If you've lost a loved one this year, this title might help you to process your emotions. Long Island Medium star Teresa Caputo's new book is Good Grief: Heal Your Soul, Honor Your Loved Ones, and Learn to Live Again. The TLC personality sat down with Bustle Books Editor Cristina Arreola on Thursday for a Facebook Live interview discussing how grief is a normal part of the human experience:
"People, no matter how long someone is gone, we have trouble grieving," Caputo tells Arreola. "We feel like there's a right or wrong way to grieve. ... Grieving your loved one can be in a good way, it doesn't have to be in a negative way. What this book also gives you is permission to grieve on your own terms."
She isn't wrong. Our culture's focus on happiness and positivity — including forced positivity — has caused many people to develop skewed opinions on sadness, anger, and other negative emotions, namely that feeling bad in any way is unhealthy. But bottling negativity and forcing positivity prevents us from experiencing the full range of human emotion.
We hear a lot about how you can choose to be happy, but Newsweek points out that, "as the [positive-thinking] movement’s popularity grew, it started being used to shame people with depression, anxiety or even occasional negative feelings." Today, many people don't know the difference between sadness and depression, which worsens the already disastrous state of mental health in the U.S.
Caputo emphasizes that people should allow themselves to grieve on their own terms, whether that includes anger, detachment from material possessions, or relief. She likens the grieving process to having a new baby:
When we have a baby, everyone has an idea: your mother-in-law, your parents, cousins ... everyone is telling you what you should and shouldn't do. Some of them you take their advice, some of them you don't. But at the end, you do what feels right with your gut instinct.
It's the same thing with grieving. We can listen to suggestions of what has helped people with their own grieving process, but you have to do what your gut tells you. Never veer from your instinct.
Check out Bustle's full Facebook Live chat with Caputo below. Good Grief is available today at your favorite bookstore.