In It’s Grief, psychotherapist Edy Nathan offers an invaluable road map for navigating grief, whether caused by the death of an intimate or another loss such as divorce, abuse, a career setback, or serious illness.
Nathan knows the territory, having experienced grief after the death of her first love. This brought back the memory of a violent attack during childhood, leading her to seek professional help. Through this, she learned coping strategies and ultimately found her calling as a therapist, further developing the recovery process outlined here.
Nathan promises that by facing grief’s emotional and physical effects, sufferers can find relief while also honing life-enhancing tools of resilience and self-care. Like a valuable therapist, she expects readers to do the work: intense self-reflection (guided by many lists of probing questions) and regular journaling.
The core of the book explains Nathan’s 11 phases of grief, including shock, rage, guilt, integration, resolution, and grace. Since everyone experiences grief differently, readers are invited to gauge which phase is pertinent to their situation and determine how intensely to engage with Nathan’s recommendations. For anxiety, she suggests: “Carry the idea of the safe place within you… Imagine it as a small, colorful ball ready for you to grab.” Her “Grief Recovery Tool Kit” provides more coping mechanisms, including rituals, physical exercise, meditation, arts and hobbies, and breathwork.
It’s Grief is generally refreshingly direct and prescriptive. Infrequently, Nathan delivers exaggerated metaphors, such as “You can learn to work with the emotions that live in the burning cauldron of pain. You get to replace that cauldron with a vessel that holds the power to maintain the Self…” But these are just short tangents. Overall, the author offers a clear and thorough plan for healing, compassionately crafted.
Nathan proves that grief’s emotional turmoil can be a growth experience, and that with time and self-care, sufferers can become whole again. Those willing to look deep within will find this a highly worthwhile narrative tool.
Also available as an ebook.