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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2001
I came to this book as a result of the death of my Father to find that the author had felt compelled to write the book after the death of her own Father. When first skimming through the pages looking for any kind of answer to the confusion going on in my mind, I found, at first, the book to be too angry and raw. However after the initial shock of my Father's death wore off I was surprised to find how the overwelming emotion I felt was white hot rage and suddenly the book made sense. However Virginia Ironside's book is not just about rage but about the many different and confusing emotions bereaved people feel.
The book is particularly well written, with each chapter looking at a new aspect of grief. She pours scorn on the usual sentimental approach to bereavement and the platitudes which are meant to make us feel better and instead looks for some honesty - painful as it may be.
Despite being a very angry and brutally honest account the book is ultimately caring and hopeful and it helped me more than anything else I have read. At present it is on my bedside table and I keep reading bits at night when I wake up, sleepless and bewildered.
I would recommend this to anybody who has suffered a bereavement and would advise that you are not put off by the book's brutal honesty.
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on 10 March 2013
My partner of 11 years died last November and I have since read several books and articles on grief. This is by far the best as it deals with the anger and confusion of grief. After nearly 4 months I still find little comfort and this book mirrors my feelings. I don't see it as a negative book at all - it is honest and hard hitting, yes, but, because it offers no platitudes and "words of comfort" it is realistic. There are no words of comfort at the moment. I loved this man, he was my world and he has gone - who on earth can give me comfort? I have found many people want to make me better, as if I have an illness. This is not an illness, it is grief, it is loss and it is pain. I thank Virginia Ironside for, if you like, walking alongside me, for being able to put into words the pain I am feeling at the moment. I think this book gives tremendous hope too, because I know that I cannot sustain this level of pain forever. Of course we more forward, but right now, I don't really want to. I don't want to "get over it", nor will I ever say goodbye to him.

Having said all this, I do feel sorry for the people out there who are trying their best to support me. It is very difficult for them to witness my pain but if only they would say nothing or just listen. I'm sure I've been just as crass and insensitive with others before I experienced grief first hand. This book is so helpful in stating what is now the bleedin' obvious and I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to help a loved one grieving.

Thank you Virginia Ironside - you have given me a place to go in my darkest hours.
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on 10 April 2002
A truely excellent account of grief,quite frank and beautifully honest,which I personally found refreshing and needed.
The title 'You'll get over it'sums the book up.Will you ever get over someone you truely loved so much?People think they are being a comfort whilst saying this,Virginia picks up well on this and uses appropriate sarcasm.
I lost my dad at the begginig of the year(2002).
This book has guided me through all the emotions I have been feeling,almost mirroring my own thoughts and feelings.
I feel this is a definate for the bereaved as it makes you realise that what you feel isn't 'mad' or 'foolish' it is grief.
Thankyou Virginia.
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on 18 January 2012
I've been in the depths of despair inside for years now, primarily due to the loss of my parents with no support from my blood family whatsoever. My husband has been 100% there for me but I can hardly keep bawling my eyes out in front of him. And so I turned to books for help. This was one of them. I read it in the Autumn of 2010, nine months after my Mum died, (my Dad had died nearly 6 years earlier) and that was too soon for me. To read how others feel at their losses did not feel empathetic; I soaked up their feelings like a sponge and went into overload.

Recently I thought I would try to see if I could read it again to see if I felt differently - I just couldn't do it. I reminded myself of various parts in it but the same desolation it inspired then returned in full force and I just had to stop. I would definitely not recommend that anyone read it soon after they are bereaved when the emotions are raw; the loss fresh and vivid. It could devastate them.

This book was written because of the feelings the author experienced at the time her father died which triggered emotions about all those who had died in her past and my first reaction was that it was a brilliant portrayal of this. And it is. And that's the problem. I so totally agreed with how she says it feels when the second parent dies but she also made it clear that she believes this doesn't change and that it goes on forever and ever. The hopelessness of life after being orphaned at a mature age, the loss of a child or a partner, the awareness of our own mortality and the horrible realization that we never get over it - never - doomed to go to our graves feeling this way, is too much for anyone to bear, however true it is.

The author is scathing of any suggestion that we go through emotional stages following a death. She believes that we will interpret these as a rigid sequence. Not crediting anyone with the intelligence to know it is different for everyone. Because of this, there is no structure of that sort to the content of the book and it is therefore inherently a messy book about a messy subject. The problem is, it left me feeling in a mess. I don't think books that describe stages and give hope should be written off. I don't for one moment think that there is the same sequence for everyone and certainly we return again and again to earlier emotions 'in no particular order'. But such books at least break up the emotions into digestible pieces we can relate to and which we then can extrapolate, adjust, switch around and so on to better understand our own experiences. They also give hope. On the cover of her book is a note by Anthony Clare "A very painful, honest and ultimately hopeful account". This led me to believe there was some hope. This book gives none. Even the postscript three years after the death of her father is in the same vein: "I'm impatient to discover whether I have to live in this land of grief and rage and confusion for ever, or whether bereavement is actually a journey...".

