A Necessary Grief by Larry Michael

As pastors we certainly need guidance in helping our folks as they go through bereavement. This book, subtitled “Essential Tools For Leadership In Bereavement Ministry”, certainly provides that help. It helps get inside the thinking bereaving ones are going through more effectively than most such volumes that I have seen.

The author defines grief and how it impacts people differently. He covers the many emotions that may arise, yet he warns us that thinking of it as a process may cause us to misunderstand those grieving. “Steps” may not be in order, nor may every one show up in every person.

He well presents many fallacies where we may be giving unhelpful advice. He also teaches us to avoid the clichés that we so often use because most are actually shallow and make us seem not to care. That is followed by helpful things to say and do. The book finally transition to expanding our help to full-blown bereavement ministries. It is all well done. The appendixes add even more value.

As I read this book, it seemed to be an updating for our generation for what Wiesbe’s “Comforting The Bereaved” said a generation ago, and Blackwood’s “The Funeral” did for the generation before that. All three books would likely cover that subject quite well in your library. This volume is a success in speaking to our day and I recommend it.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


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