Joanne Cacciatore

Social work professor’s self-help book wins national award

By

Paul Atkinson

A book on grieving authored by ASU School of Social Work Associate Professor Joanne Cacciatore is the Gold Award winner in the 2017 Indies Book of the Year Award. The literary award, given by Foreword Reviews, honors the best books published in 2017 from small, indie and university presses, as well as self-published authors. A panel of more than 150 booksellers and librarians selected winners in more than 60 categories.

Cacciatore’s book, "Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief," explores the grieving process through the stories of people who have lost their children, siblings and parents.

“I feel deeply honored — and more than that, I feel like the lives of all those who died, whose stories are featured in the book, have been honored,” said Cacciatore.

Read: Praise for 'Bearing the Unbearable' on Sun Devil Shelf Life

Cacciatore’s interest in grief began after her daughter Cheyenne was stillborn in 1994. She felt lost after being released from the hospital without guidance on where to turn for help. She vowed to do something about it.

She turned her academic research focus to grieving and in 1996 started the MISS Foundation, an international nonprofit that provides the kind of help she didn’t have after losing her daughter. Over the years, she had been asked to recommend books on grieving but had trouble finding something that was well-written. So when she was approached by Wisdom Publications about writing a book, she jumped at the chance in the hope it would fuel a revolution in the way our culture views grief and treats those grieving.

Cacciatore feels encouraged by the reaction of readers and critics alike.

“We so rarely talk about the deaths of children and the resultant grief in our society,” Cacciatore said. “This book and its teachings are long overdue.”