When the New York Times ran Patrick O’Malley’s story about the loss of his infant son―and how his inability to "move on" challenged everything he was taught as a psychotherapist―it inspired an unprecedented flood of gratitude from readers.
What he shared was a truth that many have felt but rarely acknowledged by the professionals they turn to: that our grief is not a mental illness to be cured, but part of the abiding connection with the one we’ve lost.
Illuminated by O’Malley’s own story and those of many clients that he’s supported, readers learn how the familiar "stages of grief" too often mislabel our sorrow as a disorder, press us to "get over it," and amplify our suffering with shame and guilt when we do not achieve "closure" in due course.
"Sadness, regret, confusion, yearning―all the experiences of grief―are a part of the narrative of love," reflects O’Malley. Here, with uncommon sensitivity and support, he invites us to explore grief not as a process of recovery, but as the ongoing narrative of our relationship with the one we’ve lost―to be fully felt, told, and woven into our lives.
For those in bereavement and anyone supporting those who are, Getting Grief Right offers an uncommonly empathetic guide to opening to our sorrow as the full expression of our love.
About the Author:
PhD Patrick O’Malley
Patrick O'Malley, PHD, has been providing grief counseling and education to clients and colleagues for over 35 years. For more, visit drpatrickomalley.com.
Tim Madigan, an award-winning journalist, is the author of The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (St. Martin’s Press, 2003) and I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers (Gotham/Penguin, 2006). For more, visit timmadigan.net.
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