Exploring personal loss through Once More We Saw Stars
by Jayson Greene
discussion guide by grief specialist David Kessler
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. Was there a specific passage in the book that related to your loss? If so, share the passage and how it made you feel.
2. Jayson early on talks about the challenges of telling loved ones the horrible news. What was your experience telling people? Are you still caught off guard at times having to tell someone who doesn’t know?
3. Jayson writes about a list he was given about grief. It says, “Cry as often as you need. Talk as much or as little as you need.” He says, “They are my first set of instruction of how to breath on this new planet.” Were you given any information on grieving? What helped? What didn’t? How are you doing now in your different world?
4. Jayson and Stacy used the weekend seminar to release some of their feelings of anger. Who or what are you angry about? How do you release it?
5. In my workshops, I have people not only get in touch with feelings of sadness and anger but also jealousy, such as when I had Jayson and Stacy shout, “I hate happy families.” Who or what upsets you in your grief? Given that jealousy occurs even in loss, what are you jealous of?
6. Jayson says, “Grief is a world you move into. A world of softer voices, gentler gazes, closer observation and heightened compassion. It is, in many ways, a beautiful and redemptive place to spend time.” Do you feel softened or gentler in any way after your loss? How has grief changed you? How has it changed those around you? In addition to your tragedy, have you found any beauty in the world of grief?
7. Loss and grief finds a permanent place in your heart. Are you able to still venture forth and go after those old or new dreams being the different person you are today? Have the dreams diminished, transformed or changed?
8. Jayson asks, “What did it mean to honor Greta?” Have you thought about what it means to honor your loved one who has died?
9. Jayson tells of his success rate in finding safe places to scream in crowded New York City. Where are your safe places? What do you do there? Cry? Scream?
10. If you have children, how will you teach them to live in this uncertain world? Can you teach them not to live in fear of loss? Have you been able to let go of the fear and move forward?
11. As we learn to gradually accept our loss, are you able to fully immerse yourself in your new and different life? Do you feel guilty for loving again too? Do you feel love is now overshadowed by loss, or are you free to open your heart and still allow others in?
12. Jayson shares that everywhere he looks, there is another place that Greta’s eyes will never see. He tells her, “Greta, you would love it here.” Do you feel like you take your loved one with you in life? Do you have those conversations with them like Jayson?
13. Jayson and Stacy reflect on life after their loss, that “There is no limit to what we can endure?” After your loss, are there ways you feel more fearful? Do you fear death less?
14. Grief and loss are prominent aspects of life. How has it transformed you? Do you feel more prepared to handle more difficult aspects of life as a result of your loss?
15. Have you been able to find peace in your life like you once had? If so, how long did it take? What were the hurdles then and now?
16. What is your takeaway from the book you’d like to share with someone else? With whom would you share it and why?
About this Author
Discussion guide by David Kessler, grief specialist and author of Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief
. For more resources on loss, please visit www.grief.com