on January 1st 2018
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When a painful loss or life-shattering event upends your world, here is the first thing to know: there is nothing wrong with grief. “Grief is simply love in its most wild and painful form,” says Megan Devine. “It is a natural and sane response to loss.” So why does our culture treat grief like a disease to be cured as quickly as possible?
In It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides—as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner—Devine writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it. In this compelling and heartful book, you’ll learn
• Why well-meaning advice, therapy, and spiritual wisdom so often end up making it harder for people in grief
• How challenging the myths of grief—doing away with stages, timetables, and unrealistic ideals about how grief should unfold—allows us to accept grief as a mystery to be honored instead of a problem to solve
• Practical guidance for managing stress, improving sleep, and decreasing anxiety without trying to “fix” your pain
• How to help the people you love—with essays to teach us the best skills, checklists, and suggestions for supporting and comforting others through the grieving process
Many people who have suffered a loss feel judged, dismissed, and misunderstood by a culture that wants to “solve” grief. Devine writes, “Grief no more needs a solution than love needs a solution.” Through stories, research, life tips, and creative and mindfulness-based practices, she offers a unique guide through an experience we all must face—in our personal lives, in the lives of those we love, and in the wider world.
It’s OK That You’re Not OK is a book for grieving people, those who love them, and all those seeking to love themselves—and each other—better.
It has been 7 months today that my husband left me and although it seems like this should be a substantial amount of time to mourn his loss- It is not. I still, to this day hope and pray that I wake up from this nightmare because thinking about the future without him is just unbearable.
As someone who has never experienced a huge loss before I always thought the saying ” Time heals all wounds” was true but this book pointed out that “Some things can not be fixed. They can only be carried.”
This isn’t the only thing that I learned from this book. Things that particularly interested me most are:
- I need to be kind to myself. If I need to “be”, I’m just going to just” be”. If I need to push myself, I am going to push myself.
- Widow brain does exist. I am not crazy. No, I didn’t purposefully forget something important, I just don’t remember even if it’s that important.
- There was a point in time early on that I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I lived or died. I was never suicidal but yes there was a time I took some risks that I wouldn’t have otherwise just simply because I didn’t give a fuck what the results were. Thankfully, that has passed now.
- Grief diet. I did lose some weight in the beginning but now I am the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life because it goes back to my #1. I am being kind to myself. Slowly I am getting back to my normal routines and hope to lose some of this weight.
- Trust. I will trust myself that I can handle going back to the place where I last saw my husband. I know what I can handle. I trust that I am making the right decisions for myself and for my children.
- Experiencing grief isn’t the same for everyone. You tell me “when I lost my dog…..,” I am nodding but secretly I’ve already tuned you out. Sorry. I don’t mean to be rude but we are two different people who have experienced love and loss differently.
- I will lose friends as I will gain some. I used to have this friend where when I spent just two hours with her we felt like I needed a vacation. The drama, the baggage just went on and on. I wish every day I am not going to be that friend.
- The inopportune tears will happen. They will certainly happen especially considering my line of work. Going to the grocery store, seeing a couple holding hands, my boys asking for their dad, dads playing with their children. Basically, everything around me brings tears to my eyes.
- Keeping a journal does help. Reading self-help books and reading grief blogs have also helped me. I have friends who have lost their spouses too but I have always been hesitant to talk with them because I don’t want to jog up bad memories. So I opt to write my thoughts and feelings down.
- I’ve changed and I will continue to change. I’ve known my husband for more than half of my life. We grew up together, matured together, became parents together. We practically did everything TOGETHER. My hope is that as I learn to live without him I will grow and become even better, that I will become someone that he would’ve been proud of and would have continued to love through the years.
The biggest take away from this book for me was this…
“Grief is a part of love. Love for life, love for self, love for others. What you are living, painful that it is, is love. And love is really hard. Excruciating at times.”
I don’t often read non-fiction books but of the one’s I’ve read this has affected me the most. I love how honest it was. I loved how it inspiring it was – how it encouraged me to find my inner strength and soldier on. At times, it was painful to read but it has helped me tremendously. I will always be grateful to the author for sharing her painful experience and reminded me that I AM NOT ALONE and for that good friend who understood me enough to send this book my way.