Book Review: How to Survive the Loss of a Love

image from here.

I have been recommending this book left and right lately. The regal and amazing Soo-jin Yoon pretty much told me to buy it last year, and since I will do anything she says (being regal and amazing and all) I got it.

How to Survive the Loss of a Love may sound like it is all about the breakup of a romantic affair. In these authors’ views, any change can be considered loss and must be given its due grief and recovery time.  I think that is such an amazing idea!  It gives us permission to have complex reactions to life’s changes.  Change is loss. Loss is change. The big, universal, wide-angle perspective of that idea blows me away. It makes one’s loss seem more neutral, more natural, and a little more surmountable.

Talk about a slanted review: I’m reviewing it because I lurve this book.  I mean…lurve it. I haven’t read every book on loss in the world, but the ones I have read are usually heady, and esoteric on the verge of being incomprehensible. When you’ve suffered a loss, you can barely wake up or eat. Understanding all the psychology and science of your feelings is terrifying. Which is why I love this book. It gives me the two things all those other book can’t:

Bullet points




You don’t need to read it from front to back. You can peek ahead and see what it will look like when you begin to heal. You can go back over and over to page 20 “if you are in need of immediate first aid.” You can write in the margins and dog-ear the pages like I have coming to have such affection for this book.

But the best thing about this book is how deeply, deeply kind the authors are. You can feel them reaching out to you, drawing you into their big Strega Nona busoms and cooing with an infinite confidence:

“Everything’s going to be okay.”

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