Loss Is a Four-Letter Word

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

The writer has a big voice and seems to be speaking personally to her readers in practical, compassionate terms. The book itself feels rather self-published, with some clunky lists and strange fonts. But since I have only seen the digital ARC, perhaps the final printed version will be better. Overall, this book should help a lot of women (men, too) who have lost a beloved spouse or partner.
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Loss Is a Four Letter Word by Carole Brody Fleet is a solid, instructional, and encouraging “manual” (for lack of a better word) written for people who are grieving the loss of a spouse or significant other. As a widow myself, I feel uniquely qualified to review this book. 
 Ms. Fleet, herself a widow, completely and frankly addresses the questions and concerns a widow (or widower) who faces the death of a loved one may have---- questions like “Okay God…Now What?” [Chap 3] and “The Inalienable Right to Grieve” [Chap 14].  Further, Ms. Fleet thoroughly discusses and presents positive steps to take in areas that will arise but that one probably never thought about: Why do I feel relief? Or “Loyalty Versus Living Again: Are You Being Disloyal?”[Chap 16]
One of my favorite discussions Ms. Fleet writes about is “grief shaming,” and includes discussion and  responses to those people who, never having gone through this most horrific life event, feel ‘qualified’ to ‘suggest’ finality as in  “You should be done grieving by now,” followed by the unfeeling statement: “Why are you carrying on; you weren’t married that long….” Or “S/He wouldn’t want you to….” (I remember hearing this and thinking, ‘How would you know what my late husband wanted?’)  I wish I’d had this book available to me then!
The author writes well and includes some humor, a real plus for me.  I felt like she was speaking directly to me, discussing with me, suggesting things for me. Ms. Fleet’s book is not sermonized; rather she brings out subjects that the survivor can read, reread, ruminate on, and then perhaps even become proactive. I liked that. (Too often I felt numb and I would sit and think “now what?)”
 Ms. Fleet delivers wonderful, straight-forward advice. What one does with it becomes another choice, but a necessary one for sure. Indeed, anyone who has “lost” someone will gain valuable insight for themselves from “Loss Is a Four-letter Word.”
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