Facing grief after death

Linda Thompson






Death and its Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Beautiful Lessons by Becky Aud-Jennison, Motina Books When you’ve lost important loved ones too early and too suddenly, finding books that make some kind of sense of that horrific trauma is essential. But there aren’t too many that confront the awfulness, the outrageousness, the endless enormity of grief. This does. Aud-Jennison, a New Zealand writer, has faced the hard truths of death with her Death Dialogues Project, a podcast she started to talk about the one thing we just don’t want to talk about. These are her “field notes” from the project. She is honest about the fear, superstition, denial and the expectations others have of those experiencing grief. She talks to those who have had to navigate the worst thing that will happen to them. Elizabeth KublerRoss’s famous five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) don’t actually progress that way in real life/death. And those were created for those facing a terminal diagnosis, not death itself. Much of the book is people’s own stories of the loss of a loved one — husband, wife, parent, child. They are reassuring that everything you feel is actually okay. She deals with the awful truth that death changes everything for those left behind. Grief never goes away — we left behind take it with us forever. For most of us, there is no “acceptance”, just accommodation. Essential reading. —