught up in the idea that this is not how the grieving process is supposed to go. How I thought it was supposed to be disappeared as fast as he did. That makes having a book about sudden death even more helpful.

3 people found this helpful

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Great start to understanding your personal grief..

I was given several books after losing a child and took months to touch any of them. Months into the grieving process while on a cross-country road trip, I chose to listen to this one. The stories and situations are relatable and intimate, and a glimmer of hope soon appears on the horizon--even the tiniest ray of light can help get you moving in a forward direction.

2 people found this helpful

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POWERFUL BOOK AND SOOTHING NARRATION

“I wasn’t ready to say goodbye” was a powerful and important book and very needed. The Narrator: Ellen Archer's voice was so soft and soothing and compassionate and also understood our pain losing someone we love with no warning and no chance to say Goodbye. I would listen to all her narrations. The Authors did a truly wonderful job and I truly thank them. I recommend and look forward for other books by the Authors: Brooke Noel and Pamela D. Blair PHD. It was a great audio book with a great Narrator whom I would recommend again and again. Thank you…

2 people found this helpful

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  • Linds
  • 01-28-19

Must listen!

This book resonated with me a lot and answered some questions. I will listen again

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maya
  • 07-02-21

Literally a life saver

This book's helped me tremendously through a sudden and unexpected loss of someone very close to me. It's had been a hand to hold on to during the immediate days, when I was not able to speak to anyone. It serves as a guide. Not just a story teller. I am forever grateful. I definitely recommend it to anyone who's lost someone unexpectedly. The book goes through many examples of different types of loss, which makes it relatable to most. Even if it describes a different type to yours, there are still valuable lessons to learn from it.