Being There for Someone in Grief

When in the company of people in grief, I often hear them say it is rare to have a friend who can listen in a way that is quiet and calm—with a spaciousness that neither invades or evades their process. I wrote this book as a response. My deepest wish is that I have found just the right words to help you learn the art of truly being there for someone you love who needs your companionship. Because, in the span of a lifetime, each of us will be called on many times to be there for others as they grieve, just as one day we will need people to be there for us.


Mark Nepo ~The Book of Awakening; The Way Under the Way

In ancient times, art was useful and it is said that souls intent on living would reach deep into their wound and bring the fire living there into the light. Marianna Cacciatore is of this lineage. She has been shaped early by loss and has lifted its lessons out into the open. All with clarity and love. This humane and skillful weaving of story and insight offers immediate tools for anyone in the midst of grief or loving someone suffering through grief.

Stephen Levine ~Who Dies; A Gradual Awakening; and Becoming Kuan Yin

Marianna’s life work is just what the heart calls for when, as Merton said, ‘Prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.’ This book is more than simply educational, it is a star map of the heavens we must cross; the anguish that no matter how well we love, we cannot protect our loved ones from loss and unimaginable pain at times, and must continue to Braille out some sense of value in the moment. Being There for Someone in Grief does just that.

Wayne Muller ~A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough; and How Then Shall We Live?

It is difficult to imagine wishing for anyone more lovingly attentive than Marianna Cacciatore. Marianna has literally spent the bulk of her life listening for where life refuses to wither, especially in the presence of the most painful loss, grief, and death.

She offers priceless gifts, potent in their simplicity that can help us all bear fruitful witness to that inner strength and healing in anyone who struggles with the ache of grief and loss.

Alison Shapiro ~Healing Into Possibility -The Transformational Lessons of a Stroke
Once in a great while we are given the extraordinary gift of reading a truly luminous book, one that shines directly into our hearts from the very first word and heals us. Being There for Someone in Grief is such a gift.

Grief has many sources. Our lives are filled with gains and losses. As each story, elegant and poetic in its simplicity, unfolds, Marianna Cacciatore teaches us this profound truth: when we can find wholeness even in the presence of that gut searing, furious place of loss of someone we love, we can find wholeness everywhere. This book is a joy to read.

Parker Palmer ~The Courage to Teach; and Healing the Heart of Democracy

Supporting people who are grieving deep losses is an act of deep compassion. But how shall we approach these opportunities to be truly human—from getting past our own fears of loss and grief, to being present to those who grieve in ways that are neither invasive nor evasive? You will find no better help with these questions than the guidance offered in this book, written from the depths of Marianna’s own experience of grief and the compassion of her great heart. Enter the wisdom here, and let it enter you, and you will emerge as a wiser caregiver and a wiser human being.

Jerry Wennstrom ~The Inspired Heart – An Artists Journey of Transformation

There is no deeper well, with water more healing, than the well drilled into the bedrock of one’s deepest personal tragedy. Mysteries draw to the edge of this well a world of suffering and a drink of its clear cool water redeems all who come. “Being There,” is just such a well and it gives meaning and purpose to the impossible conditions of grief.