Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief (2017)

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is a world-renowned bereavement counselor, professor, and researcher. Her latest book, Bearing the Unbearable, just came out, and is available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle. The insights she brings come not just from her studying grief and counseling those who are grieving and teaching about grief, they also come from her own grief in the death of her infant daughter.

What makes this book so powerful, and so instructive, is that it simultaneously addresses grief both from the perspective of those who are grieving and from the perspective of those who are in contact with those who are grieving. It is not a hand-book, but instead, is a shining beacon: (i) for the person grieving, what grieving is not and cannot be, namely, something to be overcome or get past or move on from; and (ii) for the person in contact with the person grieving, what is helpful and not helpful viz the grieving person, because their grief is not something you can or should help them to overcome or get past or move on from.

How grief might be embraced truly is an individual journey. For some, the journey might be enriching. For others, the journey might be a descent into inescapable despair. But what this book makes painfully clear: There is no elixir; there are no good works to accomplish as compensation; there is no 12-step program; there is no way around grief--only through it; there is no conquering grief--rather, mustering the courage to surrender to it; and there are no answers to the question "why" and perhaps no reason even to ask "why."

As this book drills home: Only by avoiding love might one avoid grief--if one loves, one is destined to grieve. 

Link to Book on Amazon

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