I've been reading a lot since Samuel died. I find it helpful (as much as anything can be helpful). I thought I'd share some of the books I have enjoyed and share a few quotes:
The One Year Book of Hope, by Nancy Guthrie. It's a devotional about grief. So far, so good. It's short, daily (or as often as you'd like) little stories and devotionals to help you as you move though grief. (A gift from Erin <3)
Grieving the Child I Never Knew, by Kathe Wunnenberg. Again, a devotional-style book of short stories. I really like it. Here are a few quotes:
"If there is anything a sufferer needs, it is not an explanation, but a fresh, new look at God."
"Clearly, unless the Lord chooses to explain Himself to us, which often He does not, His motivation and purposes are beyond the reach of mortal man... Many of our questions - especially those that begin with the word why - will have to remain unanswered for the time being."
"Since our world is fallen, we are all victims of heartache at one time or another. Your [loss] isn't a sign of sin in your life or a message from God to "clean up your act." It is simply a form of suffering common to the human experience of living in this world."
*I'm sure there are more great quotes, but I'm only half-way through.
Comfort, by Ann Hood. The story of a woman who lost her young daughter unexpectedly. A beautiful story of loss, grief and healing.
When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold S. Kushner. A book about suffering and God by a rabbi who lost his son. It's helping me put my faith back together. (A great recommendation by Little Bird).
Here are some quotes:
"We can't explain it [senseless loss] any more than we can explain life itself. We can't control it, or sometimes even postpone it. All we can do is try to rise beyond the question "Why did it happen?" and begin to ask the question "What do I do now that it has happened?"
"If God existed, if He was minimally fair, let alone loving and forgiving, how could He do this to me?" (This is the basis of writing the book, he does on to search for the answer to this question).
"How seriously would we take a person who said, "I have faith in Adolf Hitler, or in John Dillinger. I can't explain why they did the things they did, but I can't believe they would have done them without a good reason." Yet, People try to justify the deaths and tragedies God inflicts on innocent victims with almost these same words".
Gone but Not Lost: Grieving the Death of a Child, by David W. Wiersbe. A good book about grief.
An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination, by Elizabeth McCracken. This book was recommended on a lot of babyloss blogs. Personally, I had a hard time connecting to the story. It's very fragmented and I had a hard time with her writing style. But if you like more abstract writings, it's a good book about her loss.
Heaven is For Real, by Todd Burpo. This one is hard for me. Typically, when tons of people talk about a "must-read", I, for some unknown reason, find myself completely uninterested (I'm not a follower). This book got super popular in Christian circles really quickly and I found myself un-attracted to it. But, after Samuel died, so many people said "you've just gotta read it" that I did. Here's the deal. I have no clue if the story is true or not and really, that's not the point to me. True or not, it paints a very clear and beautiful picture of what heaven might be like and it helps me visualize the place I believe Samuel lives now. You don't have to believe the story to read the book. There is also a kids version: Heaven is for real for kids.
The Shack, by William P. Young. This falls into the same "everyone is reading it so I won't" category. But, I did, eventually -after the craze ended - and it was very healing for me. I don't believe it's a true story, but I know it's a good story and I really like the image of God it presents.
I Will Carry you, by Angie Smith. I read this while pregnant. It's about a woman who continues her pregnancy despite the fatal diagnosis her baby receives. It's a great book about faith and loss, but really hard to read if you're going through it because you can feel what she's saying. I cried a lot, but would recommend it.
Life Touches Life: a Mother's story of stillbirth, by Lorraine Ash. A beautiful and very touching story.
Choosing to SEE, by Mary Beth Chapman. The story of finding hope in the midst of a very tragic loss (her daughter).
Those are my recommendations so far. I still have a bunch of books "in the queue" on my coffee table, so there may be more recommendations to come.
Back to the stack and missing my bunny <3...