- The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard by Kara Tippetts — beautifully written memoir of a young mother learning to walk through terminal cancer with grace. Kara has since passed away but her friends and loved ones have kept her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, up and running.
- Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty
- Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller — NYC Pastor Tim Keller tackles the difficult question of why God allows suffering and the possibility of “suffering well.”
- A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis — Author C.S. Lewis lost his wife to cancer. He shares candidly about his experience of losing his beloved. Madeleine l’Engle writes of his account:
“Reading A Grief Observed during my own grief made me understand that each experience of grief is unique. There are always certain basic similarities: Lewis mentions the strange feeling of fear, the needing to swallow, the forgetfulness. Perhaps all believing people feel, like Lewis, a horror of those who say of any tragedy, ‘Thy will be done,’ as though a God of love never wills anything but good for us creatures. He shows impatience with those who try to pretend that death is unimportant for the believer, an impatience which most of us feel, no matter how strong our faith.” —Crosswicks
- The Book of Hebrews — the anchor of Hope, in what is unseen
- “A Song for the Suffering” — article + video/song featuring Shane Barnard and John Piper and the message that suffering is not meaningless. Piper shares: “I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing. Don’t look to what is seen.
- “How to Help Someone Who is Grieving” // article with practical tips by author Sally Lloyd-Jones
- “The Art of Presence” — New York Times op-ed article by David Brooks; touches on suffering and how to “be present” with those who are hurting or suffering – to not over-analyze or spiritualize the situation nor try to “fix” things. One family’s journey offers insight on “how those of us outside the zone of trauma might better communicate with those inside the zone.”
- “What Not to Ask When Someone is Suffering” article by Nancy Guthrie — Guthrie and her husband have lost two children and she suggests what to say (and not to say) to those in a time of grief.
- What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) by Nancy Guthrie
- When Your Family Has Lost a Loved One by Nancy Guthrie — the “book you never wanted to read”; discusses the grief cycle, healing, and coping through the seasons of holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.
- About What Was Lost: Twenty Writers on Miscarriage, Healing, and Hope— collection of stories edited by Jessica Berger Gross
- Infertility — Finding God’s Peace in the Journey by Lois Flowers
- A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss — Guidance and Support for You and Your Family by Ingrid Kohn and Perry-Lynn Moffitt
- Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Deborah L. Davis
- Holding on to Hope by Nancy Guthrie
- After the Loss — tips for coping with pregnancy loss as well as a list of online resources + support groups
- Photographer Gina Zeidler’s story — one woman’s candid account of grief in losing a child
- NPR Hidden Brain — Encore of Episode 15: Loss and Renewal — Podcast host Shankar Vedantam describes the episode, originally airing in 2015 as “a tale of loss and renewal” and “a very particular and universal story.” The episode concludes with a reading of the poem “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop. The poem touches on the “art” of losing/loss. Click below to listen to the episode or find it on iTunes.
- Music can be a comfort in times of trial and suffering. Below is my It is Well playlist on Spotify, a collection of songs of hope and encouragement. You can listen here or if the player doesn’t work, you can hop over to Spotify. A list of the songs is below.
It is Well, Bethel Music // No Longer Slaves, Bethel Music // Even Though, More Than Rubies // Live and Breathe, More Than Rubies // Anchor of Hope, Ellie Holcomb // My Heart is Steadfast, Ellie Holcomb // Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul, Indelible Grace Music* // All the Way my Savior Leads Me, Chris Tomlin // Heaven Song, Phil Wickham // Healed by Shane & Shane ( instrumental)
*Indelible Grace is a movement to revive old hymns with a heart for formative worship. This song comes one of Erika’s favorite albums by IG, The Hymn Sing. These lyrics, some quoted above, are powerful.