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.