Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reviewing My Grief Readings

I have read a number of books over the last year on grief. Some I could never really get engaged with and deserted them halfway through. But a few I have found very helpful. Here is my review. If you find yourself on the grief journey, I hope you find it helpful.

First, the ones I could not fully get engaged in. This does not mean that they are not helpful. In fact, they could be exactly what you need:

I had trouble with C. S. Lewis' A Grief Observed. I love reading quotes from Lewis, but I find his writings difficult as a whole. This was written after his wife died from cancer. He is honest as he deals with his struggles and doubts and victories.

Randy Alcorn's If God is Good. This book is exhaustive in dealing with the subject of good and evil. I began it when things were really raw for me, and so maybe I should go back and give it another shot. I don't always agree with his Calvinistic views on things, but there are still things to gain from it.

John Mark Hicks' Yet I Will Trust Him. Written in response to the death of his wife. Again, no doubt a good book that I just had trouble engaging with. I will give it another shot at some point.

Now, for books that have been more beneficial for me:

Philip Yancey's Disappointment With God. I am a Yancey fan, and this book is one of the best I have ever read. I intend to read it again soon.

Terry Rush's God Will Make a Way. Simple, practical advice from someone I know personally as "the real deal."

Jerry Sittser's A Grace Disguised. Excellent book written by a man who experienced the loss of his wife, mother and daughter in a car wreck. A MUST-read for anyone in the grief journey.

I just finished a book that a friend of mine who is acquainted with grief mentioned to me a couple of times. Along with A Grace Disguised, it will be at the top of my "recommended list." Written by John Claypool back in the early 1970s, it is entitled Tracks of a Fellow Struggler. It is a short book, actually four sermons he preached during his 10-year old daughter's battle with, and subsequent death from, leukemia. In this book, Claypool speaks into my heart things that I probably would not receive very well from someone saying them to me (ESPECIALLY someone who hasn't "been there"). I have to sit with the book and chew on them. His last chapter about viewing life as a gift was challenging -- yet rewarding.

So there it is, for what it is worth. I would be interested in your feedback.


Kristen said...

To be honest, I have trouble focusing long enough to read these days. However I gained a lot from Pete Wilson's book, Plan B. I also am drawn to the books of Ephesians and Hebrews. Scriptures on love, healing, and perseverance speak strongly to me.

I'm Kristen, the pajama mama said...

Thank you. I will look for each of your must-reads.

Anonymous said...

I think that the God Will Make a Way by Terry Rush is one the best that I have read.

When you are in the middles of a great loss this book can help so much.