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The Other Side of Sadness

What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss
Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this thoroughly revised and updated classic, a renowned psychologist shows that mourning is far from predictable, and all of us share a surprising ability to be resilient

The conventional view of grieving - encapsulated by the famous five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance - is defined by a mourning process that we can only hope to accept and endure. 

In The Other Side of Sadness, psychologist and emotions expert George Bonanno argues otherwise. Our inborn emotions - anger and denial, but also relief and joy - help us deal effectively with loss. To expect or require only grief-stricken behavior from the bereaved does them harm. In fact, grieving goes beyond mere sadness, and it can actually deepen interpersonal connections and even lead to a new sense of meaning in life.

©2009, 2010, 2019 George A. Bonanno (P)2019 Basic Books

Critic Reviews

"Bonanno, the most productive and influential bereavement researcher in America today, has changed the scientific landscape in the field of grief and bereavement." (Camille Wortman, professor of psychology, Stony Brook University)

"Fascinating and readable...a sensitive and sensible view of loss." (New York Times)

"This is a valuable book for Bonanno's application of the scientific method to a field that badly needs it." (New Scientist)

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  • Luan Nguyen Thanh
  • 11-16-19

This is not a self-help book

"All emotions, including sadness, are short-term solutions. If we remain in a constant state of sadness or feel sad for too long a time, we run the risk of ruminating and withdrawing from the world around us. If we express too much sadness, we begin to alienate the very people whose help and support we most need.

Fortunately, nature has provided a built-in solution. Rather than staying sad for long periods of time, our experience of emotions comes and goes. It oscillates. Over time the cycle widens, and gradually
we return to a state of equilibrium."

This is not a self-help book. The author did not tell you how to cope with loss but rather helped you understand scientifically the human nature, psychology and cultures behind bereavement and loss. From there, it is you who will decide what you would do and how.