Monday, June 11, 2012

The Gift Of Grief


In the past few years I have faced more pain than I ever could have imagined. Since the moment I stepped off of that plane, into the hot Haitian air, I have been in a constant battle of joy and grief, extreme beauty and pain, outrageous discouragement and faith.


Each time I am faced with the hurt that this life brings I have 2choices. I can shut down, bite back the tears, smile and move on. Or I can feel, wholeheartedly, allowing the pain to happen because I know that it’s a healthy part of the grieving process. Over the years I have chosen both and I have learned through each and every trial, the gift of healing that grief can bring.


This spring was a time of trial in my personal life, with the loss of Gup and Ella Grace and the difficult decisions that I faced in those months, I was overwhelmed. Thankfully, I had someone to turn to that understood. Erica McNeal, a friend of mine and author of Good Grief was one of the first people I spoke to after I found out that Gup would be leaving me, and again after he was returned. You see, at just 32 years old, Erica was already a 3 time cancer survivor and had experienced the loss of 5 children, one through a disrupted adoption. Erica “got it”. Right away she sent me a copy of her book, Good Grief! and I lost myself in her stories. So many of the things she spoke about felt like they could have been hijacked from my own heart. I finished the entire book in just 2 days. Just a few weeks later, Good Grief! was the book that I read and wept over after Ella Grace died.


In an email that Erica wrote to me she talked about all of the “well meaning” things that people would say to me in the weeks to come.In the book she again talks about those things. Because she shared those things I wasn’t shocked when I received an email from someone stating that “God gave me Annabel so that it wouldn’t be so hard for me when Gup left” I took Erica’s advice and did not punch them.


Reading Good Grief! was a healing process for me because it allowed me to remove myself from my very personal situation and realize that hurt happens. Other people have walked this road and they have survived it. I would too. Reading about Erica and Todd’s experiences gave me something to focus on during those days when it felt like I would be stuck forever in that deep dark place.


Today marks 5 years since Todd and Erica held their daughter, Kylie Joy for the 80 precious minuets before Jesus called her home. The celebrate Kylie’s birthday Erica is launching Good Grief! today! To commemorate the launch Erica has a great giveaway going on:


Purchase an eBook, soft cover, or hard cover copy of Good Grief! and send your receipt to Each person who sends their receipt will:
1. Receive a free pdf version of Good Grief!                                                        2. Have 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
3. Receive a free downloadable podcast of Erica’s talk, You Are Not Alone.
4. Receive a free downloadable recording of the Intro of Good Grief!

For groups using Good Grief! Purchase10 or more copies and email your receipt to to receive a six week Good Grief! Small Group Discussion Guide!


When Ella Grace died a copy of Good Grief! was given to Lauren, the woman who cared for her. From now on, I will always have a copy on hand to share with someone who is experiencing suffering. I can’t think of a better book to recommend to someone who is hurting and those who are ministering to them through their pain.


Go HERE to purchase Erica’s book, Good Grief!

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