One of the most difficult things for people to deal with is grief. Whether it is their own, a family member’s or a friends—finding the right words to say is inevitably clumsy, often resulting in added tears and damaged relationships. A new book helps answer the penultimate question: “What can I say?” With a keen sense of humor, a kind heart, and the brilliance of a highly-respected author, Laurie Burrows Grad, Editor-in-Chief of this website, has confronted her own grief and that of countless others in a remarkable volume filled with love, pathos and tender thoughts.

Laurie and Peter Grad at Villa d'Este

Laurie and Peter Grad at Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy

Married to Peter for many years, their relationship was extraordinary and their mutual devotion ran deep. When Peter died, Laurie was devastated, but she prevailed, focusing her own grief on doing good for others, writing blog articles on her own site and on Huffington Post.

Laurie sensitively addresses the hypersensitive issue of spousal grief in the most tender, heart-warming terms in her new book The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now: How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived. She has captured the depth of feelings many want to share, but cannot communicate or verbalize to others. This exceptional book is essential reading for any spouse after, or before a loss. This is also good for adult children to understand how a surviving parent feels after their spouse has passed. Well written, thoughtful and compassionate, Grad has captured the pain and sorrow, and depth of feeling of any widow or widower and considerately put it in writing. It is a masterful work and a survival guide to a most difficult life experience.

The Foreward is written by Blythe Danner and comments written by many of Hollywood’s elite.  Laurie’s 47 year marriage is described in loving, candid detail.  She may not recall, but on the morning after her beloved husband passed, she called me, as her publisher, to tell me.  As her book points out, people don’t know what to say under such circumstances.  Admittedly, I didn’t.  After reading this book, I know better than to say the usual, brainless things people usually utter, just as I did that fateful day.

Laurie’s book is a boon to widows and widowers alike but more importantly she uses  honesty and humor to help others know what to say to someone in grief. This book is a useful tool for everyone!

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