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Grieving A Soulmate

( 3 )


The book every lover should read.

Grieving a Soulmate is unlike any book you've ever read, even though the story is universal. It's about the death of a lover. The book takes on this difficult and very personal topic with courage, out-of-the box thinking, and deep love. Ranging from the practical to the emotional--and frequently blending the two--Orfali's style of writing makes a difficult topic easier to manage. He writes in an easy style that is analytical, yet speaks from the...

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More About This Book


The book every lover should read.

Grieving a Soulmate is unlike any book you've ever read, even though the story is universal. It's about the death of a lover. The book takes on this difficult and very personal topic with courage, out-of-the box thinking, and deep love. Ranging from the practical to the emotional--and frequently blending the two--Orfali's style of writing makes a difficult topic easier to manage. He writes in an easy style that is analytical, yet speaks from the heart. The content is thoughtprovoking, unique and original. It's your gentle and informed guide to the deep grieving that accompanies the death of a soulmate. This book should help you quickly overcome the red-hot pain of grief. It also tells you how to reconstruct your life, find meaning, and deal with the big existential issues from a secular perspective. It's a survival guide for the last stages in a soulmate relationship. Above all, however, Grieving a Soulmate is a love story.

Robert Orfali and his soulmate of thirty years, Jeri, were both in the computer software field in the early days of Silicon Valley. They co-authored three best-selling software books and together went on several world tours to promote their technology. Jeri was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, in 1999, shortly after they moved to Hawaii. Jeri and Robert spent the next ten years fighting Jeri's cancer and learning how to live with it. Jeri even learned how to surf during her chemo years. She went from "Silicon Valley Executive Woman of the Year" to "Waikiki Surfer Chick." Jeri received one of the most moving surfer funerals ever. Her ashes are in the ocean at Waikiki.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936400669
  • Publisher: Mill City Press
  • Publication date: 1/17/2011
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Must read for those in love...not just the grieving

    Frances Moore Lappé, author of 18 books including the three-million copy "Diet for a Small Planet" once shared, "Even the fear of death is nothing compared to the fear of not having lived authentically and fully." Nothing could be more prescient of the life lived and enjoyed by Robert and Jeri Orfali - particularly in the last ten years of Jeri Orfali's life. Robert Orfali, an accomplished author with expertise in information technology, has written a love story worthy of Shakespeare with his "Grieving a Soul Mate." Cancer reached forth its menacing tentacles and prematurely took his beloved Jeri from him. For those who might be battling similar scenarios, this tome will prove a ready resource to help the lone survivor deal with grief. Before outlining the highlights of the book, it must be understood that this book is not merely for couples who are facing an imminent death-rather, this book should be required reading for anyone who is planning to enter a union with the specification of ?till death do us part. This reality will invade all such unions and the tenets covered in this book would make excellent discussion material for those still in the planning stages of matrimony. The reader will be impressed with the depth of research Mr. Orfali employs in developing his subject matter. Initially, he provides a summary of Jeri's battle with cancer to provide a context of care which informs the level of grief he experienced. Robert shares openly of the mourning process and details many contemporary ideas about mourning the inevitability and harrowing experience of death. [Additionally, there is a complete Appendix that shares Robert's email communication to amplify the grief he experienced.] After setting the stage, Mr. Orfali masterfully transitions to the premise of the book: how to grieve a soul mate. He describes grief bursts-the mind's nearly sadistic psychological attempt to force the lone survivor to deal with death. As he outlines what much of contemporary psychology has to say on the matter, the reader can be assured of the counsel Robert utilizes to guide the lone survivor to healing. In five chapters, Robert amplifies upon specific grief cures: ? The Last Days ? Survivor's Guilt ? She's Gone Forever ? Self-Pity ? The Existential Issues I like the way that Orfali does not leave the reader in the quagmire of despair. After outlining the methods he used to conquer these grief bursts, he guides the survivor on his journey to experiencing zero pain. The love story comes full circle when you see that Robert created a virtual memorial to his beautiful wife Jeri (search for jeriorfali). This website illustrates the vibrancy of Jeri Orfali, an IT executive who found her identity as a surfer in Waikiki, Hawaii. Up to right before her death, Jeri Orfali fulfilled the idea of ?living authentically and fully. If you are currently grieving, or will face grief in the near future, this book will help you. Robert Orfali is to be commended for writing a compelling love story which doubles as a textbook on how to mourn a lost loved one.

