Thursday, October 28, 2010

Book Club Today--Dealing With Grief During Holidays

Did you get a chance to read either book yet? Please jump in and comment on any of the questions or leave a review or comment about the book. If you've run out of time, try to read either of these books a.s.a.p. to help you through the holidays. I'll also post some holiday suggestions for dealing with grief in the weeks to come.

Our first book was From One Widow to Another--Conversations on the New You by Miriam Neff, Moody Publishers, 2009. 218 pages.
I can best describe From One Widow to Another as a handbook for widows. It lays out the nuts and bolts of widowhood in four sections: Vulnerabilities, Strengths, Relationships, and The New You; plus an appendix with additional conversations and specific concerns like children, how to start a support group, church leadership guide for widows ministry, seven tips to help widows, seven holiday tips, and financial forms.
  • What impressed you most about this book, and what was the most helpful idea you came away with? 
  • Did you see the value of creating your  own 'personal board of directors'?
  • Do you agree that widowhood presents a positive opportunity to change? That there can be a 'sweet, gentle current of freedom rising'?
  • Have you yet been able to craft your own personal mission statement? Can you see yourself getting to that point eventually?
  • Which of the Seven Holiday Tips (Appendix E) sound helpful?
Would you like to go through this book with a small group of widows in your church or community? If you go to the website Widow Connection, there is a down-loadable study guide for groups. What a great tool for starting a support group! Study questions for each chapter as well as suggestions for meetings are included. 
The other book was The Empty Chair--Handling grief on holidays and special occasions, by Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeege and Robert C. DeVries, Baker Books, 2001. 91 pages.

Written for a general audience, The Empty Chair is a GriefShare title. The authors are professionals who know grief in the counselling setting as well as personally. Their spouses died shortly before the holiday season. Robert, having accidently set a place for his wife at the holiday dinner table, and Susan, who wanted to skip Christmas, write with practicality and compassion using the profound metaphor of grief as a forest fire.
  • What was your favorite feature of the book--the informative chapter, the action points and healthy behaviors to implement, or the reflection on Scripture with a written prayer?
  • What was the best or most helpful thing you learned? 
  • Is the candle-lighting memorial described at the end of the book something you might take time for during the holidays this year? 
  • Is this a book you'd give to someone who's experienced a loss? And if so, please tell why?
I've tried to keep the questions brief, so feel free to ask your own or make additional comments. Your point of view will benefit and encourage others so I thank you ahead of time.

Here's a neat opportunity if you like books or would like to deepen your relationship with God during this time: Read this short blog post about a newly published book, The Undistracted Widow. Then leave a quick comment and you'll be entered in a drawing for a free copy! Drawing will be held Nov. 5, so enter today!

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