Modern Loss: Candid Conversation about Grief by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner

Thank you so much to Helena, a friend of The Loss Foundation, for her review of Modern Loss: Candid Conversation about Grief by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner.

“Honest, insightful, empathetic, uplifting. These are only a few of the words that describe Modern Loss, an extensive collection of personal essays about death and loss, and the array of messy feelings that accompany the aftermath. Along with telling their own stories throughout, Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner introduce the anthology, emphasising “the value in building a community where there’s no stigma to talking about death and the countless ways it impacts our lives” (p. xxiii). The essays that follow accomplish just that: from authors to celebrities to people you’ve never heard of, this colourful mix of voices not only offers a raw, authentic portrayal of the many shapes of grief, but also transcends age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and geography to form a community that pulls the reader into its midst. While each account offers a personal, intimate view on loss, they’re tied together by their frank tone, as well as by their overarching message that you’re neither alone nor broken because of hardship.

Modern Loss tackles a wide range of topics that relate to living with bereavement, such as identity, triggers, and intimacy, enabling you to pick and choose with ease. But its impressive scope is not what makes this book stand out to me. What makes it unique is its ability to empathise and inform without idealising, patronising, or generalising. This is not a self-help text that’ll tell you what to do or feel, but rather an entirely candid book that’ll make you think, identify, cry, and even laugh. It offers a valuable insight into a part of life that’s inevitable but so often deemed taboo, and – accompanied by witty infographics and illustrations – does so in a refreshingly honest way. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with a loss that happened days, months, or years ago, or are simply interested in confronting the crucial subjects of loss and grief, I cannot recommend this book enough. Get ready for a one-of-a-kind read!”

You can find the book here on Amazon.

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