Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       July 20, 2022


Author  Corinne Laan

Distributor:      Rockpool Pulishers
ISBN:                 9781922579201
Publisher:         Rockpool Publishers
Release Date:   Jul/22 (AU/NZ), Sep/22 (US), Jul/22 (UK)  



At the beginning of The Art of Grieving there are two pages without introduction, just there; eloquently written the words capture in totality the sudden and devastating event called grief as it enters your life, unwanted, unannounced, but there: changing the familiar to the unfamiliar, changing you forever.

Corinne Laan has spent a lifetime writing this book as growing up watching the effects of grief in all its many facets on her life and that of her family, eventually beginning to working with mothers and babies, women who have and are experiencing grief with the loss of a child, infertility issues, still born births and miscarriage.

Training as a nurse she found she gravitated to this area of work and then on to further study as a traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. Having been ‘offered the thought’ about a book such as this back in the 1970’s, the advent of the current COVID epidemic, the lock-downs which saw families grieving the loss of loved one from a distance, many losing their jobs, business and contracts, saw the idea become a reality.

One important point made early in the chapters is that we all grieve over the course of a life journey, but in this modern day of fast paced living, the massive impact of grief is frequently understated; not given anywhere near enough understanding. Sadly, over time the ceremonies concerning death and burial have been pared down to the basics. These traditional rituals help in so many ways with the grieving process.

 Death is to be pushed to one side, as to recognise death is to admit to weakness. Strange, considering death occurs every minute of every day, but grieving is not always associated with death of a person, it can also have the same debilitating effect upon the loss of a job, career, divorce and so many more everyday aspects of life.

How to get through the sadness, the tough times, the process if you like of grieving has been carefully set down as a self-guided process which will encourage embracing your grief, learning to understand the many levels of grieving and accepting the journey based on a 12 step process and much more.

Each of the steps comes with a short introduction, before moving into the ritual, the aspect of self-care, which is often the first thing to be neglected. Many of the simple, uncomplicated rituals can be carried with you, such as the prayer ritual, or mantra which can be used anywhere, anytime, others are little more complex as healing and grief is not a one size fits all situation

Beautifully presented, written with love and understanding, warmth and welcome, The Art of Grieving sets out so much we are afraid to accept, making grief more understandable, acceptable, and the art of healing, of slowly moving forward so much easier.