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Product Details

  • Paperback: 111 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co; 1 edition (July 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080280294X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802802941
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Wolterstorff, a well-known Christian philosopher, lost his 25-year-old son to a mountain climbing accident. His reflections in the wake of that tragedy are at times deeply personal, but always he expresses a prayerful anguish with which most bereaved parents will identify. Above all he refuses to turn from the "demonic awfulness" of death and, as he moves faithfully through grief, discovers new meaning in the Beatitudes, together with a new understanding of a suffering God. Spiritually enriching and theologically substantive. EC
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Nicholas Wolterstorff is an American philosopher and currently the Noah Porter Emeritus Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is a book to read over and over and over.
Bradley P. Hayton
A friend of Professor Wolterstorff once said that he had bought a copy of this book for every member of his family to read.
A. Scott Cunningham
Wolterstorff's suffering bears witness to the love that he had for his son.
Robert A. Deyes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 131 people found the following review helpful By M. Todd Hall on March 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
the impact that this book has had on me. I was 25 years old this past June 16(2000), when my wife Jennifer left this life. We had just had our first child, born April 21, 8 weeks to the day that Jennifer died. Since then, I have found comfort in a few works, such as C.S. Lewis' A GRIEF OBSERVED, but no work, not one, has impacted me like this one. Many's the time I have called my folks and quoted Mr. Wolterstorff saying "See, this is what I've been trying to say!"
This work is a must have for those who've lost. The pain of loss is inexpressable, it is all-encompassing and it is unavoidable. Wolterstorff presents grief in all of its detail, and if you've lost you'll find yourself more and more amazed as you find your thoughts and emotions expressed through his words.
I also believe that this work is indispensable for those in the care of souls. Through Wolterstorff's expression of grief you will find a taste of what that person to whom you minister feels, the loneliness, the despair, and the disappointment in the God whom they trust. If you are in ministry, you MUST get this book.
God's blessings and comfort to you all in your struggle.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By J VINE VOICE on October 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Wolterstorff has written a brief, yet poingnantly reflective book on his journey through the valley of grief. He lost his 25 year-old son to a tragic mountain climbing accident, and wrote this book as he writes in the preface "to give voice to [his] grief." He continues "Though it is intensely personal, I have decided now to publish it, in the hope that it will be of help to some of those who find themselves with us in the company of mourners."
This book is powerfully moving and brought tears to my eyes when I first read it. Wolterstorff voices many of the often unspoken feelings that mourners go through- from intense sadness to anger, to questioning, to longing for the loved one whom has died.
His reflections are powerful yet concise, and he has written the book in the style of a journal- documenting his struggle to grieve and cope with the intense anger and sadness of losing his son. Ultimately he finds his faith to be his greatest source of comfort and strength, but not before a long journey through the dark wilderness of grief.
I have also found this book to be extremely comforting and helpful- both in coping with my personal losses, as well as for bereaved family members in the grief support group that I facilitate. This book should be required reading for ANYONE who has lost a loved one, or works with the bereaved or is close to someone who has lost a loved one. I highly recommend it.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
I lost my 26 year old son in April of 1999. I have read many grief books, but this one struck home in the author's poignantly honest expression of his grief and confusion. He holds out hope but gives full recognition to the pain, the regret, the deep agony that shakes our very souls when we experience this most terrible of losses. I keep my copy on my bedside table and return to it over and over, especially certain pages which I have marked as particularly meaningful to me.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Stephens on March 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
A friend recommended this book to me after my first child was stillborn (Oct, 2003). I read countless books that were specific to my situation (books on stillbirth, heaven, and infant salvation), but this book spoke to me in a way that none of those did. The author's rare honesty with his emotion was immensely helpful to me as I often struggled to put my pain and hurt into words. Reading sections of this book to my husband also helped him to understand some of my feelings, which in turn helped him to know how to support me. The author asks the tough questions we all face when a loved one dies, and does not pretend to have the answers. Too often, I believe Christians are made to feel guilty when in the midst of deep grief. Countless times, I have been told that I should feel better because my son is in heaven. However, what I needed (and still need) was permission to grieve - permission to have a broken heart - without being made to feel that my faith is not strong enough. This book did exactly that. I recommend it to anyone who grieves for a loved one, or anyone in the position of supporting those who grieve.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on June 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
So often Evangelical Christians deal with life and suffering dishonestly, superficially and mindlessly. Wolterstorff's exploration of grief is none of that. Rarely does a man who thinks so clearly allow himself to feel so deeply. The result is a powerful and personal look at his experience of tragedy. I recommend this to everyone, whether they are grieving or not.
Wolterstorff is a world-class philosopher, a professor Emeritus at Yale University. He is a rare professor: both an inspiring man and a brilliant teacher. But don't be intimidated. This book is human and accessible to everyone. One reason Wolterstorff is such a great philosopher and teacher is that he can explain deep ideas so clearly. Another reason is that he thinks authentically, he puts his soft heart as well as his sharp mind into his thought.
This book will comfort the suffering, not superficially but genuinely. And it will make us all think, teach us all how to be human more fully.
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