Opening Our Hearts, Transforming Our Losses (B-29)
This book will prove useful for thought-provoking individual reading as well as stimulating group discussions. It shares the experiences of hundreds of members as we explore how Al-Anon principles have helped us to acknowledge, understand, and accept the losses we have experienced as a result of someone else’s alcoholism. The book covers a wide range of topics including death, financial ruin, abandoned dreams, and vanished self-esteem. With the help of Al-Anon Family Groups we can begin to heal and to live life more fully.


“Before recovery, I used to think grief only happened when someone died. I had been in Al-Anon for several years before I read about grief in relation to alcoholism. It started to make perfect sense to me when I understood that much of my sadness, anger, and mixed-up feelings were signs of grief. I was losing my battle with trying to control the alcoholic in my life. At last I could see I was grieving. As I got more and more honest, I saw that I had been in grief much of my life, but had no name for it. Recognizing my grief seemed to offer me a sense of dignity. I finally understood what was happening to me. I now use this knowledge when I experience small losses or big ones.”

From Opening Our Hearts,
Transforming Our Losses

(B-29), page 5


Expanding the conversation. . .
Opening Our Hearts, Transforming Our Losses opens a conversation on a subject that is often difficult for members to discuss. Using it at Al-Anon meetings and district or Area workshops can stimulate further discussion.

Have a workshop about "Alcoholism and Loss."



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Here's what members who have read Al-Anon's book about grief and loss are saying:

  • Great insights and thought-provoking text add new life to our program, inviting the reader to explore Al-Anon ideas and principles on an ever-deeper level.

  • Very poignant. I found as I read I was becoming “unfrozen,” as I had been having trouble grieving a recent loss of a loved one. I believe the book will be very beneficial for the fellowship.

  • The book flows beautifully and is so full of Al-Anon wisdom. It exudes hope and the promise of a better tomorrow. It identifies problems and gives solid Al-Anon solutions based on the Steps, Traditions, slogans, and other program ideas.

  • I was very impressed with the content and the adherence to Al-Anon principles. As a professional who works with court-mandated men to express their emotions (among other things), I was also impressed that the psychological principles are right on, even as they are expressed in Al-Anon terminology. Good job! This was a joy to read, in spite of the serious content.

  • When the Conference decided to develop this new book, my first thought was that we don't need another book. How wrong I was! It is beautifully written and speaks to me of so many issues. Losing my son when he died of alcoholism was and still is devastating. This book not only helps me to cope with that grief, but so many others I had not even thought of.