As seen in THE NEW YORK TIMES • READER’S DIGEST • SPIRITUALITY & HEALTH • HUFFPOSTFeatured on NPR’s RADIO TIMES and WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO When a painful loss or life-shattering event upends your world, here is the first thing to know: there is nothing wrong with grief. “Grief is simply love in its most wild and painful form,” says Megan Devine. “It is a natural and sane response to loss.” So, why does our culture treat grief like a disease to be cured as quickly as possible? In It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides―as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner―Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, “happy” life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it. In this compelling and heartful book, you’ll learn: • Why well-meaning advice, therapy, and spiritual wisdom so often end up making it harder for people in grief • How challenging the myths of grief―doing away with stages, timetables, and unrealistic ideals about how grief should unfold―allows us to accept grief as a mystery to be honored instead of a problem to solve • Practical guidance for managing stress, improving sleep, and decreasing anxiety without trying to “fix” your pain • How to help the people you love―with essays to teach us the best skills, checklists, and suggestions for supporting and comforting others through the grieving process Many people who have suffered a loss feel judged, dismissed, and misunderstood by a culture that wants to “solve” grief. Megan writes, “Grief no more needs a solution than love needs a solution.” Through stories, research, life tips, and creative and mindfulness-based practices, she offers a unique guide through an experience we all must face―in our personal lives, in the lives of those we love, and in the wider world.It’s OK That You’re Not OK is a book for grieving people, those who love them, and all those seeking to love themselves―and each other―better.
October 1, 2017
File Size: 53 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese
“It’s OK That You’re Not OK is a permission slip to feel what you feel, do what you do, and say what you say, when life finds you in a place of profound loss and the world seems hell-bent on telling you the right way to get back to being the person you’ll never again be.” ―Jonathan Fields, author of How to Live a Good Life, founder of Good Life Project“Megan Devine has captured the grief experience: grief is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be honored. She understands the pain that grieving people carry on top of their actual grief, including the pain of being judged, dismissed, and misunderstood. It’s OK That You’re Not OK is the book I’ve been waiting for for 30 years―the one I can recommend to any newly bereaved parent, widow, widower, or adult grieving a death.” ―Donna Schuurman, senior director of advocacy and training at The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families“In this beautifully written offering for our broken hearts, Megan Devine antidotes the culture’s messed up messages about bearing the unbearable. We don’t have to apologize for being sad! Grief is not a disease from which we must be cured as soon as possible! Rather, the landscape of loss is one of the holiest spaces we can enter. Megan serves as our fearless, feisty, and profoundly compassionate guide.” ―Mirabai Starr, translator of Dark Night of the Soul: John of the Cross and author of Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation“This book is POWERFUL. Too many grief books focus on ‘getting over it,’ but this book says: ‘Look grief in the eye. Sit with it.’ It’s OK That You’re Not OK comes at grief with no flinching. It’s intelligent and honest. It’s a message that everyone who has ever dealt with loss needs to read.” ―Theresa Reed, author of The Tarot Coloring Book“Our current cultural norms surrounding death render us incapable of dealing with grief authentically and result in unknowingly causing more hurt and suffering to not only ourselves, but the people we care about most. It’s OK That You’re Not OK is the perfect how-to manual to help heal and support ourselves, each other, and our death-avoidant society.” ―Sarah Chavez, executive director of The Order of the Good Death“Megan Devine knows grief intimately: she’s a therapist and a widow. In this wonderfully honest and deeply generous book, Devine confronts the reality of grieving and reminds us that ‘love is the thing that lasts.” ―Jessica Handler, author of Invisible Sisters: A Memoir and Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss“Megan Devine’s hard-won wisdom has the power to normalize and validate the experience of grief. If you’re tired of being asked, ‘Are you better now?’ read this book for a fresh perspective.” ―Chris Guillebeau, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit“Grief support and understanding that is heartfelt, straightforward, and wise.” ―Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart“It’s OK That You’re Not OK is a wise and necessary book. Megan Devine offers a loving, holistic, and honest vision of what it means to ‘companion each other inside what hurts.” ―Steve Edwards, author of Breaking into the Backcountry“In a culture that leaves us all woefully unprepared to navigate grief, Megan Devine’s book is a beacon for a better way of relating. It’s OK That You’re Not OK shows us the path to be companions, rather than saviors, to loved ones who are experiencing deep pain. This book should be required reading for being human.” ―Kate McCombs, relationship educator and creator of Tea & Empathy events“Megan Devine tells the truth about loss, and in doing so, she normalizes an experience that has been censored and stigmatized. It’s OK That You’re Not OK is enormously comforting and validating. Through her life work―and now this important book―Megan leads us to a place that’s rare in our culture: a place where our loss is valued and honored and heard.” ―Tré Miller Rodríguez, author of Splitting the Difference: A Heart-Shaped Memoir“One of the hardest things about going through hard times is trying to get and give support. In It’s OK That You’re Not OK Megan Devine guides us through tough times with grace. With loving acceptance and compassion, Megan is the new, warm perspective you need.” ―Vanessa Van Edwards, author of Captivate and behavioral investigator at ScienceofPeople.com“Megan Devine shows us that rather than treat grief as an illness to recover from, we can approach it with warmth and understanding. This is an invaluable book.” ―Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Enchanted and The Child Finder“This book is the radical take on grief we all need. Megan Devine breaks apart stereotypes and societal expectations that layer additional suffering on top of the intense heartbreak of loss. For those in grief, these words will bring comfort and a deep sense of recognition. With precise language, insightful reflections, and easy-to-implement suggestions, this book is a flashlight for finding a way in the darkest times. For anyone looking to support others in their grief, this is required reading!” ―Jana DeCristofaro, coordinator of Children’s Grief Services, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families About the Author Megan Devine is a writer, speaker, and advocate for emotional change on a cultural level. She holds a master’s in counseling psychology. Since the tragic loss of her partner in 2009, Megan has emerged as a bold new voice in the world of grief support. Her contributions via her site Refuge in Grief have helped create sanctuary for those in pain and encouragement for those who want to help. For more, visit refugeingrief.com.Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over 35 years. ANew York Times#1 bestselling author, he has published numerous books–including The Book of Soul, The One Life We’re Given, and Drinking from the River of Light–and recorded multiple audio projects. Mark has been interviewed three times by Oprah Winfrey as part of herSoul Seriesradio show, and was interviewed by Robin Roberts onGood Morning America. As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. Mark’s work is widely accessible and used in spiritual retreats, healing and medical communities, and more. His work has been translated into 20 languages, and he continues to offer readings, lectures, and retreats. <div id="
I’ve been gifted, loaned and purchased many grief books in the two years since my son died. I can honestly say that none of those texts resonated with me and the truth of my grief experience more than Megan Devine’s new book. She is a credible source of useful information, bringing not only her educational and occupational background to bear but more importantly her own life experience with deep loss and a broken culture. Above all, she is a truth teller and an advocate you’ll want in your grief space.The beauty of this book is the universal insights it offers for EVERYONE who has experienced deep grief or desires to genuinely support another in their loss. The author outlines a refreshing take on grief for the reader’s consideration, one where acknowledgment and a desire to love better are critical components in supporting ourselves and each other following a significant loss (ie. death, accident, illness, etc.) She adeptly explains the model’s concepts in lay terms, provides numerous examples for better understanding, and recommends practical exercises that one can use to help identify and manage the impact of grief. The quotes from her writing students are especially relevant and poignant.I found Megan’s work validating and thought-provoking, especially concepts such as her broader definition of “early grief”, common platitudes (and why I feel their adverse affect), the critical distinction between pain and suffering (and how to minimize latter), grief as an experiment rather than a problem to be solved, and the vital role of acknowledgment and companionship in creating a way forward. One of my favorite sections is the appendix, an essay on helping a grieving friend, which offers carefully-crafted and readily shareable ground rules for supporting a loved one.I’d recommend reading this book if you or a loved one are in the midst of deep grief and looking for validation, guidance, and honesty in a post-loss world. This book, and especially the associated resources available at refugeingrief.com, are powerful tools for navigating your grief landscape with love and understanding. It’s permission to grieve in your way and in your time … and this has made all the difference in my own post-loss landscape.
Sadly, this book does exactly what it talks about in the book as being so hurtful- it ignores a population of people grieving a parent. I am grieving the loss of my second parent who died suddenly this past summer and found this book’s title to be extremely fitting given society seems to not care at all when you lose a parent – it treats it like just another normal event in life despite the traumatic nature of losing someone you love. This book comforted me and the title was perfect – it’s ok that you’re not ok. I hadn’t felt that way, given society’s response. Then I came upon this paragraph that states “When I’m talking about loss, when I talk about grief, I am talking about things beyond what we consider the natural order of things. I am talking about the accidents and illnesses, natural disasters, man-made disasters, violent crimes and suicides. I’m talking about the random, atypical, unusual losses that seem more and more common as I do this work. I’m talking about the underground losses, the pain no one wants to talk about – no more, no one wants to hear about….” She expounds on this point but wow – wham! I felt like someone slapped me in the face and all of a sudden the book’s title “It’s ok that you’re not ok” felt like an exclusive club that I was just kicked out of and told I didn’t deserve to feel not ok. The author begins the book by stating that her healthy 40-something husband drowned and of course this is tragically sad. But clearly this is the perspective from which she writes this book and even apologizes to her clients (she’s a psychotherapist) for not realizing prior to her husband’s death, the pain they carried with grief because she could never have understood until she had this horrifying experience losing her husband. Well, maybe she needs to apologize to those who have deeply loved and lost a parent because we too have been shunted by society and not acknowledged for our pain – perhaps more than most because it IS a normal passage of life so we are supposed to simply shut up and move on. It’s too bad this author couldn’t extrapolate what she learned to realize that grieving is NOT just limited to those who had a death that is beyond the natural order of things. So, while the author states “when I talk about loss, when I talk about grief, I am talking about things beyond what we consider the natural order of things…” I respond with – loss and grief are not solely reserved for those in that category. And while it’s completely NORMAL to have a book that addresses just this population of people who have had untimely and devastating deaths in their lives- it is completely heartbreaking to realize that this book that seemed like it was for everyone and exclaimed it’s ok to not feel ok excludes a huge population of people suffering silently. There are books reserved for those who have lost parents and I just purchased a few but that’s not the point. The point is this book’s author excludes us with that one paragraph – she ‘defines’ grief and loss as something that does not include what we are dealing with and I’m here to say guess what – we ARE experiencing grief and loss regardless of what you think. The author states in the book that it’s painful to be treated as if you can’t talk about or acknowledge your loss, yet she has in one fell swoop, done that to those of us grieving a parent simply because it is in the natural order of things. Just sad.
