Every once in a while I will make a book recommendation and it is that time again. If you like to read, for anyone going through a life changing event or traumatic event this book could be an anchor for you in the storm.
Sheryl Sandberg is the C.O.O. of Facebook. She lost her spouse tragically and she co-wrote a book with a psychologist Adam Grant that is very validating, supportive and aides its readers in creating a new normal post tragedy. She writes about her experience of loss and she also meets with and writes about other survivor stories of trauma/loss/tragedy.
I recommend the book because she writes from a very genuine place and it is very easy to read. She is aware of her privilege and yet she shares practical advice on how to help people cope, manage, and keep going in spite of all that happened.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when she talks about the Three P’s. These are belief systems that slow the process of grieving.
- Personalization: The belief that we are at fault.
- Pervasiveness: The belief that an event will affect all areas of our life.
- Permanence: The belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever.
It feels personal when tragedy strikes. It is almost impossible to avoid this feeling of why me? What I can say it is more helpful to come from a place of why not me? My wish for people hit with a tragic event is to discover the ability to let go of placing blame while finding ways to move forward.
The loss does feel all encompassing. It may feel as though it will impact ALL areas of your life. Sheryl Sandberg invites you to notice times it does not. Notice when you can laugh at a joke or enjoy a phone call with a good friend.
The feelings you are experiencing right now are not permanent. I am going to borrow a phrase from a movie about loss. One day this will not be a boulder on your shoulder but a rock in your pocket.
If you or a loved one has been through a tragic event and feel stuck, this book may help.