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How to Live After Profound Loss

Colin Campbell says that the way our society treats grief—and people in grief—is cruel and backward, and it needs a radical reimagining. He, of all people, would know. Four years…

Colin Campbell says that the way our society treats grief—and people in grief—is cruel and backward, and it needs a radical reimagining. 

He, of all people, would know.

Four years ago, Colin, his wife Gail, and their two teenage kids were driving to Joshua Tree, when they were T-boned by a drunk and high driver going 90 miles an hour. Colin and Gail survived. Their two children, Ruby and Hart, did not.

How do you live after that nightmare? How do you support a friend, a colleague, a brother or sister, who literally does not know how to go on?

Colin’s new book, Finding the Words, attempts to answer those unimaginable questions. It tells the story not only of his own pain in the weeks and months following Ruby and Hart’s death, but also breaks down our society’s misconceptions about grief, which he calls the “grief orthodoxy,” and it provides practical advice for a different kind of approach to grief—one that is more truthful, real, and connected.

People say to the grieving “There are no words” because they’re scared to confront the hard conversation. As Colin writes, it “acts as a perfect conversation killer. This empty phrase immediately ends any chance of a dialogue about loss and mourning. It encapsulates all that is wrong with how our society handles grief.”

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