Grief good reads

Option B

Option B, Sheryl Sandberg’s book on grief and resilience, is a hopeful and inspiring read for anyone coping with loss. She has published it two years on from surviving the sudden death of her husband and her key message is that not only is recovery possible, so too are joy and meaning.

“When life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again.”

Option B is not simply a book about recovery however, it is also a story of hope for anyone who has hit a wall in life. Perhaps you have experienced a significant relationship ending, or a career decision failing, or frightening health challenges, and your “Option A”―how you planned to live your life―is no longer possible. When Option A is unavailable to you, what do you do?

One of the book’s messages that may resonate with you is “understanding permanence”. Even what feels like unbearable grief will ease and become more bearable. Sandberg notes that she didn’t believe this message when people told her but has found it to be true. Option B is a powerful testimony to this truth. Sandberg also writes poignantly about how feelings of overwhelming sadness and grief can take hold of us, even in the most unsuitable places. Her message? Accept these feelings and the acceptance will assist the feelings to pass.

While Option B is a personal account, it is also a useful review of the psychological knowledge about grief and resilience. With psychologist Adam Grant, Sandberg reviews the research into resilience and our ability to grow through grief.

Further resilience resources as well as people’s stories are provided on the Option B website: https://optionb.org/

Buy the book: https://optionb.org/book

What Abi taught us

Losing a child is any parent’s worst fear. For Lucy Hone and her family, this fear became a reality with the death of their beloved Abi. What Abi taught us is a deeply moving, and ultimately hopeful account of how the family coped. Dr Lucy Hone is a research academic in the field of resilience/wellbeing psychology at Auckland University of Technology. She draws on her expertise in positive psychology to describe helpful ways of coping with grief and loss, all the time acknowledging how endless and impossible some days can feel.

One of the most hopeful messages in this book is Lucy’s message that “it is possible to grieve and live”. Lucy herself is a powerful testament to this belief and this book is therefore helpful for anyone coping with any form of grief or loss.

Buy the book: https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/general-books/biography-autobiography/What-Abi-Taught-Us-Lucy-Hone-9781877505539

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