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It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand
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It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand

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4.45  ·  Rating details ·  2,153 ratings  ·  411 reviews
A New Resource for Those Experiencing Loss

With It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides—as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner—Megan writes with deep insight ab
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Published November 1st 2017 by Sounds True
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Lin I would disagree that it is only about Megan's loss. Yes, she does describe it and relate to it, but there is a LOT that is helpful for any grieving p…moreI would disagree that it is only about Megan's loss. Yes, she does describe it and relate to it, but there is a LOT that is helpful for any grieving person and also the family members who support the griever.(less)

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Eilonwy
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is hands-down the best book on grief I've found, and I've been looking for a good many years now.

Megan Devine introduces the topic by telling readers that she had been a therapist/grief counselor, giving her clients the standard advice about "getting past" grief, "moving on," "finding closure," etc. Then her fiance died, and she discovered that none of that was helpful.

This book contains the wisdom she's gained after ten years of living with grief; trying to figure out why so much of our
...more
Robin Gorder
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“For those who are the stuff of other people’s nightmares” - Wow! This quote sure hits home for me. My 21 year old son killed in a tragic car accident. What do you say to a mother who’s lost her son? Fear takes over in the people around you because they know it could happen to them, and they don’t want to think about that, it’s too painful. So the platitudes and “fixing” begins - or - they slowly disappear.

Megan Devine’s book is powerful, honest, and necessary in this culture that doesn’t under
...more
kellie
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book hard to review, as the author states every person’s grief is different. I thought it was very well written.
My father passed away not that long ago so I wanted to read something that could help me process what I was feeling. The author hits the nail on the head when she said the way we deal with grief is broken; this rang so true for me.
I loved how he book was set out in a way you can read all at once or dip in and out when there is a particular subject your struggling with. T
...more
*TANYA*
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Suffering from a very recent loss myself I have been on the quest to cope, to try and understand my grief. Although I could relate to situations and the emotions I didn’t really connect with it. Perhaps this book was not for me but it does make a lot of valid points.
Tracy S
This was a helpful and comforting book in many ways, but I have to admit I was really offended by Devine’s grief hierarchy in the beginning. This is a book for people experiencing grief so why exclude people who don’t fit her definition of deserving to grieve? I completely agree that out-of-order deaths must be the most intense. But her assumption is that sudden, accidental deaths of young people (like that of her boyfriend) are uniquely hard to process, and the book reads almost more like a mem ...more
Monica J.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is THE book to read whether you are in the throes of early grief or whether long-term grief has settled in your bones. Ms. Devine is masterful at articulating the varied and harsh realities grievers (and those who support them) face on a daily basis and then provides real tools to identify your own path forward by validating your story of devastation, of hopelessness, and of love.

Through "It's OK That You're Not OK," I learned concepts for living with the death of my daughter and how to bu
...more
Samantha
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read Megan's book with my dad's death in mind. What she had to offer was so helpful, and made me feel better about the fact that the typical approaches to dealing with my grief felt not just inadequate, but they actually made me feel worse. The amazing thing is that not only did thinking about things differently take an immense load off of me around my father's death, but also around some other relationships that I've lost in the last few years. Her work is equally applicable to the grief of t ...more
Lori
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally, a resource emerged that allowed me to accept my grief without shame, excuses or timetables. The author, Megan Devine, is a pioneer; paving a new path for those who have suffered debilitating loss by allowing them to see grief in a new way. She calmly and lovingly explains what well-meaning people in our culture do with grief and she does it without blame or shame. A lifesaving book and a must read. I have finally given my grief permission to be felt, experienced and carried in love beca ...more
Ashley
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best for: Those who are grieving, or those who want to be better prepared to support those who are grieving.

In a nutshell: People who are grieving deserve better than what society offers them. This book attempts to provide some direction towards that.

Line that sticks with me: “We have to be able to see what’s true without fear of being seen as weak, damaged, or somehow failing the cultural storyline.” (p 54).

