Whether it’s loss due to recent hurricanes or the overwhelming, devastating loss suffered the world over during the pandemic, grief has been an unwelcome guest in many people’s lives these days. On this week’s show, we take a look at grief, its effects, and the gifts that sometimes accompany it.

We begin with Merissa Nathan Gerson, a new New Orleanians whose time here has been gravely marked by the unexpected death of her father. In her new book, “Forget Prayers, Bring Cake” Merissa shares an honest, unwavering look at her life during her year of grieving.