Books & Grief Stories
No Winter Lasts Forever by Fran Shelton – July Book Club Selection

This is the first-hand account of loving and living with Alzheimer’s it shares the shock, disbelief, anger, pain, joy, humor, grief and finally letting go. It is a story of trusting in God and living in the moment while being grateful for every day. Yes, it is the story of a terrible disease striking too many families but more than that it is a love story.

Refined by Fire by Mary Potter Kenyon – August Book Club Selection

Where is the handbook for widows?” Mary Kenyon lamented as she planned a funeral for the beloved husband whose triumph over cancer she chronicled in Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage. During the ensuing weeks, as she attempted to make sense of his untimely death, she filled two journals, blogged, and read the inspirational writings of others who had gone down the road of grief before her–authors like C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle.

Black Widow by Leslie Gray Streeter – September Book Club Selection

Leslie Gray Streeter is not cut out for widowhood. She’s not ready for hushed rooms and pitying looks. She is not ready to stand graveside, dabbing her eyes in a classy black hat. If she had her way she’d wear her favorite curve-hugging leopard print dress to Scott’s funeral; he loved her in that dress! But, here she is, having lost her soulmate to a sudden heart attack, totally unsure of how to navigate her new widow lifestyle. (“New widow lifestyle.” Sounds like something you’d find products for on daytime TV, like comfy track suits and compression socks. Wait, is a widow even allowed to make jokes?)

You Can’t Do It Alone by Maria Quiban Whitesell – October Book Club Selection

When Maria Quiban Whitesell’s husband was diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM), a deadly form of brain cancer, she was completely unprepared. Now, after going through hell and back, Whitesell knows that she never wants anyone to feel as lost as she did. In You Can’t Do It Alone, Whitesell teams up with licensed therapist Lauren Schneider to offer a welcoming and supportive guide to healing from any traumatic loss.

beautiful and terrible things – A Christian Struggles with Suffering, Grief, and Hope by Christian M. M. Brady November/December Book Club Selection

Bible scholar Christian Brady, an expert on Old Testament lament, was as prepared as a person could be for the death of a child – which is to say, not nearly well enough. When his eight-year-old son died suddenly from a fast-moving blood infection, Brady heard the typical platitudes about accepting God’s will and knew that quiet acceptance was not the only godly way to grieve.

Traveling Solo, but Never Alone by Bill Harrison January 2021 Book Club Selection

This book is the story of my journey since Mary’s passing and what I have learned from my experiences. I hope it will be a source of inspiration for those who have experienced great loss, encouraging them with the knowledge that God is not finished with them, but has much more for them to learn, experience, and accomplish.

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One Written by Carla Fine

This book brings suicide survival from the darkness to the light by speaking about the overwhelming feelings that accompany the grief journey.

After Suicide: A Ray of Hope for Those Left  Written by E. Betsy Ross

Takes the reader beyond the silence and shame often associated with suicide and shatters some of the myths associated with this tragedy. 

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye  Written by Brooke Noel and Pamela Blair

A very helpful book dealing strictly with sudden death situations.

The LITTLE WAY of Ruthie Leming   by Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher is a Philadelphia journalist, back to his hometown of St. Francisville, Louisiana (pop. 1,700) in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie’s death. When she was diagnosed at age 40 with a virulent form of cancer in 2010, Dreher was moved by the way the community he had left behind rallied around his dying sister, a schoolteacher.

The Secret of Salix Babylonicus: A Parable of the Weeping Willow

It is a story of healing, hope, and perseverance for the bereaved and the brokenhearted, the persecuted and the walking wounded. Grounded in the wisdom of the prophets and the psalms, watered by the spirit and the faith of the gospel, this parable will lead those in need of compassion, catharsis, and pastoral care to their very source.

Grieving the Loss of a Loved On

This book is somewhat different in that it provides lined space at the conclusion of each day’s devotional on which the reader may jot down thoughts or comments.

I’m Grieving As Fast As I Can: How Young Widows and Widowers Can Cope and Heal  Written by Linda Feinberg

This book comes highly recommended by persons in the throws of raw grief.

Seven Choices: Finding Daylight After Loss Shatters Your World

The author, Elizabeth Harper Neld who was widowed at a young age, sees in her experiences and in the experiences of others a pattern of movement from the time of the first blast of loss until equilibrium is regained.

Inside the Broken Heart:  Grief Understanding for Widows and Widowers  Written by Julie Yarbrough

This book is a thoughtful, powerful book full of compassion and wisdom about the process of grief and mourning.  Julie does understand the grief journey because she faithfully walks it since the death of her husband, Leighton, who served for as senior pastor for Highland Park United Methodist Church. Julie has placed personal stories in the book, along with scripture, and snippets from poets and authors.  She even includes portions of sermons preached by Leighton.

Seasons of Grief and Healing: A Guide for Those Who Mourn

The author, James Miller is packed with inspiring reflections from Scripture, poetry, and great literature.  It suggests simple, affirming activities to guide readers through “seasons” of grief at their own pace and in their own way.  The section on Winter comforts readers by reminding them that “in the winter of your grief, God winters with you.”

Grieving: A Beginner’s Guide  Written by Jerusha Hull McCormack

Is a clear-eyed account of the many emotions and situations a grieving person may encounter. By her own admission, this book is “less a consolatory piece than a tour guide,” and what a guide it is. McCormack writes straight from the heart in simple language infused with a spirituality that is never preachy or pushy. She covers so much ground in such a little book that the reader could devour it quickly in hours or spend weeks reading it slowly, savoring each bit of wisdom.

Mysterious Moments: Thoughts That Transform Grief   Written by Jane Williams, Ph.D.

This is a collection of 10 stories based on real-life experiences of loss. Although each story is unique, a common theme ties the narratives together. All of the grievers, despite their distress and suffering, experience moments in which they have transformative thoughts that allow them to reframe their grief.

One Response

  1. Rebekah Miles says:

    Thanks Fran for your kind words about my book. I’m glad that it was helpful. Blessings in your ministry. Peace, Beka P.S. For my aunt and uncle, whose 40 year old son died suddenly and unexpectedly two years ago, the Hickman book has been a Godsend.

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