Why I chose it: Ms. Devine spoke at an event I attended this past weekend, and was kind
...more
Sarah
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Acknowledgment and recognition, served straight up — beginning with the dedication: "For those who are the stuff of other people's nightmares". Filled with insights on the full realities of deep grief and our culture's aversion to pain, this book is a must-read for those who've suffered a deep loss, including an out-of-order death, and those who want most to support them. This is the book I wish I'd had when my younger brother died. 14 years after his death, I know these words hold the wisdom of ...more
Mike Doyle
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's been almost 5 months since my daughter Rosalind died, when she was 4 weeks old. My grief never goes away. Somedays it's smothering, some days bearable, but it's always there.

This book focuses on how culture and society treat those going through grief and loss, and some tips and advice for those going through it.

I learned a lot, and feel better able to get through the hard days to come, and think anybody going through any grief or loss, or supporting those that are should read this book.
Jahana Tomo
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book. This book. And I’m not done yet – each section, so true, so rich, so recognizable to the heart that knows the kind of grief that our society doesn’t see nor hear nor comfort, in its own inability to face pain – I must read a little at a time. What real comfort to be mirrored in words of acknowledgement. Her voice resonates in the soul, and Megan Devine pulls no punches. But then deep grief doesn’t either. And deep love, in all of its terrible loss, and beauty.
Michelle
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been gifted, loaned and purchased many grief books in the two years since my son died. I can honestly say that none of those texts resonated with me and the truth of my grief experience more than Megan Devine's new book. She is a credible source of useful information, bringing not only her educational and occupational background to bear but more importantly her own life experience with deep loss and a broken culture. Above all, she is a truth teller and an advocate you'll want in your grief ...more
Roselyn Tomasulo
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I am a Megan Devine grief groupie, one of her tribe of after. Found her and this loving group 2 years ago as I desperately searched the web for people like me. Who lost their only child , who knew grief and how to live another second with it. This book is remarkable...it’s genuine words...(and I know how hard it is to find the words are) her words embrace your grief , how to live along side it, not overcome it. Love is always. Love is why we grieve. Yet there is a way to do that...learn to wade
...more
Monica J.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is THE book to read whether you are in the throes of early grief or whether long-term grief has settled in your bones. Ms. Devine is masterful at articulating the varied and harsh realities grievers (and those who support them) face on a daily basis and then provides real tools to identify your own path forward by validating your story of devastation, of hopelessness, and of love.

Through "It's OK That You're Not OK," I learned concepts for living with the death of my daughter and how to bu
...more
Jill
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
It's difficult to rate this book because it reads so much like a memoir in some ways, and I enjoyed how vulnerable Devine is willing to get. Yet this book frames itself as a help book for people suffering from grief, and in particular it seems written for an audience in aftermath of "out-of-order" loss. In this way, the book doesn't seem to fit neatly into any one particular genre, and that, for whatever reason, was a friction point for me.

I began reading this book in the immediate aftermath of
...more
Jennifer
Jun 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF
Looks like I’m In the monority because I couldn’t even make myself finish it.
Yes-I’m sorry for what she went through. Yes, people say stupid things when someone dies, no, you don’t just “get over it”.
I’ve been on both sides-we all have. One day you’re saying the stupid things, next day you’re hearing them said to you. Most people in grief do realize that others are trying to show they care when they say these things. And are just grateful for your presence. This book made me paranoid I can ne
...more
Marietta
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every page has something helpful, relatable, and/or supportive. The author somehow put into words things that I didn't even know I was thinking or feeling and it was incredibly refreshing and comforting. If you, or anyone you know, have experienced loss and are grieving this is a must read.
Marci
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5— would highly recommend the appendix section of this book for anyone trying to support someone grieving.
Beth
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, 2018
"Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried."

This is a great resource for those grieving and those who want to learn how to support them. Life after loss can be incredibly difficult and this book acknowledges that without offering platitudes or offers of transformation. It's hard to navigate a new reality while existing in a culture wrapped up in minimizing and/or ignoring pain and suffering, so it's refreshing to see a work discuss it at length. The author is intimately acquainted wi
...more
Joanne
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for everyone who has suffered a loss or anyone who may in anyway be supporting someone who has suffered a loss. It clearly validates grief and the pain of grief as a natural process of life and not something that needs to be fixed. It helps you to carry your sadness and whatever that means to you into your life going forward without platitudes and promises of great transformation, but from a perspective of love and understanding and being heard.
Madelyn Neal
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"We are a tribe. The Tribe of After. After death, after loss, after everyone else has moved along, the fellowship of other grievers remains."

