At a time when we mourn public figures and national tragedies with hashtags, where intimate posts about loss go viral and we receive automated birthday reminders for dead friends, it’s clear we are navigating new terrain without a road map.
Let’s face it: most of us have always had a difficult time talking about death and sharing our grief. We’re awkward and uncertain; we avoid, ignore, or even deny feelings of sadness; we offer platitudes; we send sympathy bouquets whittled out of fruit.
Enter Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner, who can help us do better. Each having lost parents as young adults, they co-founded Modern Loss, responding to a need to change the dialogue around the messy experience of grief. Now, in this wise and often funny book, they offer the insights of the Modern Loss community to help us cry, laugh, grieve, identify, and—above all—empathize.
Soffer and Birkner, along with forty guest contributors including Lucy Kalanithi, singer Amanda Palmer, and CNN’s Brian Stelter, reveal their own stories on a wide range of topics including triggers, sex, secrets, and inheritance. Accompanied by beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and witty "how to" cartoons, each contribution provides a unique perspective on loss as well as a remarkable life-affirming message.
Brutally honest and inspiring, Modern Loss invites us to talk intimately and humorously about grief, helping us confront the humanity (and mortality) we all share. Beginners welcome.
“I love this book! Humans spilling their feelings with so much humility, hope, and humor.” —Nancy Lublin, Founder and CEO, Crisis Text Line
“Modern Loss is a book about grieving and death that shimmers with life. In turn raw, searing, charming, witty and funny—Modern Loss is full of surprises and is definitely not your mother’s death and dying book.” —Dave Isay, Founder, Storycorps
“Loss is devastating, but this frank and funny book makes it less isolating. I want to give it to everyone I know who is grieving, has grieved, or will grieve. In other words, I want to give it to everyone” —Anna Sale, host of NPR’s Death, Sex and Money
“Finally, a book that fearlessly embraces grief and finds heretofore undiscovered areas of inspiration, humor and above all, light. Modern Loss is our collective Modern Gain.” —Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost and The Leftovers
“Profound, irreverent, probing, and consoling, Modern Loss is the guide to grief I wish I’d had when my mother died at 55. Mourning a parent years earlier than my peers, I felt alone with my loss. This is the company I wish I’d kept in those first years; Soffer and Birkner have compiled a book that feels like sitting with your best friends over dinner and laughing and crying and connecting over the most profound experiences you can have.” —Meghan O’Rourke, author of The Long Goodbye
“Talking about loss can feel scary. This book isn’t. It’s about grieving deeply over the long term, and the reassurance that you’re far from broken because of it. These surprisingly funny and candid stories aren’t about death; they’re about life, and thriving in the face of loss.” —Stephen Colbert