Author: Margaret Brownley
Genre: Christian Life and Thought
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Having recently lost both of my closest grandparents in less than a year's time, I thought it might be interesting to get another Christian's perspective on the grieving process, so I picked this book up.
While the author does have some excellent advice for the grieving Christian, such as turning your focus onto others, keeping yourself active and healthy, dealing with survivor's guilt, and making a conscious effort to learn and grow in your faith through your grief, I have to say that I wasn't terribly impressed with this book.
Yes, grief is an ugly, brutal, complicated thing that doesn't go away over night and is tough to deal with. But there were several instances while reading this book when it seemed like I was being encouraged to dwell on my grief, analyzing and bisecting it rather than actually healing and moving on. The entire book wasn't that way, but a few sections of it definitely gave off that impression.
Some of the author's statements seemed overly poeticized, making grief and bereavement into some vague, almost mystical idea. In my experience, there is nothing mystical about grief. The writing was beautiful, but not always meaningful. There were several times when I felt like quoting Cap Rountree from The Sacketts: "Now ain't that purdy? I don't know what it means, but it sure did sound elegant."
"The stillness of grief is an invitation to sail into the inner self and explore the harbor of forgotten goals and still-cherished dreams..." (Pg. 4)
Lovely writing, I'll be the first to acknowledge. But someone please explain to me exactly what that is supposed to actually mean. My personality and upbringing are both very much geared towards keeping it real, and this book fell a ways short of that mark. I'm just not that touchy-feely.
As I said, there was some very helpful content in this book. I had been my grandmother's primary caretaker for seven months when she passed away, and I've struggled with survivor's guilt as a result. This book did offer some very practical advice on how to deal with that in a positive way.
But on the whole, it was just too poeticized and touchy-feely for my tastes.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my review.