It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand

Grief is not a problem to be solved but something to be supported and worked through. Megan Devine helps navigate through the landmines that fresh grief deploy at one’s feet, beginning with exasperation at our society’s reaction to grief as something that should be fixed as soon as possible, calling this grief illiteracy.

She peppers the book with supporting quotes, like Walt Whitman’s “Reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul.” There is no right or wrong way to grieve, it is the most highly personal and unique feeling for an individual along with love (which is what’s ultimately causing grief). “When you are broken, the correct response is to be broken.” Embrace your pain but tamp down the suffering.

Also appreciated the section on how grief can end friendships due to people’s whack-a-doodle way of responding to someone’s pain. I’ve seen this first hand, bizarre comments or words that are just not helpful, and it’s good to see that it’s normal for people to be snipped from your life if you so desire when they’re cruel at a time you need them to be kind. And also helpful to see that she had trouble reading during her most intense grief period—attention span diminished, comprehension gone.