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4.6 out of 5 stars
When There Are No Words: Finding Your Way to Cope with Loss and Grief
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93 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2002
I haven't found a book about death and grieving that compares to this one. I highly recommend it not only for those who have lost, but for those close to those who have lost and need some answers. I lost my twin brother tragically at 26 in 1999 and read this book shortly after. It is by far the best. It is honest and real. I often find myself quoting or making reference to it. A heartfelt thank you to the author. You have helped me through some tremendously dark days.
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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2000
This book helps ease the pain that will eventually touch every one of us. Charlie's words are inspired. No matter what our background or spiritual outlook - this book is a healing aid. It's become my habit to send Charlie's book to any friends or family that are going through grief. My 24 year old son read it and found it helpful after loosing his grandfather. Weeks later, he asked where he could get another copy of the book because he needed to send it to a young woman who lost her dear friend. I can't recommend WHEN THERE ARE NO WORDS highly enough.
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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2004
My 16 year old daughter, along with her best friend, were killed in a traffic accident just over two months ago. Of all the books given to me during this period, "When There Are No Words" was the only one I could read. The others could not reach my level of grief. This book spoke to me right where I was. I read it, then read it to my husband, he later read it himself. I got a copy for the parents of the other girl killed in the accident. Since reading this book, I have read several others. This one is still my first recommendation for someone who has lost a child.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1998
After losing my son to suicide a year ago, I was recently given a copy of Charlie's book. I read it immediately and contacted him by e-mail to let him know that his book was one of the most comforting books I had read. I am in the counseling field and have had opportunities to study death and counsel others, but I was not prepared for the impact that losing my son had on our family and many around us. Charlie has written to me with the same kind of encouragement that he offers in his book. He is real, practical, and also has published in large enough print that grieving people like me don't have to strain to focus. I plan to purchase several copies to have on hand for others who have experienced loss. I wish I had had his book a year ago when I had difficulty reading anything.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2006
My husband & I lost our 1st son on 10/31/98 in an auto

accident and was given this book from a friend trying

to help us with this tragic loss. It was the turning point

to dealing with our grief. Tragically we lost our only other

son in an accident on 04/24/03. We have been thru grief re-covery classes,read several books on grief but always came

back to this book. Throughout these years we have been able

to help others by giving them this book of encouragement

and understanding during the grief process. If you could

pass this along to the author, Charlie Walton, we would

appreciate this very much! God has given us the Grace to

see us thru the grief process, this book and friends!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Written from the perspective of a parent learning to cope with the loss of his sons, this book contains practical suggestions for dealing with the tangible and intangible components of grief. Both the bereaved themselves and those who struggle to help them will find this book useful. Walton describes eloquently the physical, spiritual, psychological, and social effects of grief with descriptions of what is and is not often helpful in coping or helping. Although Walton writes from a Christian perspective, his suggestions are of a universal nature and would be helpful to anyone of any faith.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2001
I loved reading this book! The author was sincere in telling his side of grief. In sharing his story he was very honest about his feelings and very real about what you may experience. He was not here to say that he had all the answers. Infact, he was honest in saying that there may never be answers for certain questions. He gives great advice to the grieving. I would also recommend this book for someone who has a friend that has lost someone. It will help in knowing what to say and do.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2000
I read this book after the death of my mother. It helped me to get a better understanding of the feelings I was experiencing and the gifts I was receiving. So much of what Mr. Walton experienced also happened to me. It was helpful to read about the grief you experience when a love one dies and to know that it is somewhat universal. His book was a great comfort and I read it cover to cover when I picked it up, two months after my mother died.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2006
My son died 6 months ago. This book was recommended by the parent of someone who had lost their daughter. So far this has been the only book that I have been able to read and fully relate to. This father articulates all that I feel and cannot express. I would recommend reading this if you have lost someone close, especially a child - and certainly would recommend giving it to someone you know who has lost someone.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Possibly the most important point in this book, in my opinion, was not to make ANY important decisions soon after a tragedy. You may think you are calm, cool, and collected, but the truth is, part of you just isn't there. You'll realize that later. Delay important decisions for a few weeks or months, or even a year if you can. The author saw improvement in himself in a year. He acknowledges that it varies for each of us, taking longer for some of us, and it also depends on the circumstances. Going through the stages of grief and, because I can't think of a better word, recovery or maybe so-called recovery, is different for each person. He explains this much better than I am about to, but some of us stay at one of those 'grief stations' longer than others and some will skip some of the stages entirely!

This book brought some emotions out for me. I had a few tears while reading it. I've always thought there should be something to read that talks to you about what you are feeling right now and if it's real, lasting, temporary, or abnormal. This is a fairly short book. I finished it in a day. In the back you'll find an excellent list of support organizations.

I remember thinking, "Does anyone realize what's going on inside me? Why do they not understand?! Will it ever stop hurting?" You'll want to 'go through' the experience with the author. He expertly and compassionately takes you through the experience and gives comfort and insight throughout, including quite a bit of practical advice in narrative form rather than 'to-do' lists. This is NOT the book you'll want that tells you when to take off your wedding ring, how to choose the flowers for the funeral, or how to handle new responsibilities. This is more about your feelings and emotions and how best to get through the place you are at the moment in your journey.

The chapters are short and easy to read and understand. There were times when all I could do was read a scripture, and hang on to that. A book--any book--was just too much. I wish I had known about this one earlier. You may want to start out with it when you can, as soon as you can. The section on HUGS comes to mind. The author writes in great detail about hugs. Thinking about it makes me smile.

The author said, "It's not a thing anybody can make it through...until they have no choice. Once there's no choice... you do it... one painful breath after another."

That's so true. I've always said something similar when people said something about my own experience. I don't have the courage to go through that again. I didn't have it before the accident. I believe God gives us the courage we need, when we need it.

There was information I would have found helpful about our reactions at the time of the, as he puts it, "monumental catastrophe" and how even though we may look calm, part of us isn't even there. That part of this book has some insight that may be worth your time. It spoke to me.

There was a chapter about the heavy load that none can understand without experiencing it. He stresses throughout the book though that we don't all grieve the same way, not even if we lost the same loved ones.

He explains WHY we should let our friends and loved ones do things for us, even when we haven't even noticed that those things needed to be done. He also talks about the 'dumb' things people say and our reactions to them. Back to that "hug" idea again. That may be the most important part of this book for me. He talks about the inevitable guilt we feel. We can figure out a way to make whatever happened our fault. He also talks about how it feels to meet people months or even years later who don't know about the death(s) and what it's like to see them experience being told for the first time, while we go through the pain again.

He talks about the "stuff" and how and when to let go of it and how being busy is either helpful or not. He even talks about getting mad at God. There's a section dealing with the statistics that show that marriages sometimes suffer after the death of a child and he gives his perspective on that.

Still another important part of this book is about time healing our wounds and that it doesn't heal completely. "I experience the full force of the emotional hurricane over and over again... but with longer periods of quiet in between." Exactly.
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