August 2017 Book Haul

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I was so glad to get this video filmed before my cold knocked me on my behind.  This month I have another odd assortment of books, but I hope you’ll find something that piques your interest.  You can tell I filmed this late at night, because my nighttime crazies are coming through pretty strong in the video!

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I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye by Brook Noel & Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D.

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Title: I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping & Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One by Brook Noel & Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D.

Premise:

This book is meant to be a reference aid for those who have experienced the sudden loss of a loved one.  It features personal stories, guidelines for coping and healing, grief recovery exercises, information about the grieving process, additional resources, and more.

My thoughts:

This is the most recent book I read in my quest to find quality books which cover the topic of grief.  The title jumped out at me because of my sister’s sudden death.  I haven’t found many books that deal with sudden death, in particular.

 

Personally, this was a very cathartic read for me.  I came away with a sense of affirmation and understanding, and the acceptance of being okay with my current progress in my grief journey.  The authors really emphasize the fact that grief is a journey, not a destination, and that there is no prescribed method or timeline for it.  For someone who is feeling out of control, like they are regressing, or like they’ll never “get better,” this is a very helpful thing to hear.  I agree with the authors that each person should make their way along the path of grief using the methods which suit them, and according to their own timetable.

 

There were some after-life views which I didn’t agree with, but the authors presented them as different modes of belief, not necessarily their own.  They neither endorsed nor discounted the different after-life beliefs, but left it open so that the book could be helpful for people of all different faiths (or no faith at all).

 

One criticism, if you can even call it that, is that I wish there were more examples of sudden deaths in which the family has to forgive the person who was responsible for their loved one’s death (i.e. murder).  It was lightly touched on, but not given a lot of discussion, probably because of the authors’ lack of experience with that kind of death.  Since it’s outside of their scope, I can’t really complain that they weren’t able to relate to those particular feelings.  I just wish I could learn about some ways to recover from a situation where your family member died a more violent death and you have to accept the fact that their killer gets a second chance at life.  Perhaps I’ll find a book like that one of these days.

 

Aside from that, there are a fair number of errors in the text which would have been caught with more careful editing.  It would have also made the book and writing style come across as more professional.

 

I recommend I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye to those who have experienced the sudden death of a loved one and are looking for healing.  No matter where you are in the healing process, this book should have something of value to offer you.  It’s quite helpful as a reference book on grief.


A favorite quote:“Laws of nature do not make exceptions for nice people.  A bullet has no conscience; neither does a malignant tumor or an automobile gone out of control.  That is why good people get sick and hurt as much as anyone.”  (p. 70, Rabbi Kushner)

“‘Relationships with a brother or sister help children know who they are and how they fit in the family.  The bonds between siblings are woven into the fabric of each one’s life.’  When we lose a sibling, we lose a piece of ourselves, a piece of our family, and a reflection of ourselves.”  (p. 160)

Possible Objections:

  • You may not agree with all of the after-life beliefs which are presented

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Permission to Mourn by Tom Zuba

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Title: Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief by Tom Zuba

Premise:

Tom Zuba experienced the loss of three of his family members, which caused him to seek out a new way to process his grief.  This book is full of Tom’s feelings and observations about his own grief, and a healthier way for anybody to work through their grief.  It’s told in free-flow poetic form and is relatively short.

My thoughts:

I’m on the lookout for a good book on grief that I can recommend to people.  We now live in a place where the crime rate is high, and I know that we’ll be going to more funerals.  Just a fact of life.  Usually I give people a copy of A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, but I wanted to find at least a couple of alternatives.

Tom Zuba has experienced some horrific loss in his life, and I can’t even imagine how that grief threatened to bury him.  I appreciate his open and honest observations about his grief and how he has and continues to work through it.  Many of the feelings he shared resonated with how I felt and still feel about my sister’s death.  It made me cry, but it’s good to cry every now and again to release some of those feelings.

I don’t really agree with Tom’s ideas about what happen to a person after they die, but I’m okay reading the book just to feel like I’ve met and talked to a fellow comrade in the grief journey.  Some people would probably be upset with his ideas though, so I thought I should lay them out.  He believes that we all go to heaven and that you can communicate with your deceased loved one through signs (i.e. a butterfly landing on your hand is your loved one communicating with you from beyond the grave, etc.), and that you should actively seek out and ask for such signs.  For me the question was: Can I read a book by someone who has some profound observations on grief, but whose life views may not match up with my own?  I thought it was worth the read.