Don't get me wrong - she is absolutely right. It is two years since my Mum died and I'm as upset, lost, lonely, confused, ... as I was then - when I let myself dwell on it. I reiterate: this book doesn't have any hope in it. It is not a book that the bereaved should read believing it does. We all know we are mortal; we all know we are going to die and all around us are going to die too. We don't dwell on it. We have to believe things will get better - this is constructive. We also know that we will experience pain - for some, unbearable and forever pain - but what we need is positive support while we endure such pain however long that is. You may feel better for reading about other peoples experiences - there are numerous examples in this book - but I believe it is unhealthy to endorse pain in such a way when adamant that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

I truly wish that this book had remained a private unpublished vent of anger for the author. Obviously many may disagree with me. The thing is, do you want to feel better and able to cope or do you want to wallow in self-pity forever as the author has decided we must and probably will? Yes we will grieve. Yes we will feel guilt, fear, anger and all the other horrendous emotions a death inspires (even relief for some). But also, yes we must live as the changed person that we inevitably become after a death and yes we must move on for the benefit of those who are still alive including ourselves.
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on 27 June 1999
If someone close to you has died, don't think about buying this book - just do it. There are no ridiculous platitudes or maudling poems - but it does give structure to the muddle, and very welcome words to help you make sense of it all - whatever stage you are at in "the process".
If you've lost someone very close to you then you will know that there's very few people who can say anything meaningful or appropriate. Virginia Ironside has the guts and clarity of thought to make sense of the myriad of emotions you didn't even know you had - and does so incisively and realistically but also with enormous sensitivity.
I am young, professional and not particularly religious; but death is after all the great leveller so this book offers something for everyone who has come into close contact with death (and let's face it, that is everyone!).
"You'll get over it" is a chapter by chapter gambol through each of the tempestuous and painful emotions - with some very poignant examples, It is accompanied by a comprehensive further reading list and a source of potentially helpful addresses.
Virginia Ironside is frankly too damned angry about her own bereavement to embrace schmaltz and sentimentality. Compared to other books on similar subjects, the honesty and frankness is refreshing - truly a book about death in our era.
An excellent book - and to be honest, it can't be any less useful than some of the other things you've been told or read at this peculiar time, can it?!
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on 14 April 2000
After a desperate trawl through the endless books on bereavement looking for words that would mean something to me, I was given this book by a friend. Books on bereavement can only offer so much, as ultimately your loss is unique, but as much as any book can help, then this book did. Virginia Ironside has managed to write a book that makes sense to person who currently sees the world as a senseless place. When I read this book (the first time, in one sitting) there were lots of times I wanted to say "Yes, that's it, I'm not going mad!". If you've suffered a bereavement or know someone who is suffering, this is one book amongst the many that will help. A real life-line.
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on 21 March 2005
Not an easy read! Don't be put off by Virginia Ironside's somewhat aggressive manner at times, there are a lot of gems to be found in this book. If you are grieving for a husband/wife/parnter/parent or child then this is the book for you. Virginia Ironside takes grief by it's ankles and shakes it hard until all the "loose change" - the negative thoughts, the guilty thoughts, the "hidden" depths of grief - spill out onto the ground. She then examines each aspect in the cold light of day. Not a sentimental or slushy book, and not one that adheres to the old adage "you'll get over it!"
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on 16 February 2009
You'll Get Over it: The Rage of Bereavement

I have just lost my dad who i was very close to, it was very sudden, no warning what so ever, and just 7 weeks ago( boxing day). I am really taking it hard and was looking for a book that may give me some help or advise. The reviews for this book was really good so i decided to get it. This is the 1st review I have given,, but this is about the 100th book I have ordered over amazon. I just want to warn people like me that this book was not something that helped. If anything it really offended me. It rubbished the idea of writing your loved one a letter ( which i did, it was cremateded with my dad and i feel comfort that what i said what i wanted to say to him but could not as he died while out on a day trip with my mum), its also laughed at and ridiculed a famous poem that people have a funerals. This was at my sister in laws funeral ( and i have kept ever since at the back of her photo) she was 40 yrs old and died of breast cancer. I felt this book at the authors note about how she felt, and that anyother way to cope is stupid. she went on about the 4 stages of grief been rubbish and untrue and all stuff like this. in the end i put it down, it did nothing to help if anything the rage i felt got worse! buy this book if you think this sort of thing will help but for me i thought it was rubbish!
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on 19 June 2009
This is one of the best books I have read about bereavement. I bought it after the death of my mother and have spoken about it so much that both my dad and brother want to borrow it! Virginia Ironside pretty much hits the nail on the head with the truth of how you will feel. I found that alot of poems and verses seemed to try and "pretty up" death and I did not find these consoling at all. Ms Ironside agrees and addresses the distressing nitty gritty of death for which I am grateful. As she says death is less like a butterfly and more like a slug! The book ends on as a high a note as it could suggesting that you can move on with your grief albeit a changed person. I think each person will take what they want from this book but the most important thing I took was that however you feel - its OK!
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on 19 September 2013
There may be people who do not get on with this book - but for anyone who likes to face facts, and have it "told as it is" without the platitudes and meaningless "fluff" this is the book for real help. I lost my husband, but for my daughter it was loss of a father - which was the case for Virginia Ironside, so it was even more relevant for her.
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