I have been an End of Life registered nurse for over 35 years. I cared for the terminally ill in hospital and Hospice settings. When my Beloved husband was diagnosed with cancer, I knew that I would be heartbroken when he died. But I was naive as to the devastation grief would bring upon my life. I had no idea that I would no longer want to live, that death seemed to be the only answer to my devastated heart. I went to grief support groups, grief therapy, took anti-depressants, surrounded myself with friends and family who loved me, read everything about grief that I found to find some relief from my suffering. I thought that I was losing my mind . I thought my depth of despair, my cognitive changes and my wish to end my life were abnormal. It was when I found the work of Megan Devine that I began to understand that many grief stricken people have the same experience of grief that I was having. Each page of Megan Devine’s book It’s OK that You’re Not Okay, brought me comfort and peace. Megan’s own experience of grief and the wisdom she has gained from other grieving people are shared with the reader in such a powerful yet gentle way that light enters into the darkness brought by grief. It it that light, emanating from Its Okay that You’re Not Okay, that has given me the skills and the will to live.
The book is great in many ways, but I got quite turned off early on when she ranks deaths and makes it clear that there are some more worthy of prolonged grief than others. The examples of unworthy losses are pets and grandparents. (Neither were the reason I bought the book, personally.) Her own personal worthy death was the unexpected loss of her husband in his late thirties. In my experience, the intensity of the loss has more to do with the meaning the loss had to the individual, not how non-normative it is.
I never do book reviews, but this extraordinary piece of kindness that I randomly stumbled upon definitely deserves one. For me, giving myself the simplest validation – it’s OK that you’re not OK – is priceless.I am a psychologist and I am personally affected by grief. I have a degree that is completely useless to me when facing the reality of loss. But that’s the way we are taught. In desperation to understand myself and to learn how to contain the magnitude of my feelings I read most of the very little that is available on this topic. Useless theories, stages and disorders. I’ve also been fed with much of the current mindfulness and positivity nightmare. Our culture does not only not understand, it is also silent. Grief is uncomfortable so let’s just get it over with quickly. Ignorance hurts. Platitudes hurt. Forced positivity hurts. Unlike any other book, It’s OK That You’re not OK normalizes what is in our society wrongly pathologized in people who are in their most vulnerable state. The author is generous with her own experience, doesn’t avoid what is difficult and describes grief with its raw ugliness instead of trying to paint artificial rainbows all over it. You won’t find empty words of advice, no easy steps to grant your way “back to normal”. But it may become your guide to simply learning to be with what is yours to be with.This should be a mandatory read for everyone who hasn’t been touched by a great loss yet. And it is a very gentle and validating read for those who have. If you are struggling, reading this book may be just the act of kindness you can show yourself.
I bought this book shortly after my 35 year old fiance died without any warning. I desperately tried to read every book on grief that I could find. This was the only book that articulated everything so perfectly. This book made me feel less alone at the most traumatic, desperate time in my life. I would recommend this book for someone who is experiencing intense all consuming grief and especially if you have lost a spouse. This is the only grief related book I would recommend out of the dozens I have read. The premise of not trying to be strong and resilient is an important one that society needs to understand better. When you are on your knees and your world has been ripped from you and you don’t know how to breathe, its perfectly ok to not be ok. Thank you again Megan x
I bought this after my Mum passed away a few months ago unexpectedly. It is probably the most oddly comforting book about grief I’ve read. I have found it really helpful and it is so different to lots of other books out there. Anything that allows you to acknowledge the painfulness of a loss whilst giving hope of a future where suffering without a loved one is alleviated is worth reading.
Megan’s book is beautifully written – it will help the grieving & anyone who wants help someone who is.My father died 9 months ago.I’ve been coping but knew that something was missing – I wasn’t allowing myself to be honest about how unbearable and unrelenting grief is because it isn’t what people expect. I can now move forward – not on because that will never happen. He was my hero and I will miss him everyday. But the love and memories provide comfort.
After reading many books and all trying to fix you this was so refreshing. It says it how it is. It is such a relief to read that you are not crazy, the vomit metric sentence was a huge relief and just saying early grief (5 ish) Year’s was such a wonderful thing to know. I’m at 1. There is such pressure from life and yourself to ‘get on’ and reading this book has made me feel completely different. What a relief. Thank you Megan from the uk.
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