Thursday, May 8, 2014

Excellent Grief Book -- A Grace Disguised

Every type of loss—death of a loved one; loss of a home and belongings; loss of innocence and faith; loss of health; divorce of hope and dreams—every loss is a catastrophe to the one who suffers.

But when college professor, Jerry Sittser, was driving home from an entertaining day trip with his whole family a triple catastrophe struck: their minivan was hit head-on by a drunk driver. Sittser’s wife, his mother and four-year-old Diana Jane, were killed---three generations of women. Left to navigate grief alone with his three other children (ages 2 – 9), he too, felt his loss was catastrophic. Yes, it was.

A profound book crystalized from this experience—A Grace Disguised—How the Soul Grows Through Loss. Sittser’s mastery of thought, language and faith provide the bereaved with a looking glass of their new reality. The hope is not trite or clichĂ©d; the grace is not delicate, it’s real.

Someone who’d experienced suffering and sacrifice gave me this book when my first husband and father of our three teens died instantly of a brain aneurysm the day before my 44th birthday. She told me, “Wait a while, six months or so before you read this. You’ll know when you’re ready.”

Good advice and wise words for such an insightful tome, and to a dazed new widow; my early days of grief were filled with too many other things to process. So now I also recommend reading A Grace Disguised six months or more after the event. Better yet, read it before you need it if possible.

The subtitle says it all --How the Soul Grows Through Loss. In my work with widows since my own loss, it’s been a great joy to see that happen over and over again—the soul does grow through loss if and when we let it. Jerry Sittser shows the sacred metamorphosis of applied faith and paves a path for hope in our hearts.

Have you read A Grace Disguised? Take a look at it here at the website. I'd love to hear your thoughts about it; feel free to comment today.



  1. It's my favorite book on grief. It's been a lifeline of wisdom for me. But I agree that you need to wait some months after your loss to read it. I stumbled upon the book 9 months after my loss. God's timing was perfect. I don't think I could have swallowed it earlier. For me, the idea of living and mourning simultaneously was healing... that mourning goes on but you can still live. His illustration about the tree that died in his garden leaving a huge stump behind is beautiful. Though that stump still remains, he was able to build a beautiful garden around it.

  2. I found this book to be a huge blessing in the grief healing process. The depth of wisdom in this book is a huge blessing.


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