As a former psychiatric nurse, I can attest to the fact that grief counseling is one of, if not the most, successful treatment modalities for people experiencing loss. Emotions that are not dealt with, or that are silenced, can lead to the emergence of many other problems later on.
In Jo-Ann Lautman and Linda Schreyer’s book, “Tears and Tequila,” the subject of grief therapy is dealt with in a creative yet poignant way. Six seemingly disparate strangers are drawn together by their bond of grief, and guided to healing and hope by an unlikely leader in the story’s central character, Joey.
Joey’s own suppressed emotions float to the surface as she leads “group.” The reader journeys with these individuals, whose lives are forever changed after the deaths of loved ones, but whose healing gives hope to us all.
Two parallel stories are told simultaneously, yet seamlessly intertwined so that the reader is taken on the characters’ journeys of pain and healing, while humor and suspense are injected at crucial moments to allow for some respite from the sadness.
Jo-Ann Lautman, who I had the privilege of meeting at the recent Our House gala, founded the grief support center, “Our House,” in 1993. Since first opening its doors, here in Los Angeles, Jo-Ann and her staff, some of whom went through the program themselves, have provided hope and healing for so many people.
I highly recommend this book. It is a quick read, but an important one. It illuminates the path of grief and the emergence of hope. If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing pain and loss, this book will assist you in being able to guide them to a place where they can find hope and healing.