Thursday, March 08, 2012
Book Review - Grieving God's Way
by Margaret Brownley
Published by Thomas Nelson, due July 2012
Grieving God's Way is a 90 day devotional book of thoughts, Bible verses and practical advice.
As Christians, we are truly blessed with the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection, and we have the hope and expectation of meeting our loved ones again one day. It is normal, natural and healthy to grieve, but it is also important to grieve in a positive, life-affirming way, not in a destructive or addictive way, and this book sets out many ideas for Christian grieving.
The importance of taking care of one's body as well as one's mind and soul at this difficult time are stressed, as is learning to cope with and accept grief rather than trying to "numb" it away as is sadly so often the case for many people struggling to deal with grief.
Art as therapy, plans for involving children in funeral and memorial services, and learning from their spontaneity are all covered in this unusual book.
I found this quite a difficult book to review, however, given my very clear recollections of how I felt after my brother's death. I am a voracious reader and read every single day without fail, but after his death for a very long time I found it difficult to sit still long enough to read even a short daily devotional such as one of these .
And of course, there is always the problem/issue about which you may desperately need to be comforted or receive advice on is not covered during the time-scale you need it, but later on in the 90 day period.
I am sure that for many this will be a valuable and useful book in helping them deal with their grief, but I don't think that I would have found this book particularly helpful or comforting at that particular stage in my life.
However, I do definitely think it is an extremely useful book to read when you know that the death of a loved one may be imminent. There are many useful things and comforting things, but perhaps it is better to have read them in advance for them to seep back into the conscious memory for when one is actually grieving.
This book will be particularly useful for those belonging to Protestant denominations, but I think it may be of limited usefulness for those in the Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic traditions for whom great comfort is gained by prayer for the dead , which is not really covered by this book .