Sunday Book Review – Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart by Gary Roe

Welcome back to my Sunday Book Review. As many of you know, I haven’t been out in blogland much these past few months as I kept my husband home in palliative care so I could look after him. He sadly passed away on April 7th. My grief is unending, and as goes with my busyness and grief, I’ve had no desire to read any books. But I knew in this time that the only books that I felt compelled to read were on grieving. I need some sense of knowing how others survive this journey. I had searched Amazon for a few books to order and this book, Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart by Gary Roe was on my list. And as serendipity would have it, one of my author friends thought this would be a good book for me, so she sent me a copy. Thank you Kathy Steinemann.




This loss changes everything.

The loss of a life partner can be traumatic. Oblivious to our suffering, the world around us speeds on as if nothing happened. Stunned, shocked, sad, confused, and angry, we blink in disbelief. Our hearts are broken. Our souls shake.

We look for comfort. Our broken, grieving hearts need it to survive.

Multiple award-winning author, hospice chaplain, and grief counselor Gary Roe is a trusted voice who has been helping wounded, grieving hearts find hope and healing for more than three decades. Written with heartfelt compassion, this warm, easy-to-read, and practical book reads like a caring conversation with a friend and will become a comforting companion as you navigate the turbulent waters of grief.

Gary’s desire is to meet you in your grief and walk with you there. Composed of brief chapters, Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart is designed to be read one chapter per day, giving you bite-sized bits of comfort, encouragement, and healing over a period of time. You do not have to read it this way, of course. We all grieve differently. Read in the way that is most natural for you.

In Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart, you will discover how to…
* Process complicated grief emotions (sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, guilt, anxiety, depression, feeling overwhelmed, etc).
* Navigate all the relational changes – feeling alone, misunderstood, isolated, and even rejected by those around you.
* Handle the increased stress and uncertainty that this heavy loss can bring.
* Deal with physical and mental health issues, illnesses, and new symptoms that often arise.
* Take care of yourself through diet, hydration, fitness, and rest.
* Deal with a myriad of practical issues (financial challenges, parenting, family activities)
* Handle the intense, deep loneliness that often comes with this loss.

You will also find hope in how to…
* Think through the challenging spiritual and faith questions that frequently surface.
* Relate well to the people around you – those who are helpful and those who aren’t.
* Overcome the tendency to run from emotional pain with unhealthy habits or compulsive behaviors.
* Deal well with triggers and the grief bursts that will come.
* Find the support you need for survival, recovery, and healing (safe people, fellow grievers, counseling, etc.).
* Develop a simple, realistic plan for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
*Use your grief for good – for yourself, your family, and others.
*Allow this loss to give you greater perspective and motivate you to live more effectively than ever before.
*Make your life count, one day, one moment at a time.

Please don’t grieve alone. Let Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart join you on this arduous, tasking journey. Be kind to yourself. Take your heart seriously.

Death has invaded, but it doesn’t have to win. Read on. Comfort awaits you in these pages of this book.


My 5 Star Review:

I am so happy to have read this book. It’s one of those books that made me feel it was written for me. The author comes across as a compassionate soul who has had his own fair share of grief as he notes in his book.

The author has a gentle way of delivering words that are so identifiable with the roller coaster of emotions that persist through the journey of grief. One of many quotes that resonates with me, “Grief alters our world. It changes everything because it changes us. No one is the same after a loss. No one.” Truest words, nobody is unscathed from this seering affliction, no matter if they admit it or not. Love hurts, especially when grief grows insurmountably, which is merely love that no longer has a place to go.

This book is written in short, bite-sized chapters that can be read over, or as I felt compelled to do, read the book in two sittings. This book validated that I am normal to be experiencing such internal pain as the author’s own broken heart spills through every line. A compassionate, yet practical telling that while not a cure for an ailing heart, most definitely succinct with every emotion, and leaving us with a feeling of oneness, knowing that there are others who know the pain we suffer. “I feel like a shadow – a phantom flitting silently through everyone else’s world. I function, I go through the motions. I get stuff done, but I’m not all there. Part of me is with you. – thinking about and missing you. When you left, you took a piece of my heart with you – maybe even my whole heart.”

Grieving for a beloved spouse is a whole new realm of heartache which nobody can even pretend to know unless they’ve walked in the shoes. Gary Roe has certainly walked in the shoes.





47 thoughts on “Sunday Book Review – Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart by Gary Roe

    1. Bless Kathy for her thoughtful gift and Gary for having the compassion to write this book. Your review speaks volumes, my love. My love is wrapped around you. Xxxxx ❤️❤️❤️❤️


  1. My heart goes out to you Debby. I hope books like this and the support from your friends will help you over the coming months. A great share to help others too. Sending love and kind hearted hugs. ❤ x


  2. This book sounds wonderful, informative, and so compassionate. It’s helpful to know that the painful feelings of grief are normal. Somehow that helps make them a little more tolerable. And the advice for coping is priceless. I’m so glad you found this book, Debby. Thanks for sharing your valuable review. ❤


  3. How appropriate that this show up for me, Debby, as I begin the twelve-year anniversary journey through Rick’s death this week. I will check it out.


