Book Review: This Thing Called Grief by Thomas M. Ellis

Looking for your next read? Check out This Thing Called Grief by Thomas M. Ellis, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Alvin P.

Grief and Loss are constants in all of our lives, and are exacerbated by the current world-wide pandemic that has claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives. Thomas M. Ellis delivers thoughtful commentary in this book on the grief-stricken individual with great empathy, and a realistic path to inner peace.

The author is an “expert” in his role as the Executive Director of the Center for Grief, Loss, and Transition in Saint Paul, Minnesota. However, Mr. Ellis defines an “expert” in grief as “the person experiencing a particular loss at a particular time”. I find this definition very sensitive and personal. It also concedes to the sobering reality that no one can tell a grief-stricken individual what they are feeling. The author further questions the efficacy of telling someone to “get over it” as an effective course of action in dealing with the pain associated with grief.

Mr. Ellis made key points in reminding readers that grief is an experience that we must go through, and that everyone does not experience it in the same way. Therefore, applying a standard “process” to dealing with grief is not the sure-fire strategy that many people believe it to be.

The author deserves a great deal of credit for addressing a topic that is too often taboo and making it a courageous conversation with readers. I highly recommend this book to adults and young adults for support as a valuable guide for dealing with grief.

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This Thing Called Grief

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