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I Didn't Know What to Say: Being a Better Friend to Those Who Experience Loss Kindle Edition
|Length: 237 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
You should know that David is my Dad. Yes, that means I’m very proud of him! But it also means I can give you a peek behind the curtains to the man that he is. I have watched him walk through seasons of deep grief and have the courage to face all that it brings. Because he was so open to going through the process, he was able to learn the lessons and can share them with us in such a gracious manner.
Get this book if you have a friend going through a loss of some sort! But even if you tuck it away on your bookshelf for a time, you’ll be so glad to have it when life happens to someone you love, as life has a way of doing.
Death is the opposite of life. And for those who have experienced loss, grieving can feel dark, lonely, scary, confusing and/or almost unbearable. For those grieving, life almost seems suspended, but the reality is, life goes on regardless of our loss. As fellow humans looking on, we WANT to communicate, but words seem impotent and so often we simply don't know what to say, hence, the title of David Knapp's book: "I Didn't Know What To Say: Being A Better Friend to Those Who Experience Loss".
The author speaks candidly about his firsthand experience with death and dying by sharing his personal heartache, struggles and lessons learned in the process. He discusses how fear and isolation often go together in the grieving process. The griever often feels fear while those around them often isolate them until they "get over it". He gives insights about the multi-layered nature of grief and helps readers understand how they can better fit into the process of helping others through those various layers. He discusses the subjects of avoidance and stuffing, hope and disappointment, sadness and sorrow, coming to grips with permanent separation, loss, and learning to live with a new identity.
Though the author shares his story about grieving the loss of two wives after illness, I appreciate how he also incorporates other forms of death, dying, and loss. These may include grief over abandonment from an adoption, separation through abortion, the loss of children and friends through illness, a miscarriage, or even the loss of a pet, job or a dream. He also touches on the differences between genders, cultures and religions to help readers understand differing perspectives and worldviews about death and dying.
In each chapter you'll find sections with practical helps such as, "Point to Ponder" and "What To Say" or "What Not To Say" to someone during the grieving process, along with other practical advice on overcoming barriers that affect healthy mourning.
In the end, the author shares how his personal roots of faith helped ground and guide him through the inevitable reality of grief, permanence of loss and discovering a "new normal".
No one can be completely prepared for loss and grief, but through the author's sharing of his very personal journey and lessons learned, readers can become more equipped to be a better friend to those who are grieving. This book is practical and helpful for caregivers, friends or family of those experiencing some form of grief or loss, and those in a position to lead or counsel others.
(Note: I was provided an Advanced Reader Copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, and these opinions are my own).
The thing that makes this book so helpful is that it applies to loss--of divorce, children and even pets--so thoroughly. I would call it a guide book in the way that it is so broad and thorough. The author does face grieving squarely. I know that I've been so uncomfortable seeing good friends suffer in the middle of a funeral home--or their living room--and just, selfishly, want to find any excuse to leave.
But this work is different. It not only allows one to squarely face talking about another's loss, it gives you step-by-step 'tools' to actually minister to the person. (And yes, I've seen a person seemingly more broken up by the loss of a pet than with the loss of a person. This book helps here, too.)
My own issue right now is how to give this book as gifts. But it is a sorely needed topic that begs to be covered EXACTLY akin to the way the author covers it. Sure, in 200+ pages, the experienced reader can possibly see how you may have handled a situation differently. But here, in one volume, is a book that should be in every home. It is said that the only two things we face for certain are death and taxes. This handles the former subject quite well as a very needed voice in an uncertain world.
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