Posted by: AJtheIrishLass | November 11, 2014

An Excellent Read for Dealing with Loss

baby child close up crying

Photo by Pixabay on

Tear Soup: a Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schweibert is a book I can’t recommend enough. A short, easy read, it has some of the best help for coping after a loss that you’ll find. I’m very grateful to my rector for bringing this book over after a devastating loss in the family.

While some might conclude that it’s a kids’ book because of its pictures and short, easy-to-read text, it has a lot of “meat” for adults in it, too. Many bereavement books for adults written in chapter format have a lot to get through when you’re not in a position to digest a lot. A short, quick read is good in these situations.

My recommendation: read Tear Soup as soon as possible, re-read, and write down some observations. Keeping a diary or journal of sorts may help you should you need professional help. Once you’ve had a chance to process some of your grief, you may discover that it’s easier to get through longer books.

This book would be easy to read together with a child who is also trying to process grief. However, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that this book is pedantic in any way. Rather, it helps to think of the book as a modern-day fable.

The story follows a woman who makes up a batch of “tear soup” after a loss. Because it doesn’t name the specific loss, it’s easy to adapt the principles in the story to any grief situation. Some of the most important takeaways in this book for me were:

The fact is that grief is a very personal thing

No two people will have the exact same “recipe” for grief. The specific relationship to the bereaved or a lack thereof will play a role in the journey that others will take with you as you grieve. Someone who had minimal interaction with or never met your loved one will have a different type of role than someone better acquainted with your loved one, and that’s okay!

Understanding the fact that sometimes people don’t know what to say

Some of what comes across as insensitive or trite is just being at a loss for helpful words. People going through a loss are likely to be overly sensitive, and there is a high chance of saying something in haste that you may regret later.

It’s not written from a religious perspective but does address the fact that a person’s faith might be impacted by grief

Offering a non-sectarian perspective helps us take a closer look at how grief impacts us on an individual level distinct from our upbringings. I feel comfortable recommending this book to both Christians and non-Christians.

There are also helpful discussion questions in the back that you could use as a family or group of friends. Talking about grief is often therapeutic, especially if there is common ground that everyone works from in their discussion. Everyone dealing with a loss will handle their circumstances differently, even if mourning the same person or traumatic event, and this book helps.


  1. Dear CelticAnglican,

    May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
    Hope this message finds you well.

    Wanted to write and see if you would permit me to use some of the material you initially posted in 2001 and reposted in 2007 on High and Low Church.

    As an ordained Episcopal Deacon in the Diocese of Central Florida, I lead a weekly Religious Studies/Chapel at St. Barnabas Episcopal School, in DeLand, FL. I would be very interested in providing your perspective on Low and High Church to the Middle School students, but wanted to first obtain your permission and blessing.

    I can be reached at the following email:

    Look forward to your prayerful response.

    In Christ,

    The Rev. Din Bissoondial
    St. Peter the Fisherman Episcopal Church, New Smyrna Beach, FL.

    • Hi Deacon Bissoondial,

      You have my permission and my blessing. 🙂 If the material appears in print, a link back to the site, is all that you’ll need. Thanks! 🙂

      • Thanks so much. I will list the link back to your site in my preaching notes, which are archived by the school.

        In Christ above all else.

        Rev. Din


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