Turning Heartfelt Sorrow into Unexpected Joy

June 8, 2016
by  Chris Verleger

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There is no universal formula or rule of thumb for how to handle the loss of someone close to you. Even if it’s expected – for instance, when a loved one falls ill – the initial shock and ensuing grief can be life altering.

So when Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, recently gave her commencement address at UC Berkeley about finding joy after the sudden loss of her husband last year, it was unexpected.

Unexpected, yet authentic and inspirational… and it reminded me of a memoir I was gifted last year about an author who takes a glass half full journey after a similar tragic loss.

In her inspirational, exceptionally honest and ultimately uplifting memoir, “Splitting the Difference,” award-winning copywriter and author Tré Miller Rodriguez revisits her life and the aftermath when Alberto, her husband of only four short albeit wonderful years, died suddenly from a heart attack at the young age of forty.

Along with the usual responsibilities and hardships associated with someone’s passing – service arrangements, family gatherings, work and business obligations – the author also reveals her own thought processes throughout the ordeal with remarkable candor and unapologetically acknowledges those instances when she was unable, understandably, to maintain her composure.

As part of her healing, she takes off on an exciting adventure with Alberto’s ashes in tow, sprinkling them at various locations of significance throughout the world, including Cuba. Tré is then fortuitously reunited with the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago, and the outcome is especially joyous.

Most importantly, the author doesn’t profess that her way is the best or right way for everyone, nor does she pretend that her behavior is always beyond reproach, but within her feisty disposition is a lesson for us all when faced with such devastating circumstances.

I was fortunate enough to have a personal inscription from Tré included in my copy of her memoir. It reads, “For Chris, with heart-shaped proof that an ending doesn’t always equal the end.” Undoubtedly, those few words say it best.

Chris Verleger


Chris Verleger is an avid reader, passionate writer, aspiring novelist and self-professed theater geek from Providence. You can find more of his book and theater reviews at Edge Media Network. To reach Chris via email click on the mail icon below.
or visit www.goodacguy.com

TAGS: Book review, Christopher Verleger, Grieving, Healing, Inspiration, Joy, Loss, Sheryl Sandberg, Splitting the Difference, Tré Miller Rodriguez

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