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Nicole Marie Sorkin

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Books by Nicole Marie Sorkin

Grieving a Soulmate, By: Robert Orfali
by Nicole Marie Sorkin   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, August 26, 2011
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011

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The book every lover should read. Grieving a Soulmate is unlike any book you've ever read, even though the story is universal. It's about the death of a lover. The book takes on this difficult and very personal topic with courage, out-of-the box thinking, and deep love. Ranging from the practical to the emotional--and frequently blending the two--Orfali's style of writing makes a difficult topic easier to manage. He writes in an easy style that is analytical, yet speaks from the heart. The content is thought-provoking, unique and original. It's your gentle and informed guide to the deep grieving that accompanies the death of a soulmate. This book should help you quickly overcome the red-hot pain of grief. It also tells you how to reconstruct your life, find meaning, and deal with the big existential issues from a secular perspective. It's a survival guide for the last stages in a soulmate relationship. Above all, however, Grieving a Soulmate is a love story.

 Robert Orfali has a knack for breaking down huge topics into manageable parts, then explaining the constituent elements of  these parts in minute detail, bringing in the end an understanding rarely articulated however certainly understood.  How do you truly explain love?  What are the common stages for grieving the loss of a loved one?  What and how do you cope with these epic situations and heal from the pain and suffering?  These topics, and more, are explained in Robert Orfali’s book, Grieving a Soulmate as he has come to terms with the loss of his loving wife of over 30 years, Jeri Orfali.

As the act of being born comes as no surprise, so does, in many cases, death.  Robert Orfali has had the unfortunate experience of losing his wife to cancer; witnessing first hand all that surrounds the industry of dying with its health care, funerals, along with all of the emotions and eventually acceptance of the inevitable.  He by no means is unique in his loss, nor heightened in emotional stress than most others faced under such circumstances.  Robert Orfali is, however, a wonderful writer of intellect and reason; capable of bringing complex situations into a logical pattern of understanding, and it is this unique quality which he performed so eloquently in Grieving a Soulmate.

The book makes no claim of being a romantic love story, although it is, but rather is a textbook on how best to cope with the situation of losing a loved one to a cruel disease. Robert Orfali systematically progresses, chapter by chapter, offering advice and understanding to the various stages of diminishing health; the stepping down wrung by wrung of cognitive awareness until the end of life overwhelms.  This becomes a beginning of a new existence with only the memories of one’s soulmate left as a final gift.  The perfunctory busyness of a funeral is talked about as being a wonderful distraction to the overwhelming grief, and the subject is further enhanced by discussions from other noted experts such as Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross with her books On Death and Dying andDeath: The Final State of Growth.

Grieving a Soulmate is heavily laden with memorial dialogue, reflections of thoughts, expressing not necessarily the dying wishes of Jeri Orfali but more how she wanted her memory to live on.  The book at times is rather difficult to read due to its subject matter, as we all have raw nerve endings of some prior loss which no doubt will be disturbed by these episodes described so well.  For those recently going through the process of a loss, this book can be an excellent gift to console and comfort, as it teaches one method of reconstituting yourself post the event.  In this way, I would define this book as being very positive, helpful and informative. 

It seems obvious to me that Robert Orfali has benefited greatly in his personal management of grief by his work in this book.  I feel he genuinely has presented his conclusions not as a personal accomplishment but more a methodology that others can follow to overcome such an ordeal.  The book is linked to many resources one can obtain on-line to further the subject, or for continued self-help in their personal struggles with Grieving a Soulmate.

Web Site: Pacific Book Review

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