  4. Grief is the price we pay for love, and Debby, you have been lucky to experience the kind of love that many never find in their lifetime. I’m glad this book has helped you a little bit. Take time out to look after yourself, and only come back when you’re ready. Sending hugs and my best wishes. xx


    1. Thank you my friend. You are so right. I was so lucky to have a wonderful loving husband who put me before anything and everything. And that my friend only makes the pain harder. ❤ xx


  5. Grieving a spouse is far different from any other kind of grief. I’m glad you found a book that speaks to your current need. Gentle hugs, comforting thoughts, dear Debby.


  6. This sounds like a wonderful book, written just for you at this moment in time, Debby. I’m pleased you have found some comfort in its message. I have no doubt that one day, you will be sharing your messages of support for others too.
    Sending hugs. xx


    1. Thanks Jim. It’s by no means a cure, but as the title states, comforting in a small way that the author hit all the right words and emotions. 🙂


  7. I’m so glad you received this book, sis. Anything that helps with the grief is a blessing. Love you so much, sis. ❤


  8. I’m glad you received the gift of this book just when you needed it most. It sounds like it gave you solace, a bit of comfort, and the knowledge that you can get through this on your own terms and at your own pace. My heart aches for you, and you remain in my prayers for strength and healing. xo


    1. Thank you so much Carol for sharing Rumi’s beautiful words here. My ‘guesthouse’ is certainly full right now. I can’t for them all to finish their tasks and leave, allowing me to breathe again and only keep the love for my husband. ❤ xx


  9. Hi Debbie,
    I’m glad that there are people like Gary that are able to put out material for the grieving. I’m not sure at this point, I need to read the book, but perhaps it might validate some of the emotions I still carry if I do. Someone or somewhere, I read grief is NOT something we get over. There is no finish line. There is no shelf to put it on. There is no time limit. The love we have for the individual whether they are a spouse, parent, or child never leaves us, so why would we think griefing for their loss in our lives would. It is healthy to grieve and unhealthy if we don’t. Grief is the responses we learn to live with along with the loss. Once we allow ourselves to fully grieve, then we learn to understand our reactions to it. We also give ourselves the ability to accept and move on with our life. We learn to give ourselves permission to be happy again. Stay strong my friend and never let the light of love you had for your husband extinguish. HUGS, Chuck


    1. Oh Chuck, thank you so much. Your words are so encouraging. I absolutely agree with you, we must grieve. But I love the hope you offered, especially since I know when you lost your love of your life barely 2 years ago(?) that you are shining some light now that one day the load may lighten. I remember how much you were so deeply grieved. So I’m thankful for your words. And no, the love will never lessen. He will be with me always. Hugs to you Chuck xox


  10. This book sounds very helpful and compassionate, Debby, and I’m so glad you found it. There just aren’t any words, but I’m sending comforting virtual hugs. There is always plenty of love and hugs to share. 💗💗


  11. What a nice gesture of your friend to send you this particular book, Debby! More proof that you are not alone and that you are loved. I’m so glad you’ve had and still have supportive friends around you during these insanely sad and challenging times and that the book brought you a tad of comfort.

    I’m usually not that much of an emphat, other than trying to understand what (digital) friends go through, putting myself in their shoes, and feeling their pain in situations I have experience with. Temporarily. But, for some reason, each time I read your posts and shares, first about having a terminally ill husband and then losing him, feeling your grief, and just realizing what you go through immensely affects me. As I mentioned before, I don’t easily cry, but reading your words, my eyes get misty and I can just imagine what this would be like for you, for me, for anyone who might/will eventually lose their spouse. Sigh! It’s the worst kind of loss (if you don’t have children), if you ask me.

    Your quote “grief is merely love that no longer has a place to go” touched me as well. So true. Stay strong, my friend!


    1. And now you made me cry again. ❤ I'm touched that my words can somewhat convey what I'm feeling, and moved that you were touched so emphatically by my words, even though I'm sorry to make you sad. You know me, I write what I feel. And by your comment, it makes me think that down the road I will write a book about grieving that I hope will comfort others as I'm finding in some books I've been reading. Thank you my friend. ❤


      1. As I was reading this post, I had a feeling that your next book might be about this period in your life, Debby. You do convey everything so well. You know, every time an aunt of mine passed away, or Mark’s sister, or a grandfather, I imagined how their partners – other loved ones of mine – felt. You can say I’ve had some practice putting myself in a mourning, grieving spouse’s head. So awful. Sending you massive hugs. Xx


      2. Thank you my lovely friend. I suppose it isn’t difficult to lay our grief so indelibly that others can grasp it off the page. So I will write, but I do have another book written I was supposed to publish last fall, first. When a writer’s mind is cluttered with woe it’s difficult to write, but after the digestion there is much to say ❤


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