A New Approach to Loss and Grief


You Love them Forever.  Why Wouldn’t you Grieve them Forever?”

Twenty-three years ago, Lynn Shiner’s ex-husband murdered her two children, Jen and Dave, 10 and 8, on Christmas Day. This nightmare, her despair and anger, left her numb, afraid, and “zombielike,” with intense, overwhelming feelings, visions and memories. From the depths of this despair, she somehow found the drive and focus to slowly move forward.

Throughout her journey, she suffered feelings of inadequacy and anxiety as she struggled to fit her experience into the traditional grief models, stages and timelines, designed to help the griever. She felt her experience was better expressed as a trajectory that included a more realistic approach that included the event, the work and the forever, eliminating the word closure.  In her mind, “You love them forever.  Why wouldn’t you grieve them forever?”

Lynn and Lisa Zoll (LCSW) and Instructor of Social Work at Temple University, explore this new approach to grief in their new book, Grief: The Event, The Work, The Forever – A self-help book brought to you by the letter ‘R’. The book shares a less structured approach to grief that more realistically reflects the twists and turns of this highly personal journey.  It allows us to accept grief as journey to be honored instead of problem to be solved.

“Grief is a strange thing,” Lisa explained, “and you grieve in your own way when someone is taken away from you. Through our approach, grievers focus on their journey, rather than on stages, timeframes, and expectations. With help from their support system, they discover, in their own time, how best to accommodate or assimilate their loss into their lives.”

Grief is complex, and everyone’s journey is unique. Together, Lynn and Lisa are helping grievers better understand common reactions to their loss(es), validate their responses, encourage the telling of their story, so critical to the healing process, and provide supportive advice to family and friends. 

This book is intended to be a resource for grievers and their support systems.  Professional help is always recommended if the responses to the loss(es) become overwhelming or unbearable.