Shelby Forsythia is an Intuitive Grief Guide and host of the Coming Back: Conversations on Life After Loss podcast. Find direction, get support, and cultivate empathy by scheduling a free grief guidance consultation:
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.
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.
— Dr. Sharon Prentice, psychotherapist, counselor, and author of Becoming Starlight
— Marni Henderson, founder of Coalesce Discovery
— Annah Elzabeth, founder of The Five Facets of Healing
— Katie Huey, creator of 52 Beautiful Things
— Robin Chodak, grief coach and author of Be Gentle with Me, I’m Grieving and Moving to Excellence
— Marlie Rowell, creator of Suicide Widow Etiquette
— Darwyn M. Dave, podcast host of Dealing with My Grief
— Stephenie Zamora, founder of Stephenie Zamora Media
— Susan Angel Miller, author of Permission to Thrive
— Sharon Ehlers, founder of Grief Reiki