Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Reviews on Time, Aging, Death, Grieving & Heaven

I’ll be reviewing a series of books on time, aging, death, grieving and heaven. This is part one. There’s much to learn here.

Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders 
by Mary Pipher, Ph.D.

Another Country is an outstanding, valuable book for anyone concerned about parents or grandparents who are aging and need help. The book is beautifully written – it’s a New York Times best seller. Pipher, a clinical psychologist, is knowledgeable about seniors and researched this subject extensively. She comments on the fact that our culture has changed dramatically – people are living longer yet our culture worships youth; families live at great distances from each other leaving grandparents isolated and alone.

Pipher offers many vignettes of adult children and their aging parents. Some of these stories demonstrate the helpfulness of a counselor in thinking through tough family decisions and in solving contentious family relationships.

Pipher invites us to overcome our aversion to thinking and talking about death and helps us understand elders. She says adult children live in “different time zones” from their parents and this causes difficulty understanding each other. Throughout the book she emphasizes the need for intergenerational community and offers ways to implement this. There is a wealth of information here for all generations to learn from and put to use in their relationships with each other. It is also a delightful book to read.

When Your Family’s Lost A Loved One: Finding Hope Together
By David and Nancy Guthrie

When Your Family's Lost A Loved One is a very insightful book about the difficult topic of grieving and loss. The Guthries share their experiences in losing two babies. In addition to telling their story of loss, they interview several others who have faced a difficult loss and they include information from experts. There are chapters on Her Grief, His Grief, Helping Kids Cope and ideas about handling birthdays, holidays and death days – and on remembering. This is a valuable resource for Christian families.

Beyond the Scars: Daring to Live Forward 
By F. Elaine Olsen

Beyond the Scars describes one woman’s journey of faith through the shock of a diagnosis of breast cancer, painful surgery, and difficult treatments. Olsen gives an honest, vulnerable account of her emotions and describes how she held onto her faith. She discoveed valuable faith lessons in her suffering – lessons that will help many others with any type of suffering. This beautifully written book contains forty devotional chapters with scripture, prayer and questions to ponder. Buy this for friends in similar circumstances.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Blessings, Dottie

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