As promised, here is the final excerpt from my book, The Only Way Out is Through to share with you. This book has been such a wonderful journey in the making, and I hope the strategies outlined in it may be helpful to so many of you, no matter what transition you are going through.

Strategy 3: Guilt in Search of a Transgression

Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion to death.
—Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Each person, in his own way, feels a sense of guilt when confronting loss and death. You feel responsible. You feel that you have control and are omnipotent. And then there’s always that nagging thought, in the back of your mind, that if only you had done something more, things might have ended differently. Consequently, accidents of every sort, and suicide in particular, leave parents with an even heavier load of guilt as they ruminate over all the ways they failed their child. Parents that are held accountable for the loss or death of a loved one and are punished by the authorities, or by those close to them, often feel the relief of some of their guilt. Ironically, in these cases, guilt can find redemption. According to Webster, guilt “is the actor’s state of having done a wrong or committed an offense.” Therefore, as long as you feel the need to punish yourself, you cannot get on with the business of living.

All of us are victims of irrational thinking—the notion that we have control over something that is beyond our control. But in reality, you have no control. In an effort to punish yourself, you may even return to the last time that you were together with your loved one, ruminating over that moment, trying to make amends for a lack of communication, a fight, or a forgotten goodbye.

In the face of a death, feelings of guilt take on a radical, even brutal
significance: no further discussion can clear the air, one can no longer
make amends. All theoretical efforts to make amends founder on the
fact that the deceased is no longer there.

—Verena Kast, A Time to Mourn

Be sure to look for The Only Way Out is Through: a Ten Step Journey from Grief to Wholeness on Amazon and Barnes and! 

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  • Dr. Gail Gross

    Author and Parenting, Relationships, and Human Behavior Expert

    Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and member of APA Division 39, is a nationally recognized family, child development, and human behavior expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems. Dr. Gross is frequently called upon by national and regional media to offer her insight on topics involving family relationships, education, behavior, and development issues. A dependable authority, Dr. Gross has contributed to broadcast, print and online media including CNN, the Today Show, CNBC's The Doctors, Hollywood Reporter, FOX radio, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Times of India, People magazine, Parents magazine, Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine, USA Today, Univision, ABC, CBS, and KHOU's Great Day Houston Show. She is a veteran radio talk show host as well as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS program, “Let’s Talk.” Also, Dr. Gross has written a semi-weekly blog for The Huffington Post and has blogged at since 2013. Recently, Houston Women's Magazine named her One of Houston's Most Influential Women of 2016. Dr. Gross is a longtime leader in finding solutions to the nation’s toughest education challenges. She co-founded the first-of-its kind Cuney Home School with her husband Jenard, in partnership with Texas Southern University. The school serves as a national model for improving the academic performance of students from housing projects by engaging the parents. Dr. Gross also has a public school elementary and secondary campus in Texas that has been named for her. Additionally, she recently completed leading a landmark, year-long study in the Houston Independent School District to examine how stress-reduction affects academics, attendance, and bullying in elementary school students, and a second study on stress and its effects on learning. Such work has earned her accolades from distinguished leaders such as the Dalai Lama, who presented her with the first Spirit of Freedom award in 1998. More recently, she was honored in 2013 with the Jung Institute award. She also received the Good Heart Humanitarian Award from Jewish Women International, Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame Award, the Great Texan of the Year Award, the Houston Best Dressed Hall of Fame Award, Trailblazer Award, Get Real New York City Convention's 2014 Blogging Award, and Woman of Influence Award. Dr. Gross’ book, The Only Way Out Is Through, is available on Amazon now and offers strategies for life’s transitions including coping with loss, drawing from dealing with the death of her own daughter. Her next book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, is also available on Amazon now and teaches parents how to enhance their child’s learning potential by understanding and recognizing their various development stages. And her first research book was published by Random House in 1987 on health and skin care titled Beautiful Skin. Dr. Gross has created 8 audio tapes on relaxation and stress reduction that can be purchased on Most recently, Dr. Gross’s book, The Only Way Out is Through, was named a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Silver Medal finalist in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the categories of Death & Dying as well as Grief. Her latest book, How to Build Your Baby’s Brain, was the National Parenting Product Awards winner in 2019, the Nautilus Book Awards winner in 2019, ranked the No. 1 Best New Parenting Book in 2019 and listed among the Top 10 Parenting Books to Read in 2020 by BookAuthority, as well as the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Gold Medal winner in 2020 and Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Awards in the category of How-To. Dr. Gross received a BS in Education and an Ed.D. (Doctorate of Education) with a specialty in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. She earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Education with a focus on Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Dr. Gross received her second PhD in Psychology, with a concentration in Jungian studies. Dr. Gross was the recipient of Kappa Delta Pi An International Honor Society in Education. Dr. Gross was elected member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.