Monday, March 29, 2010

Words of Comfort for Times of Loss by Cecil Murphey and Liz Allison

Read to the end. Giveaway with this tour.

My review:
This book has 12 short inspirational stories with scripture and a brief prayer for those that are grieving. No matter if you are grieving yourself or you are wanting to reach out to someone who is grieving this book will bring insight to the reader on how they can help those that are grieving and experiencing loss. Everyone grieves differently and the healing process is slow says the authors.

This book's illustrations add a nice soft comforting touch in water color. A very nice inspirational gift book.

About the book:
Through great personal loss, authors Cecil Murphey and Liz Allison have gained insight to share with others who are going through uncertainty, depression, and loneliness after losing a loved one. They also offer advice for those comforting someone who is grieving.

Among comforting paintings by artist Michal Sparks, brief stories, personal experiences, and prayers offer a meaningful path toward healing for readers when they:

  • feel alone and lost in their grief and want to reconnect with others and to life
  • seek to make sense of their loss alongside their sense of faith, purpose, and God
  • want to honor their loved one without clinging to the past in unhealthy ways
Readers are given gentle permission to grapple with doubt, seek peace, and reflect on loss in their own way without judgment and with understanding and hope. A perfect gift for a loved one dealing with loss and grief.

Practical Tips to Comfort and Encourage Those Who Grieve

Cecil Murphey and Liz Allison, co-authors of Words of Comfort for Times of Loss, offer the following suggestions to those who want to comfort and encourage their friends who have lost loved ones. As you read the list, many of the suggestions will depend on your relationship to the person in grief. If you don't know the person well, the authors suggest you focus on the first nine tips.
1. Don't worry about what to say. Those in grief don't need words, but they need love and support during their bereavement.
2. Never say, "I understand exactly how you feel." You don't; no one does. If you feel you must say something, try this: "I don't know how you feel but I care about you." That's honest and it conveys the right message.
3. Listen more than you speak. Those who grieve may want to talk about their pain. They don't need opinions or advice. Become a safe haven where they can release their grief, vent, or say nothing.
4. Sit silently with the grieving. Many people try to fill the space with words when the hurting person needs only a warm body with a caring heart.
5. Don't hold to preconceived ideas about personal loss or the grieving process. Individuals grieve differently. Think of grieving as a sacred place and treat it that way without intrusion or instructions.
6. Here's a wrong question to ask: "What can I do for you?" They may not know and practical things may be beyond their thinking at the moment.
7. Don't say, "If there is anything I can do. . . " Unless you know something specific, keep silent. The question may add a burden to the grief-stricken person.
8. Don't discuss the feelings and/or information the grieving person has shared with anyone else.
9. If it seems important for you to communicate information, ask for permission. "May I tell. . . ?"
10. If you know the person well, make a list of work around the house or errands that others can do. Show the list to your loved one before you arrange anything.
11. Leave the list for others who visit and let them write their names if they want to do specific tasks. You can help others by providing a list of things they can volunteer to do.
12. Never assume the grieving person wants help; always ask first. If the person wants help, follow through and do it as soon as possible. Don't add aggravation to the pain.
13. Help ensure that the person sets aside rest times and do what you can to protect the time from all visitors. Sleep and rest may not come easily, but it's needed to deal with the added stress of grieving.
14. Give the person spiritual space. The grieving may need time to be alone. Ask, "Do you want time alone?" If the person says yes, volunteer to handle visitors or answer the phone during those periods or help arrange for someone else to do those tasks. In the midst of chaos and noise, the hurting person won't be able to hear God or receive divine comfort. Depending on their need, help them have quiet time to listen for God's gentle and loving voice.
15. If little children are involved, ask if and how you can help care for them.
16. Don't neglect the children. They may not understand everything and feel confused. If the children are old enough to communicate, listen to their concerns. Answer their questions simply and honestly.
17. When appropriate, pray for (and with) your grieving friend or loved one. When the words come from your heart, the hurting person can sense your love. Don't expect the grieving person to pray aloud unless he or she indicates a desire to do so.
18. Allow loved ones to feel and to express their emotions—no matter what they are. Grieving is like a wild roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Good friends learn to lead when needed or to take the back seat and go with them for the ride.

About the Authors:

Liz Allison was married to NASCAR driver Davey Allison until his tragic death in 1993. Widowed at 28 with two young children to raise, Liz faced the long journey of pain, loss, and grief with great faith. Committed to encouraging others, she returned to her work in TV reporting, has published eight books, and hosts a weekly radio show.

Cecil Murphey is an international speaker and bestselling author who has written more than 100 books, including the New York Times’ bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper). No stranger himself to loss and grief, Cecil has served as a pastor and hospital chaplain for many years, and through his ministry and books he has brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world.

Why We Write About Loss

On the morning of July 12, 1992, my husband, Davey, left home like any other morning—he kissed my forehead and hugged our kids.That afternoon I answered a knock at the door, sensing something wasn’t quite right. When I glimpsed the faces of Davey’s two best friendsthey didn't have to speak—the looks on their faces said it all.

