Book Review: Bearing the Unbearable by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

Bearing the Unbearable

I have a lot of books in my library. A good percentage of those are books about grief and loss, about death and dying the experience of having lived. I have read them all multiple times but none of them have become as valuable to me in regards to defining and experiencing and living with grief as Bearing the Unbearable by Joanne Cacciatore has become.

This book was introduced to me in a grief work training with Amy Wright Glenn, founder of the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath and Death. During that training, Amy introduced us to Dr. Cacciatores work with traumatic grief and loss.

I am particularly grateful for the way in which this book presents grief as an ugly, painful, NECESSARY thing to be embraced. When I say “embraced”, I do not mean celebrated. I mean embraced. Lived with. Dr. Cacciatore teaches us, in numerous ways and through many different examples, that grief is a thing that we must not shun because it is the vehicle that teaches us how to live with our loss. In a world that teaches us to fight grief, Cacciatore teaches us to bear it.

Grief is like the monster in my childhood closet” if I can muster the courage to get out of the bed and turn on the light, I realize that he isn’t so terrifying and may not even be who I believe he is…If I repeat this often enough, I even learn to trust him.

I begin to understand that monster isn’t separate from me.

Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief, page 81

I know that this is not the way that we are often taught to deal with grief. I however, needed to hear this because I spent so much of my life running in fear from my grief. Trying to avoid it, destroy it and make it go away. It wasn’t until I learned to be with it, that I understood that it was a part of who I am. It had shaped me into the person I am today. And if I truly love myself, I will at least find peace in the things that put me on the way of life’s journey.

Without question, and without hesitation, the world has my recommendation in reading Bearing the Unbearable. Click here to purchase.


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