The Grieving Brain: Book Event with Mary-Frances O'Connor

Join us on Monday, October 17th from 5:30 to 7 PM at the Missoula Public Library for an event with Mary-Frances O'Connor for her book The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss.

Loss of a loved one is something everyone experiences, and for as long as humans have existed, we have struggled when a loved one dies. Poets and playwrights have written about the dark cloak of grief, the
deep yearning, and devastating heartache of loss. But until now, we have had little scientific perspective on this universal experience.  In The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn
from Love and Loss
 renowned grief expert, neuroscientist, and psychologist Mary-Frances O’Connor, Ph.D., shares groundbreaking discoveries about what happens in our brain when we grieve, providing a new paradigm for understanding love, loss, and learning.

In The Grieving Brain, O’Connor, who has devoted decades to researching the effects of grief on the brain, reveals a fascinating new window into one of the hallmark experiences of being human. She makes
cutting-edge neuroscience accessible and guides us through how we encode love and grief. With love, our neurons help us form attachments to others; but, with loss, our brain must come to terms with where our loved ones went, and how to imagine a future that encompasses their absence. Significantly, O’Connor debunks Kubler-Ross’ enduring idea of the “Five Stages of Grief” and sets a new paradigm for understanding grief on a neurological level.

Based on O’Connor’s own trailblazing neuroimaging work, research in the field, and real-life stories, The Grieving Brain brings together accessible science and practical knowledge that provides a more nuanced
understanding of what happens when we grieve and how to navigate loss with more ease and grace. 

The Grieving Brain addresses:

  • Why it’s so hard to understand that a loved one has died and is gone forever
  • Why grief causes so many emotions—sadness, anger, blame, guilt, and yearning
  • Why grieving takes so long
  • What happens in the brain during grief
  • The distinction between grief and complicated grief
  • Why we ruminate so much after we lose a loved one
  • How we go about restoring a meaningful life while grieving.

Ground-breaking, fascinating and accessible, The Grieving Brain is essential reading for everyone who’s lost someone and for anyone looking for a way to heal.

This event is a part of the Re-Imagining Death: Conversations about Dying, Loss, and Grief series brought to you by the Missoula Public Library in partnership with the University of Montana Humanities Institute. For more information on this series: Re-Imagining Death: Conversations about Dying, Loss, and Grief (


Event date: 
Monday, October 17, 2022 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
455 E Main St
Level Four, Cooper Room B
Missoula, MT 59802-4435
The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss By Mary-Frances O'Connor Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062946232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperOne - February 1st, 2022