Ten Hard Truths About Grief

by Thom Dennis

number 1 hard truth
We would all prefer to live with the illusion that we are in control of our own lives, but a sudden change in the weather, an unwelcome diagnosis or a random act of violence reminds us that no one is the master of their fate. The truth is: In this life there is very little of real consequence that we can control. The challenge is to accept this reality and refocus attention on what is within our power to change. We can acknowledge our feelings and choose how we will respond to whatever life has thrown in our direction. Continue reading Ten Hard Truths About Grief


Called Home
A True Story of Overcoming Grief after Losing a Child
by John and Deborah Giles

gilesDeath seems so final, but is it really the end?

Micah was only nineteen when his Jeep was hurled off the highway only four miles from home and crashed into a cement bridge pillar nearly seventy feet below. Although he died instantly, he was missing for three days. His family and friends were left with the crushing pain of losing a friend, a son, and a good Christian brother.

John and Deborah Giles recount the dark days after Micah’s death and the very precise decisions they made that saved them from spiraling down into a pit of despair. No ‘what ifs’ and no ‘self-pity.’ In Called Home, they teach us all how to come through the most heartbreaking defeats of life and find new joy in God’s greater plan.

192 pages – $12.99 (paperback) Order here.

Hope and Emergence

by Kirsten Falsey

In memory of my wonderful, funny, brave, inspirational Mom.

Patricia Rose Forgacs  8/22/1946 - 01/01/2011
Patricia Rose Forgacs 8/22/1946 – 01/01/2011

Grief is a universal emotion. But how each of us navigates the grief process is very personal and private. Some people may grieve for weeks, months, or years. Others may handle it alone, seek out friends, or professional help. No matter how one goes through the process, the most important thing they need is support from non- judgmental friends and family.

Growing up the oldest of two children in Tucson, Arizona I had a very close relationship with my wonderful Mom. We laughed often, took long walks together, and enjoyed frequent shopping trips to the mall. Our happy world was turned upside down when she got diagnosed at the age of 62 with stage 4 cervical cancer. It was a confusing time with too many doctors appointments and chemotherapy treatments to count. I had a career as a registered nurse in California and the flexible schedule allowed me to visit with her often. My husband and I learned we were pregnant with twins, (our first children), about a year into my Mom’s diagnosis. She was so excited about our pregnancy and continued to fight hard. Continue reading Hope and Emergence


Through a Glass Darkly: A Eulogy for Pastor John

by Doctor Phil Lineberger, Senior Pastor
Sugar Land (TX) Baptist Church

Editor’s Note: On February 9, 2011, Pastor John Petty died by suicide at the age of 42. John was married and had two young children. He also had a large church family and many friends, all of whom were stunned and confused by his death. Pastor Lineberger, in his eulogy, addresses the topics of depression, forgiveness, and healing grief.

Phil formalJohn Petty and I were wonderful friends through the years, he was like a son to me really. I’m old enough that he could have been my son. We spent a lot of time together. We were recently with each other at the Baptist Children’s Convention of Texas. I knew John was struggling. I called him and said, “Let’s go to the convention”. He said he didn’t want to and I said, “Neither do I but let’s go anyway”. I flew down to Harlingen and met him. We rented a car, had some good Mexican food, and some good time together. I tried to encourage John as best I could.

There is an overwhelming sense of loss in John’s death. John Petty is gone. He’s not going to come through those doors anymore. He’s not going to bring his bible up here anymore to preach anymore. He’s not going to baptize anymore. Continue reading Through a Glass Darkly: A Eulogy for Pastor John

“Because You Were There”

Letters to my late husband in the first year following his death
by Sally Dalzel

sally_1When my husband died I thought I was ready to face what was to come. He was many years older than me and he had experienced deteriorating health for the thirteen years leading up to his death.

He had suffered awfully in the last year of his life, determined to hang on to the life he loved so much and had lived so well, despite complex medical issues. We had struggled in the last two years with grossly inadequate community care and an appalling lack of communication between the various services involved. More than sixteen emergency ambulance admissions for acute conditions in an eighteen month period provide some indication of how deficient community and health care cooperation had been in his case. By the end we were both exhausted.

Despite this he had an indomitable will to live and determination to enjoy life. In addition to his suffering, for which on many occasions I could do nothing, one of the hardest things to witness was the loss of dignity and interest in who he was by many of the professionals involved in his care. He simply became another old man with a series of conditions. Continue reading “Because You Were There”


Nina BinghamOnce the Storm is Over: From Grieving to Healing after the Suicide of my Daughter
by Nina Bingham

Raw and honest, the author shares her painful past: an abusive alcoholic father, a failed marriage, the rejection she suffered after she came out as a lesbian, and her own brush with suicide. What could have been a story mired in self-pity and misery, ultimately is a story of hope. Nina’s compelling life journey shows how pain and loss can be transformed into strength and purpose. This book is not only for survivors but for anyone facing depression with suicidal tendencies.

Twenty Years

by Dorothy Gillon

Editor’s Note: I met Dorothy, Charlie and their children in 1984 when our family relocated to Martin, TN. From the very beginning, I knew that the Gillons were a special family; warm, loving and caring. Although many miles separate Dorothy and I today, I am honored to share her story with you. Many hugs, my dear friend.

In MemoryWhen Peggy asked me to consider writing an article for her newsletter, I thought what do I have to say about grief that would be helpful to others. But after thinking about it for a while, I thought I have a lot to say about grief and how our family got through it—actually still getting through it. So bear with me as I give you some background about our life.

Charlie and I were married on August 13, 1972. We had a pretty wonderful marriage, easy most of the time, even with our moves to Micronesia; Carbondale, Illinois; Philadelphia, Mississippi (where our son Jamie was born in 1976) and finally to Martin, Tennessee (where our daughter Kathleen was born on our anniversary). We experienced loss along the way with both of our fathers dying very early in our life together and my Nana Dora a little later. We held each other when we cried and remembered our loved ones very often by reminiscing with stories. Continue reading Twenty Years

Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?

by Carson Boss

Carson and Cindy
Carson and Cindy

Upon my wife, Cindy’s, diagnosis of breast cancer in early 2011, I began to reach out to other husbands I knew whose wife had gone through cancer. I started writing down the counsel they gave me, and other bits of information I gleaned from my own research and pamphlets we received early on. It dawned on me after I had accumulated about 40 pages of notes and directions that it would have been nice to have been given a book dealing with all of that information at our very first appointment. Continue reading Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?