Book Review: When Your Soulmate Dies

“As I’ve said, the stronger the attachment in life, the stronger the resulting grief when the attachment is broken. The grand language soulmates use to describe their relationships tells me that soulmate love is larger than life. The consequence is that soulmate grief is also larger than life. Which brings me to the real question of this book. How do you heal such legendary grief? And the answer is: You mourn as you loved-grandly and deeply. You mourn heroically.”

I found myself nodding in agreement at these words from page 46 of Alan D. Wolfelt‘s “When Your Soulmate Dies: A Guide to Healing Through Heroic Mourning.” And then there was this:

“To be truly helpful, the people in your support system must appreciate the impact this death has had on you. They must understand that in order to heal, you must be allowed-even encouraged- to mourn long after the death. And they must encourage you to see mourning not as an enemy to be vanquished but as a necessity to be experienced as a result of having loved.” (page 126)

Soulmate cover

Yes, I’m immersing myself in the study of grief again, or maybe I never really left it. Look at my recent reads on my Goodreads profile, and you’ll see an awful lot of non-fiction books related to grief, illness, and loss. What might seem an unhealthy obsession to some, could be explained as research for the book proposal I’ve been working on, or as part of my training in bereavement to help others. I’ll be teaching an expressive writing through healing seminar at the Heal Your Grief event I’m coordinating for October. So reading about journaling and other ways of healing just makes sense.

I would have loved to have read this book shortly after David died. I think it would have been a tremendous help. Of course, if I was reading it then, my comments wouldn’t be included in it, would they?
Soulmate page

But honestly, all of this reading and studying serves a purpose for me; as a validation of sorts.

Sometimes I need the reminder that it is not unhealthy or abnormal to still be sideswiped by grief, even four years out from the loss. In fact, it is understandable. To be told otherwise by someone feigning compassion is reprehensible.

“I’ve notice that about one-third of the people in our lives are capable of showing up with a loving heart and a ministry of presence. Another third can’t really help in this way but don’t hurt us either. And the final third are often toxic and harmful to our healing. They may tell us to quit mourning or declare that we’re doing it wrong.”  (page 84)

Wolfelt’s wonderful book gives concrete ideas for mourning our soul mate. Highly recommended for anyone struggling to make sense of their loss, or looking for inspiration and encouragement as they navigate this difficult path.

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