The dominant theoretical perspectives on grief today derive from the field of psychiatry and are rooted in the institution of medicine. The medical model of grief is defined by the idea of grief work, the emotional trajectory of grief from distress to recovery as well as the notion of letting go of the dead. Published literary autobiographies contain firsthand accounts of loss narratives and can generate new understandings about the grief experience beyond the medical frame of grief and are thus valuable for bereavement research. Sonali Deraniyagala’s 2013 autobiography, Wave: A Memoir of Life after the Tsunami, will be analyzed with regards to the author’s self-narration of loss and grief. Furthermore, online literary reviews of Deraniyagala’s memoir provide us with insight into the social regulation of grief and public feeling rules. They show that although mourning has become highly individualized in modern society, feeling rules still permeate the expression of grief. Based on qualitative content analyzes of reviews on Goodreads, we identify four general themes centred on the existence of feeling rules: (1) grief work and recovery, (2) deviant feelings and behaviour, (3) social class and the “luxury of grief” as well as (4) the therapeutic narrative and literary genre.