By the Book: ‘Good Grief’ by Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo

"Good Grief" by Theresa Caputo
"Good Grief" by Theresa Caputo, Photo: Simon

As we come together to celebrate the holidays with family, you might well be missing some loved ones. Theresa Caputo, aka the Long Island Medium, takes readers on a journey through their grief in her recently released book, Good Grief: Heal Your Soul, Honor Your Loved Ones, and Learn to Live Again.

Caputo is best known for her reality television show, Long Island Medium, on the TLC network, where she brings viewers into her daily life as a medium. For those unaware of what a medium does exactly, she gives readings to people whose loved ones have passed away. Basically, she can talk to the dead.

In her book, Caputo tries to give each reader the advice that she has heard the “Spirit” give time and time again to surviving loved ones. Caputo does this with her outstanding sense of humor, trying to make light of a serious subject. Her perspective on death and the afterlife is compelling and thought-provoking, which makes the book worth a try, even if you may not believe in what Caputo professes to do.

This book is composed of different sections, all dealing with a different aspect of grief Caputo has come across through her readings and her personal experience. After each chapter, all of which have quirky names such as “Coincidence, Shmo-incidence,” is an exercise for the reader to complete, some involving writing in a journal, others meditation, etc. Caputo’s expertise on grief comes from her personal experiences seeing the grief of those she has given readings to. Her perspective is certainly interesting, and one that is unique. Caputo discusses her view of the afterlife, explaining what she sees and hears through those who have passed on. What Caputo describes can certainly bring comfort to readers dealing with grief after losing someone close to them, as Caputo doesn’t share any negative details involving death and what happens to the soul thereafter. In a time where science prevails, hearing from someone who believes fiercely in a higher power and afterlife provides hope, even if you may find it difficult to fully believe.

Religion is an important aspect of this book. Caputo is a proud Catholic, which is a major part of her gift as a medium. Caputo ties religion into staying in contact with loved ones, which may make those who don’t share the same beliefs uncomfortable. It’s almost as if you can’t have one without the other. Caputo attempts to bridge this gap, mentioning that she doesn’t think that only people who practice her religion can communicate with their loved ones.

For those who have followed Caputo through her television show, Long Island Medium, and her previous bestseller, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: Life Changing Lessons from Heaven, there’s a lot of overlap. Her sense of humor is there, with cheesy lines and puns along with uplifting messages. All this brings a much-needed lightness to the book. Caputo does well in the way she personalizes her stories, making it much more interesting material to read, as opposed to a typical self-help book about grief. An important thing to note is that this is an interactive text, and in order to get the full experience you really have to participate fully.

Though it’s not a replacement for therapy, or seeking professional help of some kind, this book can help those grieving realize that life doesn’t end when you lose a loved one. The personal accounts Caputo gives allow readers to see that they are not alone and that help is all around should they ask for it, whether in the form of friends and family still here on Earth, or maybe in the “Spirits” Caputo believes stick around after their death.

With wise words, a unique, unmistakable voice (and accent), Caputo gives readers hope that they too can learn to live a new life.

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