Friday, December 19, 2014

Friend Grief's Top Five List for 2014

The year is almost over and I thought it would be a good time to look back on the posts that generated the most interest this year.

The funny thing about writing is that you don’t always know what resonates with people. Sometimes you write something that you believe is so brilliant it will change the lives of everyone who reads it – and obviously, everyone in the world will read it. That usually doesn’t happen. Sometimes you write something that’s definitely not your best effort, but there’s something about it that hits a nerve.

This list certainly surprised me:

#5 Update on Friend Grief and AIDS The second book in my series has been the most popular by far. It’s also the one that I’ve committed to updating every January (so expect a 2014 edition in the next few weeks) to include current facts and new resources. It’s a subject I’ve been close to for over 30 years now. I donate 25% of the retail price (not profit) of every paperback and ebook to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

#4 How Celebrities Grieve Their Friends 2014 seemed to be an exceptionally bad year for celebrity deaths. For some reason, we expect those in the public eye to grieve differently than we would. They don’t. It’s just that their grief is on display for the world to critique.

#3 The End of the Friend Grief Series? The title certainly got a lot of attention. I’m not at the end of the series, but getting close. The fifth of sixth books comes out in late January. But there’s more to come, and the series has taken a turn that surprised me.

#2 Anger, Condemnation and Philip Seymour Hoffman  Ah, celebrities again. The death of this talented actor brought out not just grief but anger and swift condemnation as well. The reactions were shocking to a lot of people – friends and strangers alike.

#1 Friend Grief: Guilt vs. Regret. This was definitely a surprise. I try very hard to avoid regrets. And 2014 has shown me the power of doing that. I grieve for two friends who died this year – Pierre and Dan – but I don’t have a lot of regrets. That has eliminated the guilt I would’ve felt if I hadn’t taken a chance of looking stupid. I highly recommend a carpe diem approach to life.

So that’s my list. I suspect the 2015 list will surprise me as well. Maybe one of your favorites is here, maybe not.

As always, stay tuned. There are big, big changes (all good) coming soon that I think you’ll find helpful.

One thing won’t change, sadly: we will grieve our friends. And hopefully, we’ll remember them with love and joy, as we’d want them to remember us.

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