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The Grief Club: The Secret to Getting Through All Kinds of Change

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  38 reviews
All change and loss involves grief. In this difficult season of the coronavirus pandemic, understanding how to grieve--and help others grieve--is more essential than ever.

The Grief Club is Melody Beattie's profoundly personal, powerfully healing book to help readers through life's most difficult times.

Part memoir, part self-help book, part journalism, The Grief Club is a
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 5th 2006 by Hazelden Publishing (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Right away I trusted the author, Melody Beattie. She was totally human in her book and does not shy away from the darkest points of her life, from a neglected childhood, to decades of terrible addiction, to learning she has Hepatitis C, to losing her teenage son. Her book covers many different types of loss, but the one I most identify with is the loss of her son. Though many chapters are NOT about the loss of a child specifically, she instructs the reader to read each one because there are elem ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A poignant book covering all aspects of grieving and loss. During this COVID-19 pandemic, I not only grieve the loss of loved ones, but grieve my old way of life and adjusting to the new abnormal. (Can’t call this lifestyle remotely normal.) I’m not a big self-help reader but this excellent collection of memoir and biographical essays is terrific.
Turquoise Brennan
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Don't need to read every chapter but at the end of each chapter are several useful exercises to do or to journal about. I found them helpful ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: therapy
I got this book when I was reading up on grief therapy a lot. And this was by far the least helpful book I read on the subject.

This book is interesting because it focuses on grief for various life events and stages and that's the part I appreciated. Grief can be about more than losing someone - and this book does an excellent job of acknowledging that.

However, this book wasn't very helpful as a resource for therapists. A lot of this book feels autobiographical -Beattie shares experiences she's h
Peter Green
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book after numerous major losses in my life in quick succession. Although every vignette/story did not resonate a theme of compassion and wisdom runs throughout. What do we do with intolerable loss, the kind that feels like it is our own death? Life changing loss is a forge of sorts that forever changes who we are. This book looks at such loss. The stories helped me hold my own pain in a larger context and to open myself to my own evolution. I recommend the read.
Shelly Rios Petrelli
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read on grief. This book encounters all forms of grief, not just through the loss of a loved one, yet all these types of grief circle back to the same emotive, change and self-discovery on every level. There are stories of reflection within each chapter that centers on that specific type of loss and shapes the tragedy into triumph, sometimes not...the point is, this book REALLY helped break through some of my own personal stigmas whether it's the way I was conditioned ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I started this book a while ago, I was on a grief book marathon and then I just thought it was time to take a break. Picked this up again recently, intending to finish up some of my half read books. Wanted to like this book, but as a grief book survey - every chapter exploring a different grief through a life story - it didn't seem helpful since as soon as the grief was introduced you were on to another the situation. With each grief situation being unique. Also, sometimes Bettie's advice didn't ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow wow wow. 5 stars isn’t enough. I really thought, by chapter names, I would skip half the book and only read the chapters pertinent to me. I changed my mind quickly. Every chapter offered depth of insight and very relatable and applicable truths. This will be a book I will keep on my bookshelf and reread.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant text!

Beattie discusses managing grief in a wide variety of areas...certainly loss of a loved one via death, but also grief resulting from broken relationships, empty nest situations, Alzheimer's, suicide, as well as our vulnerabilities and facing our own death.

Highly recommended reading for everyone.
H M Klein
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tissues on standby

Even if you don't think you've been through any major losses reading this book could help you. I cried buckets. But also found a new appreciation for what I have. Making the two lists suggested is a must. Your losses and what you have. Was sad to finish but will definitely re-read. Thanks to all who contributed.
Mary Smith
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Making Peace with Your. Life

What happened to my life? Where did all the time go? I have been lost is grief. Melody Beattie comes though one more time for me. She said all is not can move though this transition with an open mind. You can learn to forgive yourself & others. You can trust life.
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This was the first book I'd read by Melody Beattie, although I'd heard of her other books about codependency. Some parts of this book spoke to me more than others, but overall I felt a sense of comfort while reading it. I enjoyed the mix of advice/lessons, anecdotes, and memoir. ...more
Chrissy DeVore
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not extremely helpful to me. Perhaps my losses in particular are too raw and recent for a general grief book. I did like the idea of grief clubs, though, because it seems if someone has been through a similar loss, they're a kindred spirit and "get it." ...more
Nov 17, 2019 added it
Eye opening view into why people are homeless.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
i've really loved two of her other books but this one didn't resonate with me at all, and the "master list of losses you've experienced" just made me way more anxious. ...more
Nov 15, 2020 added it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
This book was okay, just not for me.
Jeanie Stee
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The author is a strong Christian. But the data is sound and the stories are well-written. The exercises at the end of chapters can be very beneficial to many situations of loss.
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Whew this was a hard one to read. Well written , anything by Melody Beattie is in my opinion, but emotional and thought provoking. It took some time to digest. Tears were shed.
Emily Green
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Melody Beattie’s The Grief Club explores not just grief, but the loss that accompanies most life changes. It is a self-help book, and focuses on telling different people’s stories as a means to understanding the process by which one grieves.

