By Michellanne Bradley

What does grief look like in our society?

How do you deal with grief on a personal level? With your family and friends, how do you discuss grief? What are the conversations you have? What are the conversations that you wish you could have?

Almost two years ago, while on a family vacation that included my nieces and nephew and my parents, my father was felled by what was a long drawn out and ultimately fatal stroke. I have written extensively about that. There was a whole lot that was not written about that time, and still has not been dealt with completely. I have heard from many who know that I may never stop grieving for him.

I tend to be wary of works about grief.

I have had a lot of opportunities in the past few years to do some deep dive work on grief in my own life, and I have found that a lot of what has been written barely touches the actual experience. Every day felt like it would never end, and dealing with the cascade of emotions was brutal.

When I was asked to review Cards for Bearing the Unbearable:  52 Prompts for Exploring Grief and Having Conversations That Matter by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, my initial response was more of a side eye/eye roll combination. I reminded myself that I am supposed to be open minded about this stuff, and I settled in with the cards. I was really happy to find that my initial gut reaction was completely wrong.

I found myself leaving the cards open to add them to my practice around the conversations I really want to have, and the reflections that make a difference in how I have dealt with the big pieces in this journey of grieving. I appreciate the prompts and have been really grateful for the aids in processing the important pieces that I found myself wholly unprepared for while in the middle of it all myself.

The cards are divided into sections on Emotions, Mind and Imagination, Physicality, Relationships, and Spirituality and Being.

While some of the cards contain questions that would fall under those we would expect, the phrasing and focus of them allowed me to really reflect on where I was on a day to day basis. I have done a lot of this work for my own life, so I know the importance of where trauma sits in the body, which was addressed with the Physicality section.

Emotions do not come easy for me, as I have a tendency to dissociate, so having those to come back around to as I gently eased into exploring where I was emotionally was very helpful. The Relationships section helped me to see and really affirm where I am with my spiritual practice.

After reviewing these I am planning to send these out to people I am sure will be able to use them, and I hope they find them as fantastic as I have found them to be. Look for the launch of these cards in September of 2023.


See Dr. Joanne Cacciatore’s work at Wisdom Publications.


Were you inspired by this? You may also like:


Grief Emerging (Because You Can’t Keep Your Head in the Sand)

Classic Style, Ancient Truth: The Magnanimous Heart by Narayan Helen Liebenson {Book Review}



Michelleanne Bradley