I recommend Permission to Mourn to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, whatever stage of the journey you find yourself in right now.  Even if you don’t fully identify with Tom’s beliefs, his emotions are the same as they would be for anyone else.

A favorite quote:

“Grief is not the enemy.

Grief is the teacher.

The powerful

blessed

gift-from-God teacher.

But you must be brave enough to enter the pit.

By feeling your feelings.”  (p. 54-55)

Possible Objections:

  • different worldview than your own about what happens after death

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Grieving the Loss of a Loved One Giveaway — OPEN

Giveaway 8

My Bookshelf Giveaway: Grieving the Loss of a Loved One: A Devotional of Comfort as you Mourn by Kathe Wunnenberg

Read my review here

Enter by following the link below.  It’s open internationally to participants 18 years and older and will end on June 30, 2017.  The winner will be announced on my blog and contacted through email.  Good luck!

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Grieving the Loss of a Loved One Giveaway — CLOSED

My Bookshelf Giveaway: Grieving the Loss of a Loved One: A Devotional of Comfort as you Mourn by Kathe Wunnenberg

Read my review here

Enter by following the link below.  It’s open internationally to participants 18 years and older and will end on June 30, 2017.  The winner will be announced on my blog and contacted through email.  Good luck!

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Holding On to Hope: A Pathway through Suffering to the Heart of God by Nancy Guthrie

holding-on-to-hope

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Another read from some time ago is Holding On to Hope.  I don’t know where I got this book from; it had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time.  Since I’ve had bouts of feeling hopeless lately, I thought it might be time to read it.

Premise:

Nancy and her husband share recessive genes for a rare birth disorder.  They lost two children to this disease and Nancy writes from a place of great pain.  She shares her story, but intersperses Job’s story, as well.  (You know, the guy from the Bible who lost everything in one day and ended up covered in painful boils.)  She raises insights into why God allows suffering, what emotions are normal in the midst of it, how we can move forward, and how it can help us in our relationship with God.

My thoughts:

As I got a couple of chapters into the book, I honestly wanted to shut it and put it back on the shelf.  There were some hard truths in there that I really didn’t want to think about.  I was feeling justified in some of my feelings, and didn’t want to be told that perhaps I was wrong.  I didn’t want to take the higher road or be the bigger person.  I wanted to wallow in my self-pity.  What’s so wrong with that?

I decided that I should try to slog through the rest of the book, even though it was telling me some things I didn’t want to hear.  It did get better, both in broadening my mental horizons and in helping me to understand where the author was coming from.

If you have experienced loss, pain, disappointment, or anything else that has made you feel totally defeated, then I think this book is for you.  You may not like all that it has to say, but I think you’ll still gain some helpful insights.  The book is relatively short, so it shouldn’t be a big chore to make it through.

This book is written from a Christian perspective, so if that’s not your thing, you may want to skip it.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Grieving the Loss of a Loved One: A Devotional of Comfort as You Mourn by Kathe Wunnenberg

grieving-loss-wm

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I chose Grieving the Loss of a Loved One as my free book from BookLook Bloggers to review.  Rest assured, I will be sharing my honest opinion with you.

This book is a devotional which is meant to help the reader work through their grief over the death of a loved one, or someone else who was close to them.  Each entry contains a passage of Scripture, a short story or anecdote, a prayer, and blank lines to record the progress of your own grief journey.  There are 52 devotions, so this could conceivably take you through an entire year.

When ordering the book, I didn’t at first realize that it was a devotional.  I got it mainly to read the author’s insights on grief, not to use it as a journaling exercise to work through my own grief.  Although I won’t be taking advantage of the journal portion of the book, there are still enough short entries that make it worth my while to read.  I have enjoyed the pertinent stories that go with each day’s theme.  It’s been helpful to learn how other people have dealt with their grief.  I also appreciate the thoughtful prayers at the end.  Sometimes it can be hard to put into words the things you are feeling when you’re grieving.

I would recommend this book as an appropriate gift to someone who has lost a loved one who they were very close to.  It’s overkill for what I term casual grief, and is aimed more at long-term grief.

Rating: 5 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review, which I have provided here.