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
HALL WAYS AUDIO BOOK / PRINT COMBO REVIEW: When So Sorry for Your Loss: How I Learned to Live with Grief, and Other Grave Concerns popped up on my radar, I knew I had to read it given what’s happened in my own life in the past month, the past year, and even thirteen years ago: loss of a dear friend, loss of my daddy, loss of my sweet momma. But one of the great ironies of my bookish world is that I don’t really get to read very much. Fortunately for me, this book is available on audio, which I promptly purchased the day it published. And then for a couple of days, I was afraid to listen because the author, Dina Gachman, narrates the book. HOW?!
If you read the book description, you know what prompted her to write her book. Good Lord, I thought. How in the world will she get through this narration without crumbling and wrecking both of us? The good news is she doesn’t crumble; she delivers her story evenly and professionally, which is an amazing feat of narration for which I am so grateful. She kept it together, which made it easier for me to keep it together, even though she’s sharing experiences when she most definitely lost it. I can relate.
Gachman’s story is so relatable -- I wish it weren’t -- but I found myself nonstop nodding my head in agreement as she shared her perspectives, revelations, and experiences. Sure, my throat tightened, and my eyes started to sting more than a few times, but I also found myself laughing with her words because she’s right that sometimes that’s all you can do when your momma tells you she’ll haunt you if you don’t bury her with her wig on. (But SERIOUSLY.)
“Sometimes you just want them back,
whether they are no longer suffering or not.”
Throughout the book, Gachman switches from telling her personal stories to sharing facts and statistics and even self-diagnosis. This format helps a lot for readers who are feeling the gut-punch from the truth of her words. (Readers like me.) It helps when she frames or reframes emotions and emotional responses with the net result being a feeling of comfort, belonging, and sometimes even righteous indignation (Yeah, Dad lived into his 89th year, a long life. But that does NOT make me feel better that he’s gone. It’s no less painful because he was old.)
I needed this book right now, and I needed it in audiobook so I could experience it RIGHT NOW. But, it’s a book you need to read with your eyes, too, or you miss out on some exceptional parts. There are Suggested Resources and Notes sections that provide explanations and links for more information. In print, the book includes a lovely, evocative photo of the deceased's family taking a walk together. And the audiobook references it, but it doesn’t give you the “Recipes That Temporarily Annihilate Feelings of Grief” section. Required reading, in my opinion, because it allows you to leave the book with a little more laughter and some great food ideas because as Gachman says, “Do not bring depressing foods like Melba toast, steamed broccoli, or blanched green beans with zero seasoning. Grief requires butter, salt, flavor, and a whole lot of love.”
I wrote down a page full of quotes that resonated with me, and I will certainly revisit them and their source, So Sorry for Your Loss, hearing Gachman’s voice as I re-read passages. Highly recommended.