NEW REVIEW of Good Mourning: Getting Through Your Grief

Book Review: Good Mourning: Getting Through Your Grief

good mourning Allan Hugh ColeGood Mourning: Getting Through Your Grief
by Allan Hugh Cole Jr.
Published 2008 by Westminster John Knox Press


Note: The author suggests it might be in your best interest to postpone reading this book for a few months after your loss. It often takes a few months of natural grief before we reach an emotional point where we are able to begin a mourning process.

Grief is encompassing – experiencing loss can lead to a state so exhausting you can’t see on to the next day. In Allan Cole’s book, Good Mourning, he encourages those familiar with loss that through the course of proper grief, there is hope. Good Mourning is a journey through the process of mourning as a path to restoration.

Part one addresses the effects loss can have on us. Though people grieve in different ways, loss affects an individual’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. He includes a list of common feelings associated with grief, encouraging readers to pay attention to these reactions and to develop an understanding of the hurt so they can begin the healing process.

Part two is designed to help with this endeavor, offering the equipment needed to mourn in a constructive and healthy way. Cole begins the second half of the book with a portion from scripture: I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow (Jeremiah 31:13). This is an appropriate launch to the second portion of the book, a reminder of the role faith can play in mourning. Cole dedicates an entire chapter to the role of faith and reminds us that the “Christian faith suggests a powerful link between our own suffering and God’s suffering.” In this relationship, we can find great encouragement. As you experience grief you may feel the urge to turn from your faith, but God wants to deliver you from sorrow. Part of the practice of Good Mourning is prayer. Cole suggests many postures of prayer—alone, in company, engaged, and quiet.

Spiritual comfort and encouragement are necessary means for coping. To supplement spiritual support, Cole has comprised a running list of approachable strategies to help handle mourning as you encounter grief. Mourning can often lead to an estranged relationship with God, but mourning constructively can lead to just the opposite. This book is useful for those who have recently lost a loved one or could be used by a support group. It could also provide fresh ideas and good resources for pastors, chaplains or counselors helping those who grieve.

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Kate Parker writes for

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