Dec 02

Grief Books Plentiful: 5 Among the Newest

If anyone doubts that loss is a hot topic these days, look no further than Amazon’s pages and pages and pages of upcoming grief books slated for publication well into 2021.

Five recently published grief books are described below.

I. David Kessler, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief 

As expert David Kessler‘s Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief has already been covered in a broader post, I’ll simply provide a few pithy quotes:

Your loss is not a test, a lesson, something to handle, a gift, or a blessing. Loss is simply what happens to you in life. Meaning is what you make happen.

Healing doesn’t mean the loss didn’t happen. It means that it no longer controls us.

When someone dies, the relationship doesn’t die with them.

II. Fred Guttenberg, Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope  

Notably, Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland school shooting, reports that Joe Biden‘s empathy, understanding, and emphasis on finding purpose served as powerful influences for the author. But he’s just one of the helpers Guttenberg knows.

As reported in The Columbus Dispatch, the author has said, “I never thought of the people who surround me as helpers until after Jaime died. Now that I understand that we all have our helpers; we only need to be willing to look for them and accept the help.”

III. Shelby Forsythia, Your Grief, Your Way

Shelby Forsythia previously wrote the 2019 Permission to Grieve: Creating Grace, Space, & Room to Breathe in the Aftermath of Loss. As she stated then, “Grief looks, feels, and shows up differently to each person. Just like no two losses are alike, no two griefs are alike, either. You cannot know the full depth of another person’s experience and they cannot know the full depth of yours.”

IV. Maggie Smith, Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change

Well-regarded poet Maggie Smith, after going through a painful divorce, turned her focus toward assisting others with their grief processes.

From an interview with Mary Louise Kelly, NPR:

I sort of say that hope was like a garment that I tried on every day. And at first it was very oversized and itchy and misshapen and uncomfortable, and it didn’t fit at all. The idea of finding optimism in your darkest moment seems very counterintuitive, and it felt really strange, even though I knew it was probably what was best for me. But something really strange happened, which is that the more I tried it on for size, the better it fit, and also the more that I told myself it’s going to be OK, and told myself that publicly — being vulnerable in front of thousands of people — the response I got from people who were going through their own struggles, whether it was divorce or a diagnosis, the comfort that other people were receiving from what I was writing actually gave me a sense of purpose and made me feel better in that moment, which was completely unexpected.

V. Hope Edelman, The AfterGrief: Finding Your Way Along the Long Arc of Loss

In her highly popular (1994) Motherless Daughters, Hope Edelman stated, “Someone did us all a grave injustice by implying that mourning has a distinct beginning, middle, and end.”

Kirkus Reviews:

‘I wish there were a foolproof method for ‘getting over’ the death of someone we love,’ she writes in the lucid preamble. However, ‘everything I’ve experi­enced, learned, and observed over the past thirty-eight years has taught me otherwise’….(V)aried perspectives coalesce to show how grief endures longer than most people ever realize. Edelman emphasizes that while we may never truly outlive the fallout from loss, it becomes an element of life that can be integrated into our own unique versions of felicity.