Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Review - Aftermath

Growing in Grace Through Grief

Loss is a four-letter word that grips our hearts and gridlocks our lives. Grief can hold us captive until we surrender it to God. How do we find the necessary grace to journey through the mourning process?

Juxtaposed to the outpouring of her mother’s words about grief, the author shares her parallel journey from the emotional abyss of grief after becoming an adult orphan. With candor, the author shares her own emotions experienced along the spectrum of loss after her parents’ deaths: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—adding interactive options for readers.

Five sections cover these common emotions and provide:

• comfort Scripture lists

• counsel sections from grief experts

• chronicling sections with detailed helps

• tangible handles on dealing with grief during holidays, capturing loved ones’ legacy, and more

Margaret McSweeney is a well-published author often writing online articles for Make It Better (the former North Shore Magazine) and freelance articles for the Daily Herald, the largest suburban Chicago newspaper. In addition, she has authored and compiled several books including A Mother’s Heart Knows; Go Back and Be Happy; Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace and most recently, Mother of Pearl.

Margaret has a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in international business. As is the founder of Pearl Girls, Margaret collaborates with other writers on projects to help fund a safe house for WINGS, an organization that helps women and their children who are victims of domestic violence, and to build wells for schoolchildren in Uganda through Hands of Hope. For the past 10 years she has served on the board of directors and leadership advisory board for WINGS. Margaret lives with her husband and 2 daughters in the Chicago suburbs. Learn more about Margaret and the work of Pearl Girls at

This is a beautiful book for people who are grieving. The author writes so beautifully and eloquently about loss and how it affects us. The book is for those who have lost loved ones, but I found it very helpful in making me feel better regarding the loss of the movement of my body. It truly is a grieving process for that, too. The author is very open and shares so much and those are the type of books that really touch us.

Throughout the book there are poems written by the author's mother, Carolyn Rhea. Mrs. Rhea had written a book called, "When Grieg is your Constant Companion" and these poems are raw and yet so comforting for those who are grieving. I also loved all the journal entries that the author shared from her mother's journals. She also shared letters that her mother had written her as well as other letters from people. All of this weaves a beautiful yet poignant book that will bring tears to your eyes and yet comfort your heart.

Margaret McSweeney takes you through the different stages of grief and at the end of each chapter there are questions to help you evaluate how you are feeling about your grief.  There is also an area for you to write a letter to God, telling him how you feel. What a wonderful idea!

I think the greatest thing I came away with was what to say to people who have lost a loved one. Many times, it's best not to say anything but to just be there for the person. How many times have we said some platitude to someone hurting and grieving when what they really needed was just quiet comfort. I am so glad that she shared about what to say and do for those grieving.

The whole book was wonderful and I had a hard time putting it down. It touched me deeply and I know that I will refer back to this book again and again. I also know that this book would be an excellent book for anyone who has suffered a loss and is grieving.  I highly recommend this book!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can purchase the book HERE

You can read other review of this book HERE

Blessings - Julie

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