Friday, May 21, 2010

Nine years ago-May 7, 2001-our son died suddenly from a heart attack. That event changed me decisively and permanently. Many kind and generous people contributed to our comfort and held us up during those days of indescribable pain.

Since that event several of my friends have buried their children, too. I believe God has used that experience to equip me to help them through their own unique experience of grief. And it is truly is unique for each of us.

Because of that I am attracted to books about grief. Some are wonderful, some are insensitive. This week I found an amazing little book by Cecil Murphey and Liz Allison. It is definitely one of the "wonderful" ones. Words of Comfort for Times of Loss (published by Harvest House Publishers) is on my personal list now. I'll be purchasing copies to give to anyone I know who is living with grief. Definitely.

Words of Comfort for Times of Loss is a collection of twelve very short chapters that address those agonizing questions we ask while we're dealing with loss. Each chapter includes practical advice for people who are stunned, even paralyzed by our loss. I know I was. Paralyzed mentally and emotionally for a while.

The chapters are short-grieving people have a lot of difficulty concentrating. Each uses one or two verses from God's Word to help it stick in our brains. And each chapter is tender, compassionate, and reassuring.

You won't find any "advice." You won't find any syrupy-sweet platitudes. You won't find any "How-tos" to make you feel guilty or stupid because you can't seem to get over your loss. No, what you'll find in these 60 little pages is compassion, direction, structure, and hope.

At my local Christian book store this little jewel cost less than $10. Yep. I'm ordering a case of them, I do believe.

Thank you, Cecil and Liz, for opening your hearts and exposing your own struggles with grief to us. Thank you for tenderly showing us there is life on the other side of grief. Getting there is slow-painfully slow. And it's unpredictable. But it's there, waiting for us.

Thank you for writing a book that shines a glimmer of light onto the path back to a new "normal" for those of us who have said this oh-so-final-feeling, yet temporary goodbye to people we love.


Linda A. said...


Thanks for the recommendation. It's always good to know a book that helps people who are grieving.

I liked your comment about a new normal. I don't know that it's possible to return to normal after a death, but it is possible to establish a new normal.

Linda A.

Carol said...

Grief is one of those things that you don't know how horrific it is until you walk through it. I hope I don't need this book for awhile, but it's good to know it's available when I do.

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I can't imagine a worse grief than burying your child. And thank you for sharing this book. God is using you to comfort others with the comfort you have received from Him. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

Cheryl Barker said...

Jean, my heart goes out to you in your loss, even these many years later. I can't imagine that kind of grief...

Thanks for sharing the recommendation for Cec & Liz's book. I'll keep it in mind.

Amy Tate said...

Jean, it never ceases to amaze me how God has His children on different journeys - different paths. I had no idea that you lost your son. I thank God that you have the heart to reach out to others who are dealing with loss like that. Normal isn't normal for God's children, is it? Normal is growing and changing into the people He's called us to be. So often part of the process is losing people or things that are close to us. It took a loss of my own to come to that realization. Looking back, it's not something I would ever want to go through again, but the closeness that I felt with my Heavenly Father was precious. Thank you for sharing such a difficult time of your life with all of us. And I'm glad to know about the book!