Maybe never have I ever read a book that spoke to me more than this one did, and never have I read a book I needed more than I needed this one.
Lori Barnes
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book about grief I've read. (And I've read a lot of them)
Linda
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are grieving, get this book. If you are not grieving, read this book in order to help others who are grieving. Or read it, because someday you probably will be grieving.
Candice Walsh
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This should be mandatory reading to anyone grieving. Megan Devine does not sugarcoat anything, and it has been enormously helpful throughout this period of time in my life. It's okay to be sad. Nothing can fix this. Acknowledgment is important. Thank you, Megan.

(I loved this book so much I signed up for her Write Your Grief course.)
Angela
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This author understands grief, emotional pain, and suffering. She gives guidance, not rules, on ways to learn how to carry your burden of pain but relieve your suffering. Read this before the Grief Recovery Handbook. If you only read one book about grief, read this one.
Maika
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish this book was everywhere. I wish it was as omnipresent and easy to find as a cup of coffee. I wish it actually was available anywhere you go for a cup of coffee. In every library, bookstore, little free library, grocery or convenient store, hotel room, post office, airport terminal or train station, park bench, bus stop, public restroom, or taxi. It should be everywhere. So that the moment you need it - and you either need it right now or could've used it years ago (it's not too late) or ...more
Joyce
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Megan and my tribe at a very crucial time in my grief journey. When I found out she had a book coming out, I joked that selling it would be easy for me because I realized I needed to find her more than I needed basic human needs. But that’s no joke. Megan’s approach to grief, based on her own personal journey, has been a life raft I’ve held tightly to. I’ve been through her grief writing workshops and found things in myself I didn’t know were there, anger, frustration. She addresses grie ...more
Eileen
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is probably one of the best books I have read on Grief. It meets Grief and LOSS in a culture that doesn't understand. Unless you have this experience you will not know or understand what this means.
Most people want you to just get over it and get on with life. It is not that simple. It is OK
that you're not OK......It is a book to study and read and help others who have endured tragedy. Everyone has a different experience and cannot really relate to others in many ways. She tells the reade
...more
Lisa
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are so many myths and misconceptions about grief in our society, and this book debunks them all. It presents a new model of grief that allows and encourages the griever to feel what they feel without worry about societal timetables. Megan speaks the unvarnished, no-sugar-coating truths about grief and loss that so badly need to be spoken and understood.
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Grief, Loss, Death, Child Loss 1 8 Jul 13, 2018 06:23AM  

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Megan Devine is the author of the book It's OK that You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn't Understand. A Pacific Northwest writer, speaker, and grief advocate, she currently runs Refuge In Grief, a hub of grief education and outreach, where she leads people through some of the most devastating times of their lives. Together with her team, she facilitates a growing catalog ...more

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“The reality of grief is far different from what others see from the outside. There is pain in this world that you can't be cheered out of. You don't need solutions. You don't need to move on from your grief. You need someone to see your grief, to acknowledge it. You need someone to hold your hands while you stand there in blinking horror, staring at the hole that was your life. Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” 35 likes
“Some things cannot be fixed; they can only be carried. Grief like yours, love like yours, can only be carried.

Survival in grief, even eventually building a new life alongside grief, comes with the willingness to bear witness, both to yourself and to the others who find themselves inside this life they didn’t see coming. Together, we create real hope for ourselves,
and for one another. We need each other to survive.

I wish this for you: to find the people you belong with, the ones who will see your pain, companion you, hold you close,
even as the heavy lifting of grief is yours alone. As hard as they may seem to find at times, your community is out there. Look
for them. Collect them. Knit them into a vast flotilla of light that can hold you.”
26 likes
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