Sometimes you get handed the perfect book for just the right moment in time. When the opportunity to review So Sorry For Your Loss: How I Learned to Live With Grief, and Other Grave Concerns, it was rapidly approaching the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing. When I actually sat down to read it, it was almost his “heavenly” birthday, as my friends refer to it.
I couldn’t imagine a better or timely gift.
Keep reading to learn more about this non-fiction book dealing with grief and loss, check out my thoughts on it, and enter the giveaway to win one of three copies signed by the author.
Many thanks to the author’s publicity team for providing me with a review copy through Edelweiss, and to Lone Star Lit to introducing me to this much needed book. All opinions are my own.
SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS:
How I Learned to Live with Grief, and Other Grave Concerns
by DINA GACHMAN
Grief & Bereavement / Love & Loss / Parenting & Relationships
Publisher: Union Square & Co.
Page Count: 240 pages
Publication Date: April 11, 2023
Scroll down for a giveaway!
A heartfelt exploration about what it means to process grief, by a bestselling author and journalist whose experience with two devastating losses inspired her to bring comfort and understanding to others.
Since losing her mother to cancer in 2018 and her sister to alcoholism less than three years later, author and journalist Dina Gachman has dedicated herself to understanding what it means to grieve, healing after loss, and the ways we stay connected to those we miss. Through a mix of personal storytelling, reporting, and insight from experts and even moments of humor, Gachman gives readers a fresh take on grief and bereavement—whether the loss is a family member, beloved pet, or a romantic relationship. No one wants to join the grief club, since membership comes with zero perks, but So Sorry for Your Loss will make that initiation just a little less painful.
In the spirit of Elizabeth Kubler Ross books like On Grief and Grieving, or C.S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, So Sorry for Your Loss is the perfect gift for someone who is grieving. With her blend of personal experiences, expert advice, and just a little bit of humor, Gachman has provided a compassionate and compelling resource for anyone looking for grief books.
PRAISE FOR SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS:
“Gachman perceptively puts words to the uncomfortable realities of loss…and deconstructs its social myths, helping readers feel less alone. Those facing loss will find solace here.” —Publishers Weekly
“So Sorry for Your Loss is a monument to the work of remembering and a testament to the immutable love of family and the grief that forever changes us.” —Lauren Hough, New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing
“So Sorry for Your Loss is a meditation on loss that reminds us how to go on living.” —Deirdre Fagan, author of Find a Place for Me and The Grief Eaters
CLICK TO PURCHASE FROM:
I’ll admit, when you’re feeling overwhelmed with grief, picking up a book on grief is daunting. However, the way in which Dina Gachman structured the So Sorry For Your Loss – interweaving supporting anecdotes and information from grief counselors and other experts with her personal stories of loss and grief – created a gentle, manageable read.
The author’s memoir is a poignant one. But while her pain is palpable at times, she told her story in such a way that it wasn’t triggering (A credit to her journalistic skills) – which I appreciated, given the brain space I was in at the time I was reading it.
If anything, the book made me feel seen and less alone.
And I wish everyone would be made to read her list of “Helpful/Not Helpful” phrases that you really shouldn’t say to someone grieving. (Being told “God wouldn’t give you more than you can handle” is one of my biggest pet peeves. Certainly even HE doesn’t have this much faith in me. Might I add “it’s all part of God’s plan” to the next printing of the book?) So it was definitely affirming to read that it is a phrase that can trigger pain or anger in the bereaved. (I’m not just being oversensitive!)
There were moments she shared that were so very relatable. The EMOTIONS she shared were far too familiar, particularly the rawness of everything. I was a mess. There are days I still am, and she nailed how I felt on those days:
“The barrier between me holding it together and me falling apart was about as precarious as a Victorian teacup with an anvil hanging overhead.”
You know you’re not the only one to go through grief and loss, but you don’t always realize how much it impacted you until a line hits you in the face. But when she talked about “moving through the world in a heightened state of anxiety that I didn’t even realize was anxiety”, I had another “hey, me too!” moment.
The book wraps up with few recipes for foods that are wonderful to share in times of grief, or when you just need comfort. Some might find this odd, but it made me laugh out loud, because when I had my first baby, a friend from church dropped off a giant pot of “taco soup” with a batch of still-warm cornbread muffins. She later confided it was her go-to for both births and deaths as it was as comforting and easy to eat as you could find.
Gachman is a proponent of “finding humor in the darkest of times”, and this pokes through in her storytelling, a self-deprecating type of humor, a lightness and a touch of wit that makes this tough topic and the accompanying pieces from professionals that much more empathetic and human.
So Sorry For Your Loss was a timely, heartfelt read for me. I’m thankful to have read it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dina Gachman is a Pulitzer Center Grantee and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Vox, Texas Monthly, and more. She’s a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter, and the author of Brokenomics: 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime. She lives near Austin, Texas, with her husband and son. Photo credit Jessica Comiskey.
SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS GIVEAWAY!
Three winners each receive a signed copy of So Sorry for Your Loss
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 5/12/23)
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR PARTICIPATING BLOGS, ADDED AS THEY POP UP.