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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2011
I am a contributing author to this collection of non-fiction stories about loss, the one universal reality we all experience in our lives. My story "The Red Pen" about my beloved sister Ivy offers readers insight into a rare and unforgettable human being and poses a critical question about the humanity of education. Readers will find in these extraordinary narratives of love, loss and memories a way to cope within the safety of a community of writers who not only understands what the reader feels but has experienced the same emotions. The editors have been meticulous in selecting stories that offer an all encompassing spectrum of experiences and empathy. This is one of the most outstanding books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Grief for me is not something I handle well as I am sure many people struggle with. Now I don't think all the answers to move on and learn to grieve can be learned from a book, but at least for me I think a book would help. Hearing other people's real stories I think are great to read because they show how they dealt with loss, tragedy, moved on and just survived after a loss. Chicken Soup for the Soul books in general are always so helpful and encouraging and this book is no different. The stories are real and while they are sad they show how people found acceptance and happiness. The book is a mini-support group.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2011
Many, many inspired tales of inspiration for the broken hearted and grieving, told masterfully and poignantly. Be warned...keep that Kleenex box close by! =)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2012
As one who has been widowed almost twenty years, I was suspicious. I had tried to write a story in the requisite 1200 words and just couldn't do it. So I was anxious to read this book and even pre-ordered it.

This book contained short stories of grieving. However, in each story I read, I KNEW there was more to the story than what was written. Just this once, I truly wish the stories would have been a few words longer. Sometimes you just cannot say everything in a limited number of words.

The grieving process is a long, difficult road. It isn't about healing because you NEVER heal. You learn to live differently and if you are lucky, you evolve to a stronger person. Too many of these stories just didn't make it quite that far.

I would hope that the Chicken Soup Editors re-evaluate the guidelines for their submissions. This book could have been A LOT better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2011
I lost 3 family members in 2.5 months of this year. I find this wonderful book very comforting. It helps me to under"loss" and "grief". The stories are very powerful and help me in my recovery. I highly recommentd this book. I even bought a copy for another family member. Get yours now.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2011
each story touches you right to your soul. amazing people who have gone through this process. heart warming to see how each one survives and recovers. also each one tells you something that might help you should you need it. very sincere caring stories.Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One (Chicken Soup for the Soul) it was so gripping that i read most of this book already. it also has a family member in it. they went through this process and still are but are helping others to get through it also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2013
I highly recommend this book to any one who is searching for answers of why they lost someone that they loved. This has helped me in the healing process.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2013
I purchased this book hoping that it would help me as I heal from the loss of my husband of thirty two years. The stories reminded me that I am not alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2013
My husband died. In the awful silence, the tearing away of half of me, I've sought a way to want to make it through.

This book has spoken to my heart in words that I--a wordsmith--cannot articulate, bringing me to tears time and again, and given me the knowledge that others have found a way to survive.

I highly recommend it.
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on October 26, 2014
This book fell just a bit short of what I have come to expect from Chicken Soup books. Usually reading them feels like a precious balm or holy oil is anointing my head, and the tears just run down my face and sometimes I sob and I just can't believe that a mere book can move me so deeply. So I really felt that a book entitled Grieving and Recovery would result in a huge catharsis for me, that I'd cry endlessly and feel united with the writers and their departed loved ones.

However, most of these stories, in my opinion, were too close to earth and too far from heaven to stir me. Many of the writers are believers and so they do speak of a better place or an afterlife. Some had miracles to report--butterfly sightings, a beautiful heron soaring at the very moment of a friend's passing. But then there were many stories which were more focused on interests the departed had on this earth--a woman who cooked, a man who golfed--and so the stories would center on a recipe box or golf clubs that brought comfort to the bereaved. I'm truly happy that they were able to receive comfort from these simple objects left behind by their loved ones, but story after story was leaving me dry-eyed. They were pleasant stories, but I wanted more chicken soup! It happens that I just finished the Chicken Soup dog stories which were so moving that they blessed me over and over. I was a teary mess by the final page of that book. So maybe the comparison is just too great.

Many of these stories show how the writers achieved some level of peace, but there was nothing special in the story that would help a reader who might be grieving. Other stories do show by example how to achieve peace whether it be by eventually donating the loved one's belongings to needy people, speaking to groups about drunk driving, talking or writing to the loved one as though he/she were still alive, or simply learning to let go and entrust that person to the hands of the Lord.

Perhaps if I read this book before reading so many Chicken Soup books about messages from heaven, miracles, answered prayers, and those amazing dogs, I would have liked it better. Obviously, death isn't always pretty. Many times it's sudden and there is no time for goodbyes or words of endearment. Dying people don't always have meaningful final words. I think some of these writers were showing that the meaning of life and love is sometimes in the simple everyday acts of life. As long as you're not expecting too many heavenly events in this book, I think you'll be happy with it. And you may cry a lot more than I did. I tend to need more of the divine, I guess, in order to feel really uplifted. In fact, I was undecided between three and four stars but decided to go with four because, if nothing else, the stories are well-written and heartfelt.
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