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CHECK OUT: How to Survive the Loss of a Love

This post is the first in a new monthly series through which members of the HHA community share book recommendations with you, our blog readers and friends.

Dear Friends,

My mother gave me this book years ago. I never read it or even thumbed through it until now. I wish I had looked at it sooner.

The book is How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Harold Bloomfield, Melba Colgrove and Peter McWilliams. The title may appear to deal with only lost love, but friend, it deals with all losses… relationships, friendship, business, personal and private losses.

When one thinks of loss, it is often thought of as relationships, break ups, unfinished business, and death. But what this gem points out is that loss can be seen as successful- no longer in survival mode and finding happiness, while no longer feeling alone. It puts life into perspective, so that when loss or change comes, a person can easily understand and adapt to each situation (page 20).

Not only does this book discuss loss but how to let it go and heal. Grief is such a significant component of loss. It’s a fast read, maybe a one-day read. A guide of healing to and from a loss, using point form explanations and littered with beautiful poetry and humor that should hit the heart center, while making your brain light up with enlightenment.

How to Survive teaches one how to forgive themselves, regardless of the loss. A person cannot heal without forgiveness for oneself. All aspects of Loss start with just one thing, “care and compassion begin at home- from yourself to yourself” (page 76).

It is also a mood booster. Number Seven, “You’re Great” (page 32) and 28, “Be Gentle with Yourself” (page 76).

If you’re anything like me, a spiritual component riddled with holistic modalities is important. This book promotes self-care using modalities such as massage, meditation, and acupuncture. “I missed you last night. I missed you this morning. I meditated. I no longer miss you. I love you” (page 125). And if prayer is something that suits your needs, this book addresses this too.

Anger and fear will appear. Understand these two go hand in hand but this to shall pass. Find forgiveness in this journey, for the loss and for yourself. Remember, everything starts within. (page 150).

Cherish the happiness and joy when it returns. Grief never fully goes away, it changes.

More importantly, How to Survive provides help and resources if things get really dark, including Suicide Prevention Hotline. Even as far back as the 1970’s, grief and loss can cause a person to contemplate their own demise. Please if you feel this way, reach out to someone you trust or to a medical professional to get the help you need or call anytime.

I’m always here for you.




Jessica Serre is an HHA death doula candidate. You can learn more about Jessica at or reach out to her by email at

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