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Book Review: All Set for Black, Thanks

Miriam Weinstein recently published her book, “All Set for Black, Thanks. A New Look at Mourning.”

Miriam Weinstein recently published her book, “All Set for Black, Thanks. A New Look at Mourning.”

Barbara Schneider
Special to the Journal

Despite the fact that death usually kicks you in the butt and causes deep despair, most often when least expected, Miriam Weinstein in her book, “All Set for Black, Thanks,” addresses grief in a most unconventional way. Mourning is very much a part of the grieving process and this book will help you mourn. Part memoir, part how-to, Weinstein wants to start conversations before the crisis.

While examining the rituals, primarily in the Jewish culture, that serve as a starting point to help us get through our grief, she touches on matters both spiritual and practical. If you want to write a eulogy, Weinstein tells you how.  If you want to cook some comfort food, Weinstein tells you what you should and should not do. If you want to access deep sources of comfort, she helps you find what creates meaning for you.

Weinstein describes the many losses in her life. Although she keeps the tone light, her stories run the gamut from the sudden loss of good friends, to the death of her grandparents and many other relatives, community members and celebrities, yes celebrities, whose death many experience as a personal loss.

This book is designed to be read and shared by friends, family and book groups.

Although losing a loved one is always very painful, the author helps us find solace and humor in the different ways that families cope. Searching for the right funeral clothes, choosing a cemetery plot, planning the reception, preparing the eulogy, reciting prayers, and finally dividing up the spoils, Weinstein finds some humor in the rituals that embrace us all at the time of death.

Miriam Weinstein will present her book, “All Set for Black, Thanks. A New Look at Mourning,” November 3, 7 p.m., Stanetsky-Hymanson Memorial Chapel, 10 Vinnin St., Salem.  Weinstein’s appearance is co-sponsored by the Lappin Foundation. Email dcoltin@rilcf.org.

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