I sought this book out from the local library after my beautiful pup, Boogie, died. I found myself unsure how to deal with the grief, as, fortunately, I have not yet had the experience of losing someone to whom I have been extremely close. My grandmother died
Jun 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one, really, unless you're a great fan of Melodie Beattie
Recommended to Candice by: Saw it on the shelf at Powell's
In reality I'd give this book 1.5 stars. They're were parts that were ok, some that were actually good, but on a whole I didn't like this book much.

The author tries to cover a lot of territory in this book. It seems like she tries to include anything that might remotely have something to do with feeling a sense of loss or grief. I found, however, that this book had less to do with grief than it does about finding yourself in a "club" you don't want to be in...which, of course, can involve grief,
Feb 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I actually didn't finish the book, but I am not reading any more of it. This is a self-help book sent to me by my sister-in-law who had found it helpful as she was climbing out of a long depression. It is based on stories about changes in your life and how to handle them - from losing a child to losing your health to losing your financial means - dealing with profound changes in your life. It encourages you to find others who are going through something similar to what you are going through. You ...more
Jun 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Melody Beattie's (of Codependent no More, etc) son died at the age of twelve. After many years of struggling and coming to terms with her grief she wrote this book to help others through various kinds of grief--loss of a child, a relationship, suicide, ill health, the empty nest syndrome, etc.

While she has some useful things to say about acceptance -- much taken from AA and Al-Anon, much of how she has come to terms with the losses and difficulties in her life, and what she recommends is religi
Aug 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
I've seen really good reviews of it elsewhere. Maybe I'm not ready for it yet, or maybe it tries to cover too much stuff, too many different sorts of "change" & the grief therefrom & how to work through it, to be sufficiently coherent or deal with each in sufficient (emotional) depth to be a good book for me. I'm also not crazy about the activities she suggests at the end of each chapter, though to be fair I soon stopped reading those sections entirely, as I stopped reading the book and started ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: soul-care
page 305 "Some people need help managing depression. They want to feel normal, feel like themselves. Sometimes depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Some people are depressed because they're stuck in jobs or relationships they hate. Other times, depression and anxiety are created by all the feelings we've buried, and those feelings create an imbalance in us. Those old feelings are trying to come out so our hearts can heal and we can feel peace. For many years I thought drugs ...more
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I got told to read this by my councillor to help deal with various issues of grief I am going through in my life.. particularly the loss of my grandmother who I was very close to.

Parts of the book I found really related to me whilst others.. although bad situations did not relate to me at all...
I struggled to get through parts of the book, but in saying that other parts I was able to just fly through..

The idea of the book was to be able to highlight that parts that I found I could relate to..
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Not her best work; however, this book has many valuable insights. The Master List of Losses is the most exhaustive I have seen. I think the author needed to write this to aid in her own healing after the loss of her son. At times you can feel the author's grief through her words and many times it was emotionally difficult for me to read. I would still recommend it for anyone that is going through loss if only to enforce that we are not alone. ...more
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it
About any type of loss in life and good insite with helpful ways to get through them.
More uplifting than depressing, not just preaching and platitudes.
I'm liking it so far.
Started skimming after 1/2 point, got tired of it all.
Did like the chapter on back pain and thought of our brother because of the story and recommmendation.
Need to write down the information for him.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The hands-down best grief book I have read. The introduction was the most relevant and helpful - the rest is pretty much just other peoples' stories. Which is fine, but I've read so many grief books with all of that already...the really good stuff is in he beginning. ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was horrible! I felt like these poor people were trying to all replace their grief with "things" rather than deal with the issue at hand and there seemed to be a lot of whining in the book. This book was recommended by my counselor but I didn't like it. ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was okay, but too wordy for me. I liked the generalization of all the different kinds of clubs. It helps you to realize you are not alone in the grief you suffer.
Has 340 pages most of which I skimmed.
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Over the years, Melody Beattie has become well-known in the world of self-help literature. After turning away from a life of addiction and suffering, Melody shared her own story in order to help others change theirs. Her overnight sensation, Codependent No More, has been influencing millions for over twenty years. Her passion for writing has resulted in fifteen books, including: Co-Dependents Anon ...more

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