That day, after lunch with his race team, Davey had hopped into his helicopter and taken an unplanned trip to the nearby Talladega Superspeedway to watch a buddy practice. Attempting to land in the infield, he had lost control of his helicopter and crashed. Although paramedics airlifted Davey to a Birmingham hospital, sixteen hours later he was pronounced dead.

Immediately following Davey’s death, I had to work through my grief enough to plan his funeral and make hundreds of small-but-significant decisions, all while maintaining the time and energy to care for our two young children, ages one and three. Well-wishing friends hovered around me and frequently asked, “What can I do for you?

Most of the time, I could only respond with a blank stare. Looking back, my friends could have done many things for me, but they didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what to tell them.

I hope the insights I have gained during the aftermath of Davey’s death will help you as you struggle with your own grief.
Two weeks after my father suffered a ministroke, a massive stroke took his life. On the day of his funeral, my older brother, Ray, died of cancer. Over the next eighteen months, I lost two brothers-in-law and my mother.

On the Sunday after Dad’s and Ray’s funerals, a parishioner rushed up to me, hugged me, and said, “Pastor, I heard about the deaths. Were they saved?”

I honestly don’t remember what I answered, but I wanted to shout, “Does it matter right now? I hurt. I’m so filled with pain that I’m not sure I can handle the worship service today!”

In 2007, our house burned down. Our son-in-law, Alan, died in the fire. The next day, a neighbor pulled up in front of our burned house, got out of his car, and started to look around. “Where did he die?” he asked.

Through the years, I’ve met many like those two people. Maybe they didn’t know what to say. Perhaps they were so focused on what they cared about that they were unaware of my pain. Instead of helping me, those comments made me feel even worse. What I needed was compassion. I didn’t get that from either of them, but I can offer it to you.

That’s why we’ve written this book.

Book's Table of Contents
Little Joys
You're Not Alone
One Simple Thing
Accepting Help
Make It Go Away
Why Did You Leave Me?
If Only I Had
What's Wrong With Self-pity?
Perfect Grieving
Am I Crazy?
Material Possessions
Facing Those Special Days

Grand Prize Giveaway includes:
Words of Comfort for Times of Loss
Heaven Is Real
Gift Edition, 90 Minutes in Heaven
Potato soup
Oyster crackers
Dove silky smooth milk chocolate
Dove silky smooth dark chocolate
Ultra-plush spa socks
Large gel eye mask
This special grand prize giveaway is designed especially for someone going through a difficult time. The winner can keep or pass along to someone who could use the pick-me-up.

For this giveaway I'm going to ask you to take a look at the authors' web site and come back and tell me another book they have written that looks interesting and why. Here are the sites to check out or
This drawing for USA/Canada residents only please. I will draw one name on April 8th for the grand drawing. Be sure to leave a way of contact.

A copy of this book was provided for this review by KCWC.

This blog tour is through:



rubynreba said...

My husband was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago. He is now in remission but it could come back at any time. I would like to read When Someone You Love Has Cancer. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

i am a nascar follower...have been for years. i remember when davey lost his life in this world. please enter my name in this's a wonderful gift for someone going through a difficult time --- one we all go through at one time or another.

i looked at liz allison's web site...and the book 'risking her heart' caught my eye. maybe, it was the title of the book :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Virginia C said...

Hello! Thanks for a great giveaway. I am a Southerner who loves NASCAR, and I think "The Women behind the Sunday Drivers" by Liz Allison would be a great read. NASCAR is very much a team sport, from the home team to the track team.

"Simply Living" by Cecil Murphey sounds like a book that I would really enjoy reading and keeping as an inspirational reference. Here is part of a review of the book from "...this book about biblical proverbs has such relevance to modern life." AMEN : )

US Resident, Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Edna said...

i SAW THE Authors have written Christmas Miracles and I have read it.
Please enter me for this new book.

Just lost a brother and a sister-in-law since Oct, 2009


Megan said...

We posted about your giveaway here at Winning Readings.

Linda Kish said...

I would like to read Christmas Miracles because I love to read inspiring stories.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I have read some of Cecil's books. They are good. I'd love to win this giveaway.

GrandMaCarolB [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Liz's book A NASCAR Holiday 3 looks like an interesting book to read. Thanks

rdbuening [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I learned that Mr. Murphey did some ghostwriting early on in his writing career.

apple--blossom [at] hotmail [dot] com

Patsy said...

This book looks like it would be a great book. I'd also like to read the love story, Risking Her Heart by Liz Allison as well as Christmas Miracles by Cecil Murphey. I just love all kinds of Christmas Stories.

Winning Readings said...

Winning It All looks interesting...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Sheila Anne said...

My daughter lost her battle with cancer Nov. 2008. "Words of Comfort"may help me understand some of the greiving I've been experiencing and how I can be a comfort to others. "90 Minutes in Heven" is a book I may enjoy reading for possible comfort. Thanks
true_sheila at yahoo dot com