Sunday, January 24, 2010

When You Lose Someone You Love (NF review)

Jacket description:
"There is nothing more devastating than the death of a loved one. And whether it comes suddenly and unexpectedly, or at the end of a long and painful illness, every death is experienced anew, a shocking loss that takes our breath away and leaves us disoriented and lost.

Grief is mysterious, misunderstood, and experienced differently from individual to individual, yet there are certain universal elements. In this compassionate epistolary handbook on grief, a pastor offers comfort and understanding to a man suffering a profound loss, showing grief as a healthy process that God can use to mend broken hearts.

Revised and updated, this twentieth-anniversary edition features prayers and scripture meditation, as well as a new introduction and epilogue. Simple, profound, personal, compassionate ... When You Lose Someone You Love tenderly walks the grief-stricken through sorrow to peace and, eventually, renewed joy."

I'm not usually one for books on this topic. How to grieve, how to heal, etc. come along all the time and I think it's really hard for someone to get what another person is feeling, even if they've been in a similar situation. Everyone handles death differently and I think reading a book of another person's opinion or experience simply doesn't do it. But that's just me.

When I was asked to review Richard Exley's book, I figured I would give it a shot, knowing it was Scripture based and written in letter form. It intrigued me, to say the least. And if you read this blog on a regular basis, you know I've experienced quite a bit of death and grief over the last couple of years, leading me to want to give at least one book of this nature a chance.

I was impressed, I was encouraged, and I was comforted. The letters between a Pastor and a grieving parishioner are compassionate, helpful, and based around God's word. It's not a step-by-step guide as to how to get through one's grief, but rather the explanation of a process and how a grieving individual can use the power of God to get through the days.

I especially liked the prayers at the end of each letter, as I'm one of many Christians that has trouble coming up with exactly what I want to say when praying. It's helpful and comforting to see these prayers and use them intermixed with my own words.
According to the description, this is the 20th anniversary edition of this book, which doesn't surprise me in the least. I can see Pastors and outreach coordinators handing it to masses of people in their congregation or family members giving it in times of need. This is one grief-centered book that will be remaining on my bookshelf and will be recommended when appropriate. Bravo to Richard Exley.

Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Obviously this isn't the book for everyone. Not only is it about the process of grieving, but it's also Scripture based. It's fantastic for its category though and from me, gets a 5.


When You Lose Someone You Love
Richard Exley
128 pages
Adult Non-Fiction
David C. Cook
9781434764805
October 2009
Review copy received from publisher


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1 comment:

Annette said...

I read and reviewed this book last year. I loved the personal letter style to the reader, it was kind and compassionate.
My mother died in March 2008 after having had Alzheimer's 16-18 years. It was a long, long, journey.
A lot of grieving, for all the lost years, and then for the years she was in a nursing home, and then the nearly 3 weeks it took her to die at the end.
This book was a great help to me! I'm glad that I agreed to read/review it.
Thank you for your great review!