Review by Kara L.C. Jones

A Cup of Comfort for Friends

edited by Colleen Sell
ISBN 158062622X
from Adams Media

Yes, I know this is not a book of poetry, and I know that most of you academics will not go for "inspirational" materials like this. But too bad. I dig this kind of reading. There's nothing pretentious or fake about it. And, frankly, as a bereaved parent, I have days where I think I'm down right insane. And on those days, I read books like this and find that many people have thoughts and feelings just like I do. Either it is collective insanity, or it's a fabulous innovation to have people coming out of the closet with their own healing processes.

Must give a "heads-up" to other bereaved parents, especially newly bereaved: There are parts of this collection that will be too difficult to read. As always I say to do what you need to get the gems out of this kind of book. Skip the stories that push your bereaved buttons and read the rest. You won't be sorry!

That said, there are several stories included here that address various grief and healing topics. Each one provides an amazing and insightful perspective to grief, survival, and the general "ins and outs" of living life after the death of a loved one. And within these 50 or so stories, every topic you can imagine is touched upon in one way or another. You just have to dig in and enjoy to see what I mean. I will say that in particular, you should be sure to read the following:

Summer Solstice by Christine M. Caldwell
An amazing story of how friends could best support a bereaved parent!

A Gift from My Ex by Kathryn E. Dawson
If only we would take lessons from these two women, we'd never have war!

Surprise Party by Rita Marie Keller
Heartbreaking and healing at the same time. We should all be so lucky to have touchstone memory like the one Rita shares with us here.

The Tiger and the Butterfly by Nancy Baker
This is dedication! Much to be learned here about how to grieve *and* support each other at the same time.

Angel in Camouflage by Theresa Marie Heim
I was never a fan of "violent" toys like G.I. Joe -- this story has changed all that for me! It's all in the perspective.

Love Lessons by Pat Curtis
Talk about going with flow! This young woman teaches us how to appreciate abundance in the face of loss!

Love Sees No Color by Judith E. Dixon
Okay, "It Takes A Village" is cliché now, but when it comes down to the death of your spouse, the loss of your own health and financial stability-- it really does take a village!!! These people can teach us all a thing or two about stepping up to the plate to care for each other regardless of race, religion, gender, orientation, etc.. Miracles modeled live here!

A Midwest Miracle by Maureen O'Connor Hayden
It is okay to ASK FOR HELP when you need it! Learn about the abundance available for us when we just admit we need it!

A Song in My Heart by Wendy Marvel Redmond
This is neighborhood life at its best. We should all be so bold as to get to know our neighbors!

Breaking the Silence by Sylvia E. Sheets McDonald - A FIVE STAR STORY!!!
If you are the parent of a stillborn child, you will sooooooo recognize this story. If you are *not* the parent of a stillborn child, this is required reading for you-- please read before you open your mouth and say something stupid to a bereaved parent!!!!!!!!

Sacred Vow by Beth Lynn Clegg
If "in-laws" everywhere could be this amazing, (again I say) there would be no war!

It must be heart-wrenching for editor Colleen Sell to read stories like these all day long and then only be able to publish 50 or so of them in each volume of the "Comfort" series. The stories I mention above are just a small selection of what is included in this volume. There are many more topics and inspirations from many other authors, so don't miss this one, folks!

Click here to get a copy of Comfort for Friends today!

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