Christy Lowry is a mom who lost her eighth grade daughter in 1983. She wrote her first book titled PAM after her daughter. She has a BA in History from Cal State at Long Beach and lives in Idaho with her husband Paul and four children.
The book starts well and gets into the mundane early, breaking the momentum of the emotional start. It details the moments following a death in reference to funerals, caskets, funeral homes, burials, etc. It begins with the author’s story of her daughter’s sudden death. She details the many phases of grief and mourning, while also sharing the practical events one goes through after a death. There is so much in depth information here, I was truly surprised. It has been years since I was involved in a death in my family but I remember distinctly that hazy time post-death that the author guides you through in this book.
Hope Renewed (Picking Up the Pieces After Loss) is a very comprehensive account of what it’s like to go through the death of a loved one. The book details practically every possible detail a family would experience following death. It also goes in depth about the long process of grieving. The author Christy Lowry lost her young daughter due to a car accident. Since many of her daughter’s friends had never experienced the death of anyone close to them Christy became a model of the appropriate behavior and comforted some of the grievers during her grieving period.
I have read about non-Western grieving traditions(recently from Malidoma Some) and how there is much left to desire in the Western sense. However reading this book has helped me to see that in very subtle ways and over quite a long period of time the Western way does provide avenues to mourn completely, this book helps you identify and take advantage of those options. The author has shown how phrases such as “you must move on with your life”, and similar ideas about how long it should take to grieve are most certainly insensitive and unrealistic. She gives a great account of the many instances in which her mind (and that of those around her) struggled with the idea of death even after the practicality of it was taken care of. Death can be a very complex milestone in the lives of the survivors. It is almost surprising how little wrinkles of the past can worm their way into moments that seemed unrelated to the death of a loved one.
The book very rarely and in a very subtle way references the Bible and Christianity, but the book is full of resources and universal situations that can appeal to any belief system. The content is mostly psychological, sociological, cultural and often strictly practical in its focus. The author also cushions the content with her personal struggles, memories and experiences with a touch of vulnerability and warmth. The book includes questions and answers, several forms and resources in the back of the book, a glossary and several pages for reader notes.
I wish I had this book as a reference when I was a teenager experiencing the death of people close to me for the first time. I really feel this could be very useful to anyone going through a recent death in the family or great as a gift for someone who has lost a loved one. Hopefully some of the overwhelming stress and insensitive comments that can arise during the period of grieving after a death can be alleviated by spreading the full nature of loss as shared in this book.
I really appreciated the read and saw that I had some emotions that I still hold on to related to the grieving period. I feel that after reading this book I could be a much more supportive friend or model of sensitive and helpful behavior during this difficult period that we all face when we lose someone close to us.
This book is packed with information and emotional depth. I could see it being referred to over and over again. It caters to everyone in any situation and would be a great addition to anyone’s library. I couldn’t recommend it enough because I know so many of us have or will experience grief and the misunderstanding community around could lead to some stifled emotions and inner turmoil. Redefining the reality of grief is what I believe the author is really trying to do with this book and I hope her goal is realized.
If you’re interested in this book you can buy it for $17.95 at http://www.love-4-books.com/order.htm or you can enter to win it here! To enter the giveaway all you have to do is subscribe this blog and post a comment below about why you want the book using the account you used to subscribe with. You have until April 11th to enter. I will name a winner on Friday the 13th.