Grief Is Love: Living with Loss (Hardcover)
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A trusted grief expert shares what Kirkus Reviews praises as “calm, lucid prose… [a] humanizing exploration of coping with the life-changing tides of loss.”
In Grief is Love, author Marisa Renee Lee reveals that healing does not mean moving on after losing a loved one—healing means learning to acknowledge and create space for your grief. It is about learning to love the one you lost with the same depth, passion, joy, and commitment you did when they were alive, perhaps even more. She guides you through the pain of grief—whether you’ve lost the person recently or long ago—and shows you what it looks like to honor your loss on your unique terms, and debunks the idea of a grief stages or timelines. Grief is Love is about making space for the transformation that a significant loss requires.
In beautiful, compassionate prose, Lee elegantly offers wisdom about what it means to authentically and defiantly claim space for grief’s complicated feelings and emotions. And Lee is no stranger to grief herself, she shares her journey after losing her mother, a pregnancy, and, most recently, a cousin to the COVID-19 pandemic. These losses transformed her life and led her to question what grief really is and what healing actually looks like. In this book, she also explores the unique impact of grief on Black people and reveals the key factors that proper healing requires: permission, care, feeling, grace and more.
The transformation we each undergo after loss is the indelible imprint of the people we love on our lives, which is the true definition of legacy. At its core, Grief is Love explores what comes after death, and shows us that if we are able to own and honor what we’ve lost, we can experience a beautiful and joyful life in the midst of grief.
About the Author
Marisa Renee Lee is a called upon expert in coping with grief. In 2008, after a courageous battle, she lost her mother to cancer. This loss transformed her life and led her to question what grief really is and what healing truly requires. She is now a rabble-rouser of social healing: a former appointee in the Obama White House; managing director of My Brother's Keeper Alliance; co-founder of the digital platform Supportal; and founder of The Pink Agenda; a national organization dedicated to raising money for breast cancer care, research, and awareness. She is a regular contributor to Glamour, Vogue, MSNBC, and CNN. She is a graduate of Harvard. She lives with her beloved husband Matt and dog Sadie.
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“It’s hard to fathom how much better the world would be if every grieving person had a friend like Marisa Renee Lee… [She] shares all of the deeply compassionate wisdom grieving people need…
any grieving person should make friends with this book.”—Glamour
“Grief Is Love is, in a way, a call to action, but more so a call to compassion.”
"Lee is refreshingly direct as she explores the overwhelming emotions she has experienced since the death of her mother. [Lee] made me feel less alone in the world and, well, a little less melancholic. And maybe a little more melancholic, too."—Vulture
“With calm, lucid prose… [a] humanizing exploration of coping with the life-changing tides of loss.”—Kirkus
“Clearly written and accessible to many readers, this book adds a leader's personal voice to the growing body of work inviting us to grieve better.”—Booklist
“Grief is Love, Lee examines a different path; how to make room for your grief, honour your loss, and continue experiencing the love you felt for the person while they were alive. Drawing on her own experiences of grief, Lee gives a frank and sensitive view on how to process and transform your feelings.”—Book Riot
“Marisa Renee Lee is the friend we all wish we had in times of need: compassionate, smart, understanding, and endlessly wise. Grief is Love is the closest many of us will get to understanding eternal love for another.”—Elaine Welteroth, cohost of The Talk and New York Times bestselling author of More Than Enough
"Grief Is Love is what the world needs. Marisa’s vulnerability humanizes pain, longing, and loss. Saying this book should be required reading is an understatement."—Alexandra Elle, author of After the Rain
“Authentic, all-inclusive, and utterly breathtaking, Grief is Love is the book that will help you deal with your darkest days and walks with you as you venture back into the light.”—Willie Geist, cohost of The Today Show and New York Times bestselling author of Good Talk, Dad
"In Grief Is Love, Marisa Renee Lee has transformed her own profound losses into a powerful meditation on what grief is at its core: an extension of love. She invites us to reframe grief as an everlasting tribute, not as a burden, and her insights about healing will be a gift to countless readers. Losing a loved one is life-changing; this book will be life-changing for readers, too."
—Maggie Smith, National bestselling author of Keep Moving
“This is a beautiful memoir about the love that lasts after loss. With powerful prose and refreshing candor, Marisa Renee Lee challenges the cultural stigma around grief and highlights a healthier way to cope. If you’re struggling with loss, reading this book might just be a jolt of hope.”
—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and Option B
“This book, like its author, radiates empathy, rejects platitudes, and uplifts even while interrogating life's darkest crevices. In examining her own experiences with life-changing loss, Marisa helps us recognize the gift of love in grief, and offers a guide for how to show up for those we love in the moments that matter most. Marisa knows grief, but she also knows deep joy, and she has laced both into every page of this exquisite book."
—Alicia Menendez, MSNBC Anchor and author of The Likeability Trap
“Grief Is Love is a remarkable homage about what it’s like to love through loss. This gem of a book is like taking an exhale, or being hugged, or being told that everything is going to be alright and actually believing it. As I continue to navigate the loss of my father, which happened when I was a small child, I am reminded, with the help of this book, that grief doesn’t have an expiration date. Every human should own this marvel of a book. I treasured every page and I am indebted to it.”
—Jennifer Pastiloff national bestselling author of On Being Human
“Absolutely amazing. Marisa has transformed her own profound losses into a beautiful proclamation of the power of love. If you struggle with grief of any kind, this book will help you navigate it.”
—Reshma Saujani, CEO of The Marshall Plan for Moms, Founder of Girls Who Code, and New York Times bestselling author Brave Not Perfect
"Grief Is Love is the rare project that reshapes all of our sensory expectations of catastrophe. In this particular season, I'm not sure I could have chosen a more useful and dynamic literary companion. This book will bolster faith in our community of grievers and help us accept communal care and love."
—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy and winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal
"This is the book I wish I had when my mother died. Wise, compassionate and full of so much beauty, Marisa Renee Lee has written a testament to the transformative powers of grief, offering hope to anyone going through big loss."—Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief
"Offering unique insights for women and Black communities, [Grief is Love] is truly the first of its kind to do a deep dive into the intersection of grief, healing, and racism."