There are some words that somehow feel wrong when you are grieving - when I first saw the title of this book, I kind of felt like that about it. The concept of a "Club" associated with grief jarred. But when you appreciate the concept that empathy in grief becomes stronger based on the closer someone else's experience is to yours, then the value of this book becomes more apparent. You understand that you are unavoidably in a club. And that others who belong to your club have an understanding and empathy well beyond anyone else. Their experiences and feelings echo yours and you are finally able to find comfort from the knowledge that you are not alone. I sometimes felt like I was going completely mad trying to deal with what went on in my mind. If you'll excuse the language, grief can be a total "head fuck". Knowing that others felt the same and got through it, gave me more strength to deal with it.
The author, Melody Beattie, is in my opinion a hero. A lionhearted woman whose courage in the face of devastation in her life has been immense. She has written many books, most of which are self help oriented. This one resulted from her own experiences of the loss of her husband and son and her time as a therapist, helping others with their grief.
In it, she tells different people's stories of loss. It covers many traumatic circumstances. What's elevating about this book is that it describes the process that people have been through - how the felt, how they dealt with it, what they experienced - and how they came out the other side. It took me through connection, understanding and provided positive comfort of a way forward, I accepted that baby steps were ok. There's a framework to it that you can refer back to. Sometimes it's difficult to absorb a lot of information at once - and facing some of the realism is a process only each individual can judge. What is apparent is that each person who told their story gained a catharsis from doing so - and connecting with that somehow helped me. Telling your story, even if you do it for yourself only, in some form of journal or diary, can be really helpful.