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  • Posted August 26, 2011

    Pacific Book Review

    Robert Orfali has a knack for breaking down huge topics into manageable parts, then explaining the constituent elements of these parts in minute detail, bringing in the end an understanding rarely articulated however certainly understood. How do you truly explain love? What are the common stages for grieving the loss of a loved one? What and how do you cope with these epic situations and heal from the pain and suffering? These topics, and more, are explained in Robert Orfali's book, Grieving a Soulmate as he has come to terms with the loss of his loving wife of over 30 years, Jeri Orfali.

    As the act of being born comes as no surprise, so does, in many cases, death. Robert Orfali has had the unfortunate experience of losing his wife to cancer; witnessing first hand all that surrounds the industry of dying with its health care, funerals, along with all of the emotions and eventually acceptance of the inevitable. He by no means is unique in his loss, nor heightened in emotional stress than most others faced under such circumstances. Robert Orfali is, however, a wonderful writer of intellect and reason; capable of bringing complex situations into a logical pattern of understanding, and it is this unique quality which he performed so eloquently in Grieving a Soulmate.

    The book makes no claim of being a romantic love story, although it is, but rather is a textbook on how best to cope with the situation of losing a loved one to a cruel disease. Robert Orfali systematically progresses, chapter by chapter, offering advice and understanding to the various stages of diminishing health; the stepping down wrung by wrung of cognitive awareness until the end of life overwhelms. This becomes a beginning of a new existence with only the memories of one's soulmate left as a final gift. The perfunctory busyness of a funeral is talked about as being a wonderful distraction to the overwhelming grief, and the subject is further enhanced by discussions from other noted experts such as Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross with her books On Death and Dying andDeath: The Final State of Growth.

    "Grieving a Soulmate" is heavily laden with memorial dialogue, reflections of thoughts, expressing not necessarily the dying wishes of Jeri Orfali but more how she wanted her memory to live on. The book at times is rather difficult to read due to its subject matter, as we all have raw nerve endings of some prior loss which no doubt will be disturbed by these episodes described so well. For those recently going through the process of a loss, this book can be an excellent gift to console and comfort, as it teaches one method of reconstituting yourself post the event. In this way, I would define this book as being very positive, helpful and informative.

    It seems obvious to me that Robert Orfali has benefited greatly in his personal management of grief by his work in this book. I feel he genuinely has presented his conclusions not as a personal accomplishment but more a methodology that others can follow to overcome such an ordeal. The book is linked to many resources one can obtain on-line to further the subject, or for continued self-help in their personal struggles with "Grieving a Soulmate."

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A journey that hopefully will end in comfort

    Jeri and Robert were young, beautiful and the loving look in their eyes told everyone they were destined to be soulmates. In the late seventies they began their lives together and in time their identities became intertwined. Throughout the years the simple touch of a knee or the twinkle of an eye were captured in photographs. The invincibility of youth denies the inevitability of death and as they lived, loved, and worked together, the Orfalis never gave it a passing thought. It wasn't until Jeri was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer that they were jolted into an unwelcome reality. Society, perpetually living in a state of denial, didn't talk much about death and it wasn't until Elizabeth Kübler-Ross began to write about it that we began to listen. When Jeri began to die, Robert began his desperate search in an effort to learn how to ease his lover's transition from life to the unknown throes of death. This part self-help book, part memoir, and tribute to Jeri, Robert Orfali's soulmate, reaches out to anyone adrift in the chaotic world of grief. The grief that could have destroyed him became a catalyst with which he could help others along their path to recovery. His search for a "cure" from his pain led him through a literary litany, much of which proved to be useless in the long run. Robert does discuss many of these works telling the grief stricken what helped him the most and how these theories helped him formulate his own. The grieving process is different for each person, but I feel that many people will be able to benefit from his difficult journey and "grief cure." Robert stated that "I needed something to help me immediately forget the last few days of Jeri's battle with cancer." (pg. 68) Part of this healing process included the development of a website to her memory where the reader can absorb her spirit more fully in photographs and videos as this book does not include photographs. The conversational writing style cannot match the prose of C. S. Lewis, nor is the information contained in these pages akin to medical dialogue (nor is it intended to be), but it is written from the heart. This is the aspect that I liked the most and am finding the most useful. I feel this book could be best utilized by someone attempting to mentor another as they grieve, but can also be used by the individual. I am mentoring someone who lost their soulmate recently and in an effort to help, took down pages and pages of notes about Robert Orfali's process. Simple, heartfelt sentences such as "It was like having a non-stop conversation with her in my head," are very comforting to the grieving, who want to know they aren't alone. Quill says: This book is a journey, a journey that hopefully will end in comfort and joyful remembrance of those we've lost.

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