Friday, October 23, 2009

The Gift of Comfort: When You Lose Someone You Love by Richard Exley


I've been talking a lot recently about losing several friends in the span of one week or so. That was rough.

One had ALS, two had cancer.

In the middle of the deepest grieving for my high school classmate, I was offered a chance to read/review When You Lose Someone You Love: Comfort for Those Who Grieve by Richard Exley.

I'd say that was a gift of comfort, wouldn't you?

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 your breath away and leaves you disoriented and lost.

The book's format is a series of letters between a pastor and parishioner. Exley says, "I have chosen the letter style because it affords me the opportunity to speak to you directly and in a very personal manner. This is not a book about grief; rather, it is comfort extended to those who are even now walking through the valley of the shadow of death."

Wow-as soon as I read that last line, it jumped off the page at me, and I saw for the first time that the Psalm 23 valley is not just applicable to one who is physically near death but also for those who are left to walk out the rest of their lives without the one who means so much to them. Sometimes grief feels like a living death.

One of the aspects I appreciated most about the book is that it is only 122 pages and is written very simply and straightforwardly. In my experience with depression and grief over the years, there were times I wanted to read but simply couldn't maintain focus or retain what I had read. I believe this book is perfect for anyone who struggles the same way.

When You Lose Someone You Love might be a nice gift for someone when you want to touch base with him/her a few weeks down the road after their loved one passes. Nothing beats a listening ear, but in the middle of the night, a little gift of comfort like this might help them through.

19 comments:

Darla said...

i am quite familiar with not being able to focus on what i read when i am going through a hard time or depressed, and i think i would love to have this book. seems i never know what to do or say when someone i know is grieving...thank you for this post!

Claire said...

Another good one is "Help for Hurting Hearts" by Greg Laurie. I just finished reading it, and will be passing it onto my mil, whose son committed suicide about five years ago.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Darla, I will send you the book. Send me your snail mail at lindacrowatcomcastdotnet.

Kim said...

Making a note of that one. Having gone through grief counseling and counseling myself, I appreciate any resources I can pass along as suggestions...and would like to read myself. There's one particular book that I read over and over when going through my deepest valley, and I now keep a few of those on hand to pass along as I'm lead to.

Blessings!
Kim

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Kim, what is the name of that book?

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Two other good ones are "When God and Cancer Meet" and "When God and Grief Meet." Linda at Mocha with Linda sent me those a few months ago, another gift of comfort.

sara said...

Linda, thank you for this post. After losing my Aunt this year I have struggled to comfort my mom as we both grieve. She is grieving the loss so differently than I am and I think this would be a good book for her.

Mocha with Linda said...

This is a good resource to know for my care ministry role. I'm so glad God sent it your way at just the right time.

Kim said...

Linda, it's called "I'll Hold You In Heaven" by Jack Hayford. It's a very small book, but LOTS of comfort...for those who have lost a child to early infant death, stillborn, or miscarriage.

Rachel @ Future Pastor's Wife said...

Sounds like an excellent book for a grieving friend.

thedomesticfringe said...

I have a friend who just lost her brother. I think this would make an excellent gift!

Thank you.
-FringeGirl

Simply Donna...... said...

Thanks so much for sharing about this book. The timing is perfect. My best friend just had and lost her daughter today to Trisomy 18. I believe I will get this book for her. And may also get one for my mother who lost her sister in August to Cancer. Again, thanks for sharing.

noexcuses said...

Thanks for posting today. A good friend's daughter-in-law just had a stillborn baby last week. I think this will be a comfort to her and the family. God never ceases to amaze me with his timing!

2Thinks said...

This is a great reference post. Customers ask me in the bookstore for recommendations for books such as these. Now I can confidently pass on these titles. We do carry some of these and maybe all of them, in our store.

Thanks Linda and all the commenters

missy said...

"sometimes grief feels like a living death"...so true. sounds like a great book.

Jewel said...

You know, Linda, as I get older, I'm 58, I find that I am confronted with people passing away more and more, as are those around me. I think this book would be a tremendous help in ministering to those who are dealing with grief. Thanks so much for sharing.

Sue said...

What a timely post, Linda. This weekend is the 6 year anniversary of my Mom's death. That first year was THE WORST year of my life. I had never dreamed that I would be 39 and motherless but God's comfort is so real and good and time truly did heal my wounds. Today I just think fondly of the life and legacy she left.

I continue to think and pray for you as you "walk through the valley of the shadow of death" over the loss of your dear friends.

Hugs

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Thanks, Sue

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

Oh, I'm glad to know about this book. My mother-in-law (and grandmother to my children) passed away in April this year. And there are days I just don't know what to do with myself.