Because it is becoming an increasingly important issue for many of the baby boomer generation, more and more books are coming out on grief and dealing with it. One of the more recent entries in this area is this book written by Dallas resident Julie Yarbrough and published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises.
Dedicated to her husband she lost and in appreciation of her grief support group at Highland Park United Methodist Church, Julie Yarbrough takes readers through the long valley of grief and out the other side. She lost her husband, Dr. Leighton Farrell, Senior Minister of the church, ninety days after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. "I was destroyed; my soul shattered into one million small pieces. At fifty-five, I was young and very old. I was alone." (Introduction, Pages 13-14)
The 217 page book is split into two main parts. "Part 1: Inside the Broken Heart" begins on page 15 with a biblical passage and definition for grief. The author then moves readers through the various stages of grief using a biblical perspective showing readers how their lives will change and how the bible and religious teachings provide strength at this painful time. Grief is a full time occupation and people travel through it at different speeds and often face setbacks before continuing on.
Author Julie Yarbrough explains this and much more including survival strategies designed to help the widow or widower to keep going. This can be especially difficult during the holidays and that issue is covered in this section. At some point for every person, one moves on to a love that celebrates the past union and reaches out to touch others. That is the theme of second section titled "Part 2-Beyond the Broken Heart." This section revolves around the idea of an enduring love that surrounds the living and the missing partner. There is a reason for what has happened in that "God uses grief to teach us more of his faithfulness and steadfast love." (Page 149)
Like the first half of the book, this part of the book has stages that revolve around going forward in the aftermath of losing the partner. Moving on in terms of healing, finding hope and happiness, coping with money issues, planning for the future, etc. are all parts of this process.
There is an old and clichéd adage advising writers to write what they know. As a widow and a lay grief facilitator, the author has experienced grief in many ways. She brings that knowledge and a deep religious faith to bear in a book that provides compassion, support and hope in what has to be one of the most painful times in any life. In a time of need, this book can be a powerful aid while also serving at other times as a helpful planning guide to a future we all face.
Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.
How does the heart understand grief when it is broken by the death of a husband or wife? To survive and live forward, those who grieve must find answers. Inside the Broken Heart is for anyone who has ever grieved the death of a spouse and asked 'why?' The book meets the reader at a spiritual place reserved specifically for widows and widowers. Author Julie Yarbrough survived the sudden and untimely death of her beloved husband, a prominent United Methodist minister. As a lay grief facilitator, she believes that those who seek comfort and inspiration in grief best identify with an authentic point of view. We grieve because we love, in direct proportion to the depth of our love. Spousal love is a sacred gift ordained by God, the death of husband or wife unlike any other experience of loss. The marriage vow moment 'until death do us part' forever changes those who survive. Grief cannot be understood until it is experienced. Grief is not a crisis of faith, it is a crisis of the heart. Inside the Broken Heart uses topical references from the Bible to illuminate the unfamiliar emotions and questions of grief for the surviving spouse. Because we must grieve in order to live, the book explains spiritual and practical issues of grief and suggests specific coping strategies for widows and widowers. As journey through 'the valley of the shadow of death,' Inside the Broken Heart guides the way back to fullness of life. Through rediscovery of hope, pain and sorrow are vanquished, death is...