In Four Funerals and a Wedding, Jill Smolowe jostles preconceptions about caregiving, defies clichés about losing loved ones, and reveals a stunning bottom line: far from being uncommon, resilience like hers is the norm among the recently bereaved. With humor and quiet wisdom, and with a lens firmly trained on what helped her tolerate and rebound from so much sorrow, she offers answers to questions we all confront in the face of loss, and reminds us that grief is not only about endings—it’s about new beginnings.


“Magnificent … The grace, compassion and love that Smolowe chronicles is what makes this book special.”
Newark Star-Ledger

“Thoughtful and compassionate guidance for people going through the grieving process with loved ones. Her story is heartbreaking and heartwarming, incisively written and extremely clear … This is an absolute must-read for people struggling with loss.”
Publishers Weekly

“There are so many who would benefit from Smolowe’s emotional intelligence, warmth and wisdom … We see how we fragile human beings are also capable of grace and able to rebuild and find the light of life once again.”
–Dr.Lloyd Sederer, Medical Director, NY State Office of Mental Health, Huffington Post

“Smolowe combines striking clarity and acuity with relaxed humor and unpretentious candor … No one would envy Smolowe’s ordeal. But the way she handled it and writes about it? Very much so.”
New Jersey Monthly

“Smolowe has written an uplifting memoir about grieving and moving on.”

“Jill Smolowe’s memoir upends conventional wisdom, providing a new narrative for grief. By turns humorous, matter-of-fact, and wise, she does not shy away from uncomfortable moments. But she also emphasizes moments of grace with an eloquence that will take your breath away. Her insights about grieving, and moving beyond grief, should be required reading for all humans.”
–Christina Baker Kline, author, New York Times No. 1 bestseller, Orphan Train

“When later romances follow the loss of a spouse, new love may come stubbornly intertwined with mourning … Smolowe addresses this phenomenon with clear-eyed insight … Her new love, with a caring man equally benumbed by loss, will gladden any reader who yearns for happy endings.”
Boston Globe

“Jill is not only a fabulous writer but she discovers in the midst of her sorrow, her insuperable losses, that she has enormous reserves of strength. Hearing about grief from the inside gives me a better notion of how to respond to it.”
–Rick Hamlin, executive editor, Guideposts

“Jill Smolowe has written a moving memoir of loss – and also a uniquely uplifting one. Emphasizing the resilience, not the grief (though she portrays both with a novelist’s eye for detail and ear for dialogue), she offers essential insights for those who have lost people they love, or know others who have, or will one day find themselves in one or the other of these positions – in other words, for every one of us.”
–Deborah Tannen, author, New York Times No. 1 bestseller, You Just Don’t Understand

“People need to know how grief works, what it feels like, day in and day out; the thoughts, joys, sorrows, fears and hopes. They also need a story. Jill Smolowe tells that story, and with great aplomb. Her engaging, informative, and moving narrative puts flesh to the bones of our research.”
–George Bonanno, professor of clinical psychology and author of The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss

“Many accounts of grief are called ‘brave’ and ‘unsparing,’ but Four Funerals and a Wedding truly is those things. It’s the first account from the silent majority who respond to loss not with paralyzing sorrow but with remarkable strength. Jill Smolowe challenges orthodoxies surrounding bereavement and shows how man does not just endure, but prevails.”
–Ruth Davis Konigsberg, author of The Truth About Grief: The Myth of Its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss

“Jill Smolowe has given us a valuable tale told with diamond clarity, honesty and a bracing lack of sentimentality. She is unsparing yet hopeful in sharing her very real story of persevering through tragedy to find new possibilities and joy.”
–Becky Aikman, author of Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking their Lives

“What makes this book amazing is that it is not maudlin or sad or sappy. It’s actually uplifting.”
–Anne Holmes, National Association of Baby Boomer Women