Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review: Good Grief!

During our adoption process, I experienced a full range of emotions. Excitement, fear, joy, disappointment, love and frustration.  One thing the Lord taught me during this journey was that I needed to take my eyes off of my own troubles and “see” others needs.  It isn’t easy for me and I am still learning!

I was so grateful when I stumbled upon Erica McNeal’s book, Good Grief! I actually knew Erica in High School- we were classmates and teammates on the volleyball team. However, what I didn’t know was all that Erica has experienced since then.  Today is the birthday of her daughter Kylie who is dancing in Heaven. She also has experienced miscarriages, the loss of an adopted son and has battled cancer three times all by the age of 33. 

Her book Good Grief! is an intimate look inside a grieving mother’s heart and how people’s actions and words can devastate even further.  It also is a practical resource guide to help us know what to say and do when people around us are experiencing pain, grief and loss. 

Have you ever been in a situation where all you needed was a friend to listen and comfort you and instead received a judgmental comment?

Have you ever not known what to say to comfort a loved one grieving a loss?

I sometimes don't know how to act or react towards someone in pain.  Especially if it's not something I have been through.  But Erica has done a fantastic job of giving practical suggestions and even guidelines on what not to do or say to your friends who are suffering.  After reading Good Grief!, I realized I need to listen more to people and not try to "fix" their problems. Sometimes my advice is not needed, my listening ear or my shoulder to cry on is.  

In her own words:
From my personal experiences through cancer and child-loss, I’ve written Good Grief!

This [book] is a resource guide filled with examples of the great support my husband and I received during our darkest moments, and the harmful words that stunted our recovery.

The problem is that people who are suffering don’t always know how others can provide tangible support because they don’t know what they need.

Their family and friends want so desperately to help, but don’t always know what to say or do. There is a disparity between the two that leads to conflict and unmet expectations – on both sides.

What You Can Learn From Good Grief!
Words That Can Be Misunderstood
Words That Encourage
Things To Remember
Actions That Are Intentional

What I really love about the book is that it is for everyone! Whether you are in the grieving process or someone around you is struggling, she gives great perspective on both sides.

The trials Erica has experienced in her young life are unimaginable- yet God in His mercy has brought Erica through, in order to proclaim His glory and help others who are facing trials.  

Good Grief! Is available for purchase here.


When you purchase Good Grief! Between June 11th-16th, you will be elibigle to be entered in the following giveaways:

1. Up to 5 opportunities to win one of the following daily thank you gifts:
a. $45 Carrabbas Gift Card
b. $45 Outback Gift Card
c. $50 Amazon Gift Card
d. $50 Best Buy Gift Card
e. Signed Hard Cover copy of Good Grief! and a Signed copy of The Hour that Matters Most from Les and Leslie Parrott
2. Receive a free downloadable podcast of my talk, You Are Not Alone.
3. Receive a free downloadable recording of the Intro of Good Grief!
4. Receive a free downloadable PDF copy of Good Grief!
Just send your receipt to to be entered into the giveaways and to receive your free PDF copy.

Purchase 10 or more copies of Good Grief! and email your receipt to to receive a six week Good Grief! Small Group Discussion Guide!
Twitter: @toddanderica

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Gentry for the book recommendation. I would like to read it to gain more understanding to be a better comforter to those in pain around me especially my adopted children that have he hurting hearts.
    Have a lovely day!


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