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512 of 517 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2003
"Healing After Loss" was given to me after the sudden and unexpected death of our 14 year old son in March. The loss is so terrible and unimagined. We have struggled to go through each day without our only child, our wonderful son.
The friend who gave me the book had lost both her parents and her maternal grandparents within a 10 year span. She actually brought over her own dog-eared copy saying that I needed it now and she didn't have time to get a new one. Since then I have ordered my own as well as copies for my parents, Aunts and Uncles and friends.
This book has incredibly insight, hope, understanding and some new ideas delivered in small doses (the tiny shafts of light in the darkness). Since concentration levels are so affected during grieving, the one page entries are easy to read or skip, if you need a one that will more fit your moment. With grief, at least for me, it seems like my mood and outlook can change so much within a couple days - this book fills many needs.
Although my husband hasn't read it like I have, I will now and again give him a page to read that is particularly insightful for us at that moment and it can, however briefly, help him as well.
At first I read what ever I turned to when I opened it, then I read all the dates that were significant to me, now I am reading it like a daily diary. Last week I was talking to my friend, she has a copy, and although she listened she didn't feel she had an answer for me. Later, she called back giving me a page in the book to read - it was so completely accurate for that moment and feeling - I felt a bit of strength after reading the page.
I cannot say enough about the author and her grace, strength and ability to comfort. She wrote another very small book called "I Will Not Leave You Desolate" that I would recommend as well.
If you are purchasing this for yourself, I am so sorry for your loss - I know something of the dark, sad and surreal world that appears without the one you loved. I hope this book can be of some comfort to you as it was for me. Of course this is only one tiny shaft of light in the darkness, but I am grateful for each one. If you are getting it for a friend or family member, bless you and your efforts to be there.
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149 of 153 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 1999
I was dealing with the devastation and loss of my husband after a fight with the evil cancer. I did not want to live. My whole life changed and I would have done anything to have him back. But, I kept living and I couldn't get him back no matter what. This book has had a profound affect in helping me deal with and get through this painful phase called grieving. The writings of 365 different people and days describes so effectively the feelings and reality of what grief is. I still read it daily. So many of the comparisons hit home. I have bought it for two friends who have recently lost loved ones. I highly recommend it to any grieving person who needs to understand the emotional and painful process they are going through. You aren't alone.
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120 of 126 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2005
Is anyone ever ready to lose a love one -- no matter the age or devastation of illness? I know I was not. My husband was and still is a most important person in my life. I felt totally disconnected when he died and still struggle with it daily. If not for this wonderful book of daily meditations, there are days when getting out of bed would have been more than I could do. 6 months after Jack's death, I am now able to occasionally notice the lovely blue sky, hear the birds signing, and feel the sun on my face. My grief therapy is only effective in the slow healing of this grievous wound in my soul with the daily reminders in this compilation by Hickman and being encouraged to recall the wonderfulness of Jack, my husband, my best friend, my life love.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2005
When I got this book, it had been about 6 months since my husband Joel passed away from cancer. We were only married about 3 years, so the loss is quite devestating.

I personally have found this book to be wonderful. The first reason is because it is so easy to read. You read a very short page a day! Surely anyone can make time for that.

Yes, there IS spirituality in this book, but so far, I have not found anything that is militant or overly Christian like other books I have dealt with on the subject of death. I must disagree with a previous reviewer on its overly "Christian" contact. I will warn you, if you are an atheist, you may not want this book. If you follow any path, be it Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, I think you will like this book.

I also feel it is pretty good at dealing with a very wide range of bereavement, from those who have lost a child, a spouse, a parent, or friend.

