New York State Funeral Directors Association

You never chose this life.

It wasn’t what you signed on for. It absolutely wasn’t what you wanted, but the decision was out of your hands.

This life was foist upon you, like it or not (mostly not).

This isn’t how things are supposed to be so, as in the new book “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, you must make different plans.

The setting was idyllic: Sheryl Sandberg and her husband, Dave, were in Mexico to celebrate a friend’s milestone birthday.

Because it was a party for grown-ups only, it could have been romantic, too, but tragedy struck and Sandberg’s husband was found, dying, in the hotel’s gym.

When she heard the words, “I’m sorry for your loss,” she knew she would remember that moment “over and over and over.”

On the way home, she called a friend to ask how to tell her kids. She reached out to family and others, wondering how she was going to endure.

How could anyone live through pain like that? The first answer: “resilience isn’t fixed.” Loss shouldn’t mean knowing how you can survive, but learning how to be a survivor.

When the natural inclination is to think “positive thoughts,” for instance, Sandberg and Grant recommend thinking “about how much worse things could be.”

Friends may not mention your loss, or they may feel awkward, so be prepared to be proactive for them. Know the “three P’s” that can “stunt recovery,” and work to overcome them; research shows that doing so improves recovery time.

Forgive yourself, and utilize a journal to sort out your feelings; if you can’t write, then create in a medium you feel comfortable using.

Embrace your old routine as much as possible, and remember that everything has an end, including your grief.

Finally, studies show that while some people suffer post-traumatic stress in their losses, others “experienced post-traumatic growth.”

It will also help to remember that “There’s no one way to grieve and there’s no one way to comfort.”

While it may sometimes seem overly-dramatic at times, and while there is a certain current of privilege that runs beneath it, “Option B” is a valid and on-center insight to personal processes of grief and loss.

From the first days of widowhood to a shaky healing, authors Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant don’t candy-coat anything about what Sandberg endured, examining her wounds with patience despite a stated desire to quickly return to any sort of normalcy.

That’s good, even appreciated, but there’s a bother here: Sandberg doesn’t acknowledge that she has access to some of the world’s best help for her grief - people whom many of us know only in magazines.

Such omission can overshadow the help that’s tucked in with the stories and anecdotes inside.

For that, survivors of loss in any form may find this book helpful, or it may be just an annoyance. It might offer a better-lit path, or it may just warm the darkness.

“Option B” may offer comfort – or it may be better to choose another book.