Book Tour #Giveaway: So Sorry For Your Loss by Dina Gachman



Dina Gachman

Grief & Bereavement / Love & Loss / Parenting & Relationships
Publisher: Union Square & Co.
Page Count: 240 pages
Publication Date: April 11, 2023

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A heartfelt exploration about what it means to process grief, by a bestselling author and journalist whose experience with two devastating losses inspired her to bring comfort and understanding to others.

Since losing her mother to cancer in 2018 and her sister to alcoholism less than three years later, author and journalist Dina Gachman has dedicated herself to understanding what it means to grieve, healing after loss, and the ways we stay connected to those we miss. Through a mix of personal storytelling, reporting, and insight from experts and even moments of humor, Gachman gives readers a fresh take on grief and bereavement—whether the loss is a family member, beloved pet, or a romantic relationship. No one wants to join the grief club, since membership comes with zero perks, but So Sorry for Your Loss will make that initiation just a little less painful.

In the spirit of Elizabeth Kubler Ross books like On Grief and Grieving, or C.S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, So Sorry for Your Loss is the perfect gift for someone who is grieving. With her blend of personal experiences, expert advice, and just a little bit of humor, Gachman has provided a compassionate and compelling resource for anyone looking for grief books.


Gachman perceptively puts words to the uncomfortable realities of loss…and deconstructs its social myths, helping readers feel less alone. Those facing loss will find solace here.” Publishers Weekly

So Sorry for Your Loss is a monument to the work of remembering and a testament to the immutable love of family and the grief that forever changes us.” —Lauren Hough, New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing

So Sorry for Your Loss is a meditation on loss that reminds us how to go on living.” —Deirdre Fagan, author of Find a Place for Me and The Grief Eaters


Dina Gachman is a Pulitzer Center Grantee and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Vox, Texas Monthly, and more. She’s a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter and the author of Brokenomics: 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime. She lives near Austin, Texas, with her husband and son. Photo credit Jessica Comiskey.

Excerpt from So Sorry for Your Loss

by Dina Gachman


In the months after my mom, and then, later, Jackie, died, I would catch myself feeling,basically, nothing. It worried me. How could nothingness feel so awful? What kind of a raw deal is that? In grief, you’re either distraught or, if you’re not distraught, you’re feeling guilty that you’re not feeling tormented.

Robinson calls the numbing aspect “a natural and normal part” of grief. It happens frequently in the immediate aftermath of loss. She says that it’s “adaptive,” in that it allows you to function and get through your daily routine, especially if you’re a caregiver and you have to plan a funeral or take care of a child, or both. It’s necessary, but it also shouldn’t cause you to dissociate completely from experiencing grief because it just “kicks the can down the road.” The emotions don’t go away simply because you ignore them.

The numbness can make you feel like there is something deeply wrong with you because you are not doubled over sobbing every second of the day. My dad is no psychologist (he sells steel coils), but he is basically an expert on grief at this point. His theory is that we temporarily go numb to survive the pain. It helps us function for a while before the next wave slams us back. I also think that after experiencing such deeply felt, traumatic emotions, everyday existence tends to be mistaken for numbness. You’re spent, cried out, wrung dry. A baseline, whatever your baseline is, can feel like you’re flatlining, when really you’re just at your baseline. I’ve learned that the experience of feeling guilty about feeling nothing doesn’t seem to last long, so don’t worry. Another session of gut-wrenching tears is probably right around the corner! 

Numbness or detachment can also be a sign of prolonged grief, which is a state of heightened mourning that can actually be harmful. It can stop you from getting back into life, and doing things like going to work or seeing friends. Shear, head of Columbia’s Center for Prolonged Grief, says, “Prolonged grief disorder means there is an initial, all-encompassing kind of grief. We like to say that grief emerges naturally and finds a place in your life; it doesn’t disappear. Prolonged grief is when it just stays in a domineering role in your life and it interferes with your ability to move forward in a way that’s meaningful.” 

Periods of what might feel like emotional numbness, though, can be “a very natural

coping mechanism.” Shear says some troubling signs are when people feel disconnected from work, friends, or things that used to bring them joy. They don’t feel okay moving forward or doing positive things for themselves, even after months or years. Prolonged Grief Disorder was added to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition) in 2022, and it caused some controversy, mainly because some people felt it was pathologizing grief. If it helps someone who is truly suffering, and they can get their insurance to cover treatment or medications, though, I’m all for it.


Three winners each receive a signed copy of
So Sorry for Your Loss
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 5/12/23)


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