I often find myself highlighting passages in it. I really do like it and I think that every funeral home, hospice, and hospital should carry this to help those who are going home for the first time to a new life without their loved one.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2001
In April, 1997 my 37 year old son died from a heart attack. A friend gave this book to me and I consider it the best aid I had for dealing with the profound grief. Friends and family are wonderful but it took this little book to actually force me to do some work and move on. June 11,2001, My dear husband died of a very sudden, no warning heart attack. I have just begun the daily meditations again. I already am feeling the process changing from denial, to one of accepance and I almost feel like I will live again. I want so much to be able to thank the author personally but perhaps this little note will help.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2005
After using my own copy for 6 months, I purchased multiples to have on hand to give as gifts to others when they suffer a tragic loss. I don't see how anyone can survive the devastation of losing a loved one without having this little book of wisdom at your fingertips to help you get through each day. A big book is overwhelming when you are unable to concentrate on anything for long, but this is broken down into manageable size pieces to read on a daily basis. What helps the most is seeing words in print that exactly describe your feelings and emotions, it makes you aware you are not alone and others are going through the same process. I lost my husband of 41 years suddenly with no warning and no goodbyes, and it still doesn't seem real that he can be gone while I am still here. The most comforting words are the ones that assure us our loved ones are still with us in spirit, we just have to open our minds and hearts to the possibility and it makes everything easier to bear. Two quotes "I will relax into the memory and spiritual presence of my loved one, and feel at peace." "I will open my heart in trust that, in ways I do not now understand, my loved one will continue to be present in my life." And it lets you know it's a long process, and it's okay to take your time to work through it. And it lets you know how healing it is to keep talking about the person you have lost. I keep a yellow highlighter with mine and mark the passages that really speak to me, and I go back and read them over and over. To start with I could only highlight the words of pain and grief, eventually I think I will be able to include the words of hope in the passages for finding reasons to go on - the sun will shine, the flowers will bloom and I will be able to enjoy them again. Words can't convey the debt of gratitude I owe Mrs. Hickman for the comfort and peace I am receiving from her book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2005
I was overcome with grief and this book helped me as no other book or support system did. What else can I say?

I read many books on grief and scanned the web for anything that could help me, but nothing helped me as much as the simple thoughts in this book. It is a small treasure in a world where grief can have such a stranglehold on you that every breath you take feels laborious.

The book is broken down by days of the year - one page for each day (example: April 13).

Each day has a quote at the top of the page (usually from someone famous);

followed by an expansion upon that quote by the author of the book;

followed by a one or two line inspirational thought on the bottom of the page which gives one hope.

example of such an inspiration:

'Things other than my grief are going on in the world. Let me pay attention so I don't miss what could help me heal'

Grief comes in many forms. For me it was the loss of things dear to me....the grief causing pain as I have never known before. Aaahhhh.....

Yet,

with the help of this book,

the passage of time,

hanging on,

and having faith that I would come out on the other side of my grief

I survived.

If you are grief stricken this book can help. May it help you as it helped me.

If you know someone grief stricken buy this book for them. It can only help.

There is no quick magic cure for the grief stricken. The only cure (which will take time) is patience, loving remembrance, and faith - such as is written about in this book.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2003
My husband of only 19 yrs. died 10 days after a work-related accident. We had no children and the house is so unbelieveably empty. People don't know what to say so they say nothing and leave me grieving alone. Someone gave me her copy of Healing After Loss saying she needed it back when I was thru with it. I had it only a few days when I knew I had to have my own copy. Ms. Hickman is able to identify my feelings and console me thru her words. Her short, but to-the-point, reflections of pain and unbearable loss recognize and validate what I am experiencing and incorporate, without any pressure to 'get over it' quickly, a gentle support like an arm around my shoulders holding me together until I can support myself. Anyone searching for 'the right words' to say to a grief stricken friend or relative should not hesitate to get this small book of special wisdom for their use and that of the bereaved.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2004
This is a wonderful little book with a thought for each day. It is small enough to keep by the bedside. I found comfort in it, reading a passage each night.

It makes a nice gift for someone who has suffered a loss. It does not need to be given right away however, as I think people need time to recover from the shock of a loss before considering getting through the grieving process.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2002
When I lost my father suddenly a year and five months ago I lost my best friend. Shortly after my Dad's passing, I was walking through Boarders and Books looking for some solace. With my hands full of other "guides" that I never got into, I stumbled upon this book. I have read a passage daily for the last seventeen months and will continue to for some time to come. This book offers an uplifting look at loss. It has helped me to deal with the most difficult of days with grace and hope. Over the last year, I have literally ordered around 25 copies to give to friends who have also lost loved ones. It is poignant and positive. I had never heard of Martha Whitmore Hickman before, but she has truly touched my life.
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