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Book reviews

Please feel free to email me any names of books that have helped you through your journey, or let me know what you think of the books that have been mentioned here.

Thank you

Patricia Bird 


Tear Soup
A recipe for Healing after loss
Pat Schwiebert and Chuck Deklen
Beautifully Illustrated by Taylor Bills

On the flap on the book...
"Soup cooking requires that you measure ingredients exactly. But making soup is different. Soup making is an art, and you are the artist. Improvising as you go, your only goal is that the blended creation will both satisfy your hunger and soothe what hurts you.
What's true about soup making is also true about grieving."
Grandy has just suffered the loss of her child, so she is cooking up her own unique batch or tear soup." Tear Soup gives you a glimpse into Grandy's life as she blends different ingredients into her own grief process.
Her tear soup will help to bring her comfort and ultimately help to fill the void in her life what was created by her loss.

"When a Child Dies"
Stories of Survival and Hope
editor: Richard S. Hipps

"The Ultimate Loss, Coping with the Death of a Child"

"When God Weeps"
Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty
by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes

our real home
by Joni Eareckson Tada

(Joni may not have lost a child... but like us she lives daily with grief and pain... hers is physical along with emotional.. bed sores, humiliating circumstances, grieving for the loss of what most of us take for granite every minute of the day. Like those who have not suffered loss of a child - they cannot imagine the suffering we have - we cannot imagine the suffering she is in. After being paralyzed from the neck down for 30 years she has a remarkable view on grieving)

Roses in December
by Marilyn Willett Heavilin

This lady lost 3 children. The first was a crib death to her third child, she writes this book 34 years after this child death. The next child is a twin that does not make it home from the hospital. Right after this child's death she has to have a total hysterectomy, which meant she would not have any more children. Her grandmother dies, and they move 4 times in the following year... all this totally overwhelms her. She goes into a severe depression. Her mother rescued her... 16 years later... her other twin son dies in a car accident. through all these experiences she has much to share with us.

"Time heals all wounds"... We all have heard this, but this statement is far from the truth. All the time in the world will not heal the wound of a child's death. Time will soften the hurt, but it will not heal. Only God can heal our broken hearts, and he expects us to do the work involved. The first book I recommend is the Bible. For it is God's manual for us, However one must be willing to seriously study it. This will take time and work, but the prize for doing the work is well worth it. Rick Warrens book "Personal Bible Study Methods" is a useful tool wether a new or experienced Bible student.

Books I recommend
There are so many books I have read but I cannot remember the names. Here are the ones I started writing down. Some books I read I cannot recommend.

"An Overwhelming Interference"
Ed Kuhlman
Revell publishing
This is the best book I have read so far.
It is written by a father who lost his 16 year old son to cancer. Here is what is on the flap of the cover of the book.
"An Overwhelming Interference is Ed Kuhlman's candid and emotional odyssey in search of God's sustaining grace, following the illness and death of his only son, As he explores the universal yet intensely personal experience of bereavement, he asks soul-searching questions... If Christ is indeed our Lord and Master, do we dare let Him intrude on our lives? Are our commitment and love for Him so strong that when His cross interferes with our lives, we submit our wills and trust in Him?
Ed Kuhlman knows it's not easy to do, He has felt the sickening helplessness of watching his boy die... the gnawing, aching cold of bereavement... the longing for relief and comfort... the questioning, the anger, the despair and disillusionment that accompany grief too severe for words to bear."

Link to Wounded Hearts!

Here is a link to the web site for my son.   On it are helps, surveys, and my journey from beginning to now, which I am so happy to say is free of the sadness that has plagued my life for almost 5 years. It has been a help to many people, may you find some help and solace there.

( There are grammar mistakes on that site because it was written as it was experienced. It would take too long to correct them all, please bare that in mind.)

Book and Movie Reviews!
Please share reviews of movies or books that helped you or touched your heart.

Thank you








(Review by a friend)
Norma Jean, Mother of Todd,
reviews Jerry and Mary White's book Harsh Grief, Gentle Hope .
They lost their only son as a victim of homicide in 1990.
In reading this book, I felt as if this family were mine. Their son was also murdered for no reason in a random act of violence. As I read this book I could really put myself in their place. I think I read this book a dozen times in the first months I owned it. I kept searching for the "proper" way I should be grieving. As you all know, comprehension is not really good in the first months of our children. This book opened many doors for me. I did not blame God, but I always wanted to know Why or Who. Mary was the same way. She also knew that it was God carrying her at this time. There is a section in the book called A Road Map Through Grief. I know you will be able to see yourself in these steps, if not now but later on in your grief.

