Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Very First Grief Book Everyone Should Read

Grieving: Your Path Back to Peace   -     
        By: James R. White
When another young widowed pastor's wife gave me this book, she said, "I know that people will send lots of books to you as they did for me. I don't know about you, but I certainly had no desire to read them. But I did read this one and it was a great blessing! It's not thick and it is easy to read."
Grieving: Our Path Back to Peace, by James R. White, became my good counselor and reference point during that first year of widowhood. I looked at it so often, and now I buy multiple copies to have on hand to give away.

Mr. White writes from experience as a hospital chaplain. He explains that the grieving process is best understood as a spiral: it includes the classic stages of grief--denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance-- but we tend to revolve in and out of them, sometimes over and over again, rather than get through one stage and pass on to another. Also, the way we process and handle the grief can put us on the upward path to peace, or the downward path to despair.

This book helped me understand my emotions, know that they were normal, and know that God was right there with me. Two very simple charts helped me identify where I was at and where I was headed. It helped me put my feelings into words, and that was no small feat!

Although full of practical advice and help for a general audience (not just widows), it's a quick read, only 87 pages. Yet it touches all the important stuff, even anger towards God. It includes the tough questions--DID God allow this? and WHY did God allow this?--and handles them with honesty and compassion. Very worthwhile!

I've probably bought 30 copies over the years to give away. And I'd love to send a copy to you, too! Add a comment today, and if your name is drawn on Aug. 2, this will be one of many books you may choose as your prize. It's a gem!


  1. An additional
    recommendation: the first book I read was "Jesus Wept" by Bruce Marchiano (who played Jesus in the movie, "The Gospel according to Matthew")- because it was the book my husband, a hospital chaplain, often gave grieving people. It spoke to me of God's compassion & His nearness & assured me I was not alone in my grief. It is also a small book, broken into manageable sections for short devotions.

  2. Books, books, yes, very comforting for me, Mike's side of our bed is piled with them, so when I can't sleep, I just pick one up and start reading! I was grateful for the people who gave them to me to bring me comfort.


  4. I have been searching for a book that helps with the "Why" question. Please enter me into your drawing.
    Thank you.

  5. I need such kind of books for our Widow's Ministry wherein I'm one of the core team. We call them Naomi Women. I was widowed 2007 at the age of 42.

  6. Dear Anonymous, The drawing is over now but I'd love to hear more about your widows ministry. I'm so sorry for your loss. Please email me at WCplace@gmail.com


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