Re-released by Greenbriar Book Company, April, 2011
Stephanie Grace Whitson has experienced the grief of losing both of her parents in 1996. In that same year just 3 days after her husband received a terminal diagnosis, she lost her best friend. Five years later in 2001 she became a widow after being married for 27 years. When that happened, she experienced a totally different side of grief and realized all the well-meaning but clueless things that she had said and done in the past to others who were grieving. From her own personal grief of widowhood this book was birthed.
“The entries are arranged in three sections meant to approximate the early, middle, and late stages of the first two and a half years of my personal grief journey. I’ve named them Phase One: “I Can’t”,” Phase Two: “I Must,” and Phase Three: “I Can and I Will – by God’s Grace”. You will undoubtedly think that some of the more emotional entries are misplaced. This can’t be right, you’ll think. She should have been past this stage. Guess what? Grief doesn’t happen in neat little stages,” says Whitson.
Each section has pages of How It Feels which helps to validate a widow’s feelings and emotions . Opposite each of those pages is a How To Help page which informs her friends and family what they can do to help her.
At the end of the book, Stephanie shares 14 ways to pray for a friend who is grieving.
This book really gives others some insight as to just how a widow is feeling and what she needs from her friends and family. It is a very short yet concise, easy to read book for a new widow and a very invaluable tool for all of her well-meaning friends.
“Jesus promised His followers that His burdens are light, and I have been in grief long enough to experience His Lightening of my load. But it is a lightening, not a removal. The emotions of loss are still there just on the other side of today. Sometimes those emotions punch open the door between the past and the present, march into my life, and remind me of what I have lost.”
Stephanie, thank you for exposing your heart to us during your grief journey!