"Every grief journey is an untraveled road. Even those who have suffered severe grief earlier in life experience fresh sorrow with each new loss. Although no one can assign a grieving process to another, there are similarities in each grief experience. Knowing what to expect in general helps one anticipate the journey. This knowledge doesn't make the process easier, but it does verify some common ground with other grieving people. It confirms that the grieving person isn't crazy or weak, or even obstinately clinging to grief for too long a time. We can't practice for grief. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief arrives in two ways. There is sudden loss through accidents, suicide, heart attacks, strokes and homicide. And there is anticipated loss through illness and aging. All loss brings wrenching pain as our loved ones are torn from us. Grief comes like waves of the sea. Several small waves wash over us, and then without warning, triggered perhaps by memory of a loved one, a huge wave of anguish smashes the shores of our souls and knock us down. The waves allow two steps forward before pulling us one step back. But always, slowly, forward movement comes.

Here are several suggestions that may help you on the grief journey.
1. Pace Yourself-Grief is the hardest work you will ever do. It drains you of physical, emotional and spiritual stamina. Unless you pace yourself and direct your energies toward grief recovery, you can experience physical illness, emotional despair, relational detachments and for some, spiritual bitterness. Even when you do pace your grief, those negative elements may intrude. You must allow time to process the grief and recover.
Thoughts on the following path of the road map.
2. Lean into the pain.
3. Get ready for a second wave of grief
4. Trust the recovery process
5. Welcome help from those who love you
6. Protect your physical health
7. Refuse to live with regrets
8. Avoid major changes
9. look beyond people's words

4. Trust the recovery process. it takes nearly two years following a death loss to gain equilibrium and stabilization in physical and emotional health. The time frame may run as high as 3 years following a homicide or suicide. Our society does not allow for this healing period. We live at a fast pace and are expected to resume normal life, normal responses, normal reactions in a short period of time. it just doe not happen that way. You may sustain your work schedule, but most likely your effectiveness will be reduced and your emotions put on hold while you struggle to recover.

5. Welcome help from those who love you. People who love you will want to help. Accept that help with gratitude. 6. Protect your physical health. You either don't want to eat or you eat too much of the wrong things. All of your energy is directed toward grieving. You resist trying to rest, because during periods of activity your mind focuses relentlessly on your loss. If you can discipline yourself to protect your health, you will find more energy to deal with your loss and less illness to distract you.

7. REFUSE TO LIVE WITH REGRETS. Some grieving people are tempted to batter themselves emotionally for past mistakes or omissions with the loved one who is gone. Even if regrets feel valid, they cannot change the facts. You have to forgive yourself and forgive the one who is gone, and make a strong effort to come to terms with the finality of death. (this one has been hard for me since my son, Todd's death)

8. AVOID MAJOR CHANGES Delay making major decisions and life changes immediately following the death of a loved one. Rational thinking and careful judgment desert you at this time. Even wise counsel from loving friends may prove wrong as they cannot fully know the best course. Unless forced by finances or legal pressures, wait to make significant decisions.

9. LOOK BEYOND PEOPLE'S WORDS Be willing to tolerate people who are less than helpful. People will say and do things they hope will help, but instead may only increase the grief. Look beyond the stereotyped phrases to the intent of the person. Avoid these people. Grieving people need caring, not curious or cruel people around them as they recover.

10 .LET YOUR GRIEF BENEFIT OTHERS. WITH SMALL STEPS, BEGIN TO REACH OUT TO OTHERS, FOR IN GIVING HELP AND CARE TO SOMEONE ELSE, YOUR OWN WOUNDED SOUL IS RESTORED. WHEN WE EXTEND OURSELVES TO OTHERS, EVEN IN SMALL WAYS, WE SHARE ANOTHER'S BURDEN WHILE FINDING REST FOR OUR SOULS!!!!!!!! (I have found this one to be so true. when Todd was murdered and I had gone through enough of my own pity, hurt and pain, I realized I needed to help others, like they have helped me!!)
I hope you all can read this book, Harsh Grief, Gentle Hope someday. Mary and Jerry White have gone through just what you and I have and I believe it can help you like it helped me!!