Product Description and Author Information
About the Book
Inspired by the website hailed as “redefining mourning” by the New York Times, a wise and irreverent collection of essays and tips on navigating grief in the modern age
Let’s face it: most of us have 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.
And at a time when we mourn public figures and national tragedies with hashtags, when intimate posts about loss go viral and we receive automated birthday reminders for dead friends, it’s clear we are exploring this modern landscape of loss without a road map.
Enter Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner, who can help us do better. Each having lost parents as young adults, they cofounded the website 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 more than forty guest contributors, including rocker Amanda Palmer, CNN’s Brian Stelter, and Dr. Lucy Kalanithi (widow of When Breath Becomes Air author Paul Kalanithi), reveal their own stories on a wide range of topics, such as triggers, intimacy, secrets, inheritance, and more. 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.
“Devastatingly poignant, Modern Loss took me to a safe place and allowed me to feel comforted by reading about something that I’ve always feared: death. Especially as I deal with aging parents, I found myself feeling some of my anguish dissipate as I was reminded of the universality of grieving. It allowed me to take a breath, and I needed to. We all do.” —Lisa Ling, host and executive producer of CNN’s “This Is Life”
“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
“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
“I am not sure how a book about grief could also be witty and entertaining, but Modern Loss accomplishes just that.” —Mindy Kaling, writer for The Office and author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
“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 WNYC’s Death, Sex and Money
“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
“I love this book! Humans spilling their feelings with so much humility, hope, and humor.” —Nancy Lublin, Founder and CEO, Crisis Text Line
“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