As a recently bereaved mother, I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months reading books on surviving and dealing with grief. This book is different from the more traditional books on grief that I’ve read; Coryell offers a very touchy-feely new age book, with some buzzwords and phrases that irritated me, like “core grief” and “disempower". She encourages readers to be loss searching for grief, which, in the midst of overwhelming grief, may strike readers the wrong way. Her approach to grief, namely exploring “the meaning of healing through loss,” may be too obscure for some.
Coryell has a few good points in her book that are helpful to readers. She urges readers not to quantify or compare their grief with that of another and to allow all grief to be honored. The author also encourages those in mourning to permit sufficient time for their grieving, rather than allowing society to push them into “getting over it” quickly. Coryell acknowledges rituals from different faiths, most notably that of the Jewish ritual of sitting shiva, the one-week mourning period in which those of the Jewish faith sit with their grief for seven days without being hindered by public obligations.
Coryell also encourages mourners to establish rituals to celebrate the life and love of the one mourned. This is especially important as the mourner observes that first year of birthdays and holidays without their loved one. In a society that doesn’t like to acknowledge death, it is helpful to find this encouragement. The author also encourages us to realize how much there is to learn about life in facing the losses we experience. Life is all about loss, she asserts, and changing how we deal with loss can change our lives. If you’re looking for comfort and practical advice to help you survive your loss, this book may not be for you. If you’re ready to read something a bit esoteric and spiritual, then give it a try.