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The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Reslience

The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Reslience

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THE MODERN LOSS HANDBOOK is what author and Modern Loss cofounder Rebecca Soffer wished she had after her parents died. With wisdom gained from her own personal experience, expert advice, and insights from the global Modern Loss community, This book is for anyone who has lost their “person” or wants to give something meaningful and effective to someone who has. Rebecca’s warmth, wit and disarming humor make this an approachable and supportive companion at any stage of loss.

Modern Loss is a global movement and platform of content, resources and community focused on eradicating the stigma around grief while also encouraging people to find meaning and live richly. THE MODERN LOSS HANDBOOK does just that by offering a welcoming space in which to grow thoughts and feelings as they evolve and create a personal roadmap toward resilience.

“What I finally realized was this: As completely unfair as it felt, absorbing my grief, figuring it out, and living with it were my responsibilities. Nobody else could do it for me,” states the author up-front, while promising to offer “no toxic positivity or suggestions that you find gratitude in everything.” Everyone will eventually experience the loss of someone meaningful, and the idea that they’re expected to “move on” because “it’s time,” isn’t realistic. What is? Talking about the stuff that society shies away from in public conversation and holding an ongoing space for our losses – because relationships don’t end when someone dies, and our own lives hold enormous potential for significance after a loss.

This interactive and beautifully illustrated handbook helps you to honor your person’s memory, deal with trigger days, manage your professional life, and navigate new and existing relationships. There’s no judgment, no worn-out platitudes, and absolutely no empty assurances. Instead, there are prompts, entertaining cartoons, creative projects, innovative rituals, therapeutic and expert-based exercises, and more—all to help someone explore the unique, messy, long arc of their loss on their own timeline.

THE MODERN LOSS HANDBOOK is a tool in which to try out new ideas, confide, think things through, remember, mess up, and try again. Soffer helps readers to explore ways in which to:

  • Hold onto memories without being held back
  • Approach the big days – from birthdays to deativersaries, diagnosisversaries, and beyond – and form creative, personalized rituals and communal bespoke holidays.
  • Care for one’s emotional well-being as they would their physical health, be it through talk/group/music therapy, writing exercises or cathartic destruction (it’s a thing!)
  • Recognize the ever-changing physical experience of grief (brain fog, fatigue, body pains and tightness, digestive issues, the list goes on) and learn how to address them.
  • Embrace humor unabashedly, with zero guilt about the moments that provide joy
  • Navigate shifting relationships post-loss, from friendships to intimate connections
  • Return to (and get through) work after a loss – including taking “grief days”

As Soffer tells it: “Life and death are intimately linked; this book will help you weave your grief into your life in a way that is practical, creative, comforting, provoking, a bit fun, and, finally, hopeful.”  THE MODERN LOSS HANDBOOK is here to assist in building resilience and finding meaning: the ultimate goals in the wake of a loss.


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Compassion Package Tips

And answers to your pressing questions

  • What should I write in my card?

    Be sincere and share how you're feeling without overshadowing their grief.

    Example of sharing your pain in appropriate way: "Desi was such a positive light in my life. His humor brought me so much joy over the years. I will miss him terribly."Example of overshadowing the bereaved's pain: "This is the saddest thing that's ever happened to me — I don't know how I will get through this."

    Share a fond memory if you have one - especially if the card receiver has never heard it. 

    Anything that stands out to you will be special, even if it seems insignificant. 

    Share how you will continue to remember and honor the deceased (examples below)

    "I know Ralph loved key lime pie. Whenever I see it on the menu I'll be sure to order it and think of him." "My children are too young to remember your mom, but I will tell them about those adventurous summers we had camping together. I'm going to teach them how to light a campfire, just like how she taught me."

    If you want to offer help, be specific. If you can make a commitment, do it. 

    Avoid (at all costs) 'call me if you need me' - this puts the burden of action on the person you are trying to help. They will never call you. Offer a concrete way to help. Try 'I will bring you dinner next week', or 'I can watch the kids for you on Friday morning' and follow up on your offer. If you are in a position to offer ongoing support, don't be shy about sharing what you can do. For example, "I am home every Sunday afternoon. I would love to have your kids over to our house on the weekend so you have time to yourself. They are welcome any and all Sundays." Or, "What would be more helpful, if I bring over dinner every Friday or take your dog for hikes instead?"

    Avoid all platitudes. Common examples

    -You're strong

    -You will get through this

    -They're in a better place

    -They'll always be with you/in your heart

    -At least they....(didn't suffer, are no longer suffering, didn't know what was happening, had a chance to say goodbye, etc. etc. etc.)

    -May your memories bring you comfort

    -Everything happens for a reason/God needed an angel/God wouldn't give you more than you can handle

    It is best not to mention what I'll call religious comfort. Keep in mind that people who find comfort in their faith may not find comfort in statements like the ones I've listed above in the very early days after a loss. It is best to err on the side of caution and leave them out.

    Many of the religious statements or platitudes listed above are not really about about offering support. They're encouraging the bereaved to accept their new reality or express gratitude during heartache. Platitudes essentially come across as minimizing the bereaved's pain. 

    The advice listed above is just that — one person's advice. These are tips are based on what I've learned after speaking with many bereaved people, and also having written hundreds of cards myself. Trust your gut, and use these recommednations as a guide. 

  • How quickly will the package arrive?

    Most packages will reach their destination within 1-5 business days.

    If you need guaranteed 1-2 day delivery, please choose Priority Mail Express or UPS Next Day Air at checkout (there will be an additional charge). 

    During the checkout process, you will receive a shipping estimate before the sale is finalized. Approximately 90-95% of orders arrive by the estimated shipping date. 

    If your order qualifies for free shipping, we will send the box via USPS Priority Mail or UPS Ground.

  • I need to sent multiple packages — how do I do this?

    At this time we cannot process multiple destinations within one order. Please make each package a separate order.