three helpful books for grieving
Since his passing, my heart has ached in a way it never has before. I have experienced the loss of three grandparents (all were hard and painful), but until this summer I had never experienced the loss of a parent. Losing my Dad was and is the hardest thing that has ever happened to me. The reality that I lost my Dad before I reached the age of thirty to a cancer that he already fought still takes the wind out of me and makes me cry on the spot. It doesn't feel fair. It doesn't feel caring. I don't like it.
Yet, in this season I have felt the Lord's closeness like no other time in my life. The Lord has graciously made me aware of His presence more than ever before and has softened my heart toward him. I am thankful for this. Not all losses have been this way for me, as my tendency is bitterness and resentment toward God in suffering.
Often times when we are grieving we don't even know where to start. Or when people around us are grieving we don't really know what to do (especially if we have not experienced a painful loss ourselves). I wanted to share these three resources because I think they can be helpful in your grieving or your friend's grieving.
Journeying through Grief, by Kenneth C. Haugk: One of my mentor's shared this with me many years ago, and I originally bought it for my Grandma when my Grandpa passed away. Thankfully my sweet husband bought it for me this past fall. These books are short and are meant to be read at different chunks. It was the perfect place to begin my grieving. You can buy them for yourself, or you can buy them for a friend and send them at the different times throughout the first year. It's a pretty sweet way to care for someone who is grieving, if I do say so myself.
Life After Death, by Tim Cooke: This book was given to me when I began searching out more books on grieving. It helped me to think through my grieving in more detail: did I have guilt surrounding my Dad's death? Anger? Fears? It also has a great section specifically for friends helping others process their grief (which looking back I wish I had known before having gone through a loss myself). I highly recommend this!
Imagine Heaven, by John Burke: (Thank you K for this book recommendation)! The most recent book I read (and my most favorite) was Imagine Heaven, which was more celebratory in my grieving process. It beautifully shares many near death experiences that align with scripture and had me crying through the end thinking about my Dad's welcoming party in heaven (and honestly dreaming of my own)! Not only did this help me in my grieving, but it's given me a more steadfast yearn for heaven than I have ever had before. So good!
All these books have been helpful and I am eager to start a few more. (Any recommendations?!) Kenneth Haugk says "...your grief will always be with you" and it is. It will be. Like a tattoo. Yet, I am thankful to be processing it with trusted people surrounding and loving on me.
If you are grieving today I encourage you to seek our sweet Jesus and begin to find healing in processing. First and foremost start with prayer. But if you're looking for a book, maybe start with these? If you know someone who has recently lost someone they love but don't know what to do, I encourage you to press in. Pray for them. Love on them. Care for them. These recommendations are a great starting place!
Love, love love (and more to come later after more #whileTheRosenaps sessions)!