CPN | Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief

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Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief


book review
A Review of

As I picked up Martha Whitmore Hickman’s 365-day grief guide, my first thought was “Some days I can barely commit to putting one foot in front of the other, how can I agree to read every day for a year?” After devouring this book, I can say my engagement with this devotional was essential for me to work through my grief. That is after all, our task once a loved one has passed, we must figure out how to live life in their absence. Just as there are no instruction manuals on how to have friends, raise babies or thrive in marriage, no “how-to” books on how to process death “appropriately” exist because as each relationship is unique, so is the loss that is felt when we are left on this side of the veil.


Part of the horror of grief is how overwhelming and vast it can feel for a person. I am grateful for the fog that settles on the raw wounds of grief, the first year we all wander along. Then year two rears it ugly head, the mist has evaporated and we are left to see the devastation. Mourners feel a cascade of tumultuous thoughts in just a few brief moments, there is a lot to process and work through. Losing a loved one means there is now space to unpack each detail of the relationship, it is a one-sided replay of each moment you spent together. Doubt, fear, guilt and resentment, it can all creep up into the corners of our minds. Walking through grief can be isolating but Martha Whitmore HIckman’s book does a beautiful job of giving guidance and shining a light onto a natural process of life that we rarely discuss over coffee with friends.


Healing After Loss is that friendly advice or wisdom from a mentor, it is thorough and thoughtful with deep insight into grief and loss. Questions we feel silly asking are answered, thoughts we consider shameful or crazy are addressed giving hope to us that the others who have gone through this before have been where we are. Just as we experience the pain of loss each day, this book of meditations is meant to be read daily. Giving us just enough to think over, it is the nudge we need to keep moving, albeit slowly, to a space where we still experience our sadness over the loss of our loved ones but we are able to breathe, when before the whole process was suffocating.


Each page in Healing After Loss contains a quote, a brief written passage by Mrs. Hickman expanding on a facet of grief, and a mediation or mantra at the bottom of the page. If the entire page doesn’t resonate with you, there is so much information in such a small space, something in each daily meditation will call out to you offering support and maybe even comfort as you learn how to be in this world without your loved one.


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