A comprehensive and compassionate guide to navigating loss.
When social worker Lisa Keefauver became a widow in 2011, she was alarmed to discover that even though 100 percent of us experience loss, we're living in a grief illiterate world. In her work as a therapist, and in her search for help in the wake of her own loss, Keefauver began to see how the misguided stories we consume about grief lead to unnecessary suffering. Responding to the problematic narratives that grief is something to move on from after completing the five stages like some sort of to-do list, Keefauver became a grief activist. Through this book and her hit podcast of the same title, she creates a safe place to be inside the messiness of it all, to discover the full spectrum of grief, and to find the tools that help grievers move forward, not on. Grief is a Sneaky Bitch is a comprehensive guide—serving as both a manual full of insights and skills and more importantly, as a thoughtful companion that helps readers feel seen and held.
Keefauver shares her personal and professional wisdom alongside the lessons she's learned from clinicians, authors, poets, and friends. In place of rigid instructions and must-do checklists, Grief is a Sneaky Bitch invites reflection, encourages self-compassion, and explores the therapeutic power of humor with, yes, a bit of profanity.
Lisa Keefauver is a social worker, grief activist, and founder of Reimagining Grief. She is an adjunct professor of loss and grief at the University of Texas at Austin, an organizational consultant, and a keynote speaker (including at TEDx). In 2019, she created the popular podcast Grief is a Sneaky Bitch.
This must-read companion guide for those who are grieving has captured the heartbreak of grief with compassion, insight, and humor. Grief is a Sneaky Bitch is the book we have been missing!
~Melissa Gould, author of Widowish
Grief is a Sneaky Bitch is a candid, direct, and at times humorous exploration of the life-changing tides of loss. Keefauver expertly combines her clinical background and personal experiences to provide us with a compassionate and practical guide for navigating all forms of grief. Whether your loss was long ago or last week, this book will help you find your own way of living with it.
~Marisa Renee Lee, author of Grief Is Love: Living with Loss
When we lose a loved one, Lisa Keefauver reminds us in Grief is a Sneaky Bitch, grief becomes a part of our story. But the good news is that it will never be our whole story. What could be more hopeful than that?
~Barbara Becker, author of Heartwood: The Art of Living with the End in Mind
Preface: Life Lessons Learned at the Bottom of the Ocean
Inviting You to Start Here: Orienting You to the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Grief
Introduction: A Guide to Reading This Book
Time in Grief: Discovering How and Why Time Feels So Different
the World’s Still Spinning
Start Close in
the Messy Middle
Wait. Am I Still Grieving?
What the Hell Is Happening to Me? Helping You See the 360-Degree Impact of Grief (No, It’s Not Just All in Your Head)
Everything Sucks (And Other Negative Thoughts)
This Is Your Brain on Grief
Your Body Knows
Too Much Too Soon
Emotions and Feelings and Moods, Oh My!
Another Full-Time Job
Relating to Yourself and Others (Or Not): (Re)Discovering Yourself and Your Relationship to Others in Grief
Everyone Is Stylish in Their Own Way
Knowing and Honoring Your Needs
Oh, the Places You Go and the People You See (And Why It’s Exhausting)
People Say Stupid Shit
Who’s Got Your Back?
of Course It’s Complicated
Pitfalls and Hazards: Identifying the Grief Thief and Other Speed Bumps to Navigating Loss
Watch Out for the Grief Thief
There Is No Grief GPS
Should Is a Dirty Word (And Not the Swearing Kind)
Holidays, Anniversaries, and Other Grief Hazards
Secondary Losses: The Sneakiest Bitches of Them All
Skills and Tools That Help Grief Suck Less: Discovering Ways to Soften the Hard Edges of Grief
Improv Skills Help
Your Turn to Buddy-Breathe
Seek a Creative Resource
Now What? Bringing Curiosity to the Emerging Story of Your Life
the Beautiful, Messy, Emerging You
Memories for Safekeeping
Meaning Making (Even Though It Didn’t Happen for a Reason)
When Grief Becomes a Part of the Story—but Not the Whole
A Little Extra
Appendix A: An Alphabet of Reminders for Your Grief Journey
Appendix B: A Letter to the Grief Supporters
QR Codes for Guided Meditations
About the Author
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