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Let's talk about grief: beginners welcome

Rebecca Soffer and Gabi Birkner, cofounders of the Modern Loss website and coauthors of the eponymous book.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter
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Rebecca Soffer and Gabi Birkner, cofounders of the Modern Loss website and coauthors of the eponymous book.

How are you?

If you’ve lost a loved one, that may have conjured up memories of a heavy hand on your shoulder, a precisely angled head tilt, a Hallmark card with tulips in all white.

When they lost their parents, Gabi Birkner and Rebecca Soffer found people’s responses completely inadequate to the task. Grief was hard enough, but our discomfort with death led to an isolating world where gallows humor was off limits and “everything happens for a reason” was thrown around all too liberally.

The website they founded, Modern Loss, aims to combat that. Now they’ve published a book of essays about how we grieve, why we fear death as a conversational topic, and what we talk about (or don’t) when we talk about loss.  

Year started with KUOW: 1985 – 1986, 1991 – 2004, 2012