Create grace, space, and room to breathe in the aftermath of loss by granting yourself Permission to Grieve.


About the Book

A powerful permission slip for anyone facing the devastating heartbreak that comes with death, divorce, diagnosis, and so much more.

When loss steamrolls through, there’s a lot of hidden and not-so-hidden “rules” about the way you’re “supposed” to grieve: “You should be over it after a year.” “Put on a brave face.” “Keep your grief at home.”

Permission to Grieve calls out society’s garbage rules for what they really are: toxic and repressive narratives that insist we abandon our true selves in the face of grief. Shelby asks instead:

  • What if we allowed grief the freedom to influence our emotions?

  • What if we allowed grief the power to alter our identities at home, school, and work?

  • What if we allowed grief to show up in the physical world through art, memorial, and ritual?

  • What if we gave ourselves… Permission to Grieve?

Drawing on her experience as a grieving person and two years’ worth of interviews with grief experts like Megan Devine, Kerry Egan, and Caleb Wilde, Shelby Forsythia makes the case for radical, self-honoring permission—free from personal judgement and society’s restrictive timelines and rules. Permission to Grieve guides you to call your grief out of hiding and invites you to give it permission through thoughtful writing prompts, easy-to-follow exercises, and clever visual illustrations.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • How society encourages us to practice life-rejection and self-abandonment instead of expressing our grief

  • The three big permissions that unlock the emotions, identities, and actions our grief wants to express—featuring insights from podcast guests and Shelby Forsythia’s personal grief community

  • Tips and tricks for practicing permission to grieve in the real world—including how to ask for permission to grieve from friends, family, and coworkers and tools for helping others tap into their own permission to grieve

Permission to Grieve is not a hall pass from a higher authority; it’s a personal practice that is strengthened with self-awareness, attention, and love. You don’t have to wait to receive permission to grieve; you already have it.

Permission to Grieve is a book for people who are tired of covering up and pushing down their pain. It’s a book for people who know that there’s a better, more compassionate way to approach the worst thing that has ever happened to them. It’s a book for people who believe that grief is not an enemy to be vanquished as quickly as possible, but an opportunity to connect more deeply with their human selves. Because even in the midst of loss, Shelby writes, we can create grace, space, and room to breathe.


Praise for Permission to Grieve:

Through no choice, or fault of yours, grief has entered your life. No one needs to remind or tell you that this is a devastating experience. By sharing her life experiences and revelations, Shelby offers a heartfelt and honest approach to learn to allow your grief to have its voice. Whatever voice your grief needs and whatever way you need to give it life. You had no choice when the grief entered your life. I invite you to choose to read Permission to Grieve.

— Glen Lord, founder of The Grief Toolbox

This book is a gift that needs to be on the shelves in every hospice and grief-centered counseling office.

— Dr. Sharon Prentice, psychotherapist, counselor, and author of Becoming Starlight

In a culture that so desperately wants to push the reality of loss away from our day-to-day lives, Shelby’s book offers education, gentle prompts, tips and ‘permission’ to fully express and integrate the flow of grief into our daily lives.

— Marni Henderson, founder of Coalesce Discovery

Combining compassion and practicality, this book can help anyone who is grieving, offering tools and insights to help navigate life-altering loss.

— Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC, and author of You Are Not Alone, A Heartfelt Guide to Grief, Healing, and Hope

Shelby’s candor and humor are raw, her wisdom insightful, and her passion that we all have permission to grieve unwavering.

— Annah Elizabeth, founder of The Five Facets of Healing

A beautiful revelation of her own loss story combined with what she then learned as a ‘student of grief,’ this book is for anyone who has lost someone or something important.

— Sunny Joy McMillan, master life coach and author of Unhitched

A thoughtful blend of personal insights, shared stories, and well-curated tools to help guide me through a very rough time.

— Jessica Waite, founder of Endless Stories

Practical, compassionate, and contemplative—a perfect companion for the sensitive souls seeking something to help them move forward.

— Katie Huey, creator of 52 Beautiful Things

Shelby’s book transparently unleashes the relentless power of grief. She helps reduce the stigma associated with grieving by explaining there is no shame or judgment in the process. This is especially relevant for survivors of suicide loss.

— Robin Chodak, grief coach and author of Be Gentle with Me, I’m Grieving and Moving to Excellence

Well-meaning friends and family like to whitewash grief’s messiness. Shelby helps you take your power back with doable, healing tools. Feelings of isolation and stagnation melt with each chapter. Readers learn to befriend grief and discover bold, bright new tomorrows await.

— Marlie Rowell, creator of Suicide Widow Etiquette

Permission to Grieve really gives you permission to live!

— Darwyn M. Dave, podcast host of Dealing with My Grief

Hold this book close to your heart. It won't take away the hurt, but it will give you a roadmap for how to carry it forward.

— Stephenie Zamora, founder of Stephenie Zamora Media

Insightful, honest, no-nonsense. I predict that I'll be referencing this book often as I continue on my own journey of growth.

— Susan Angel Miller, author of Permission to Thrive

Brings loss out from the abyss of darkness back into the light.

— Sharon Ehlers, founder of Grief Reiki


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