Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading for Dealing with Victimization

No Time For Goodbyes picture

No Time For Goodbyes: Coping with Sorrow, Anger and Injustice After A Tragic Death, Janice Harris Lord
This book shares real life stories of grief and gives hope and practical suggestions to survivors grieving the tragic death of a loved one. Tears will come to your eyes as you read the comments of survivors throughout the book, but many of the tears will honor their insight and courage as they travel their paths toward healing.


How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies, Therese Rando
When death is unanticipated, few of us are prepared for it or for the grief it brings. There is no right or wrong way to grieve; each person’s response to loss will be different.  In this compassionate, comprehensive guide, the author leads you gently through the painful but necessary process of grieving and helps you find the best way for yourself.


For  adults and children:

aardvarkAarvy Aardvark Finds Hope: A Read Aloud Story for People of All Ages About Loving and Losing, Friendship and Hope, Donna R. O’Toole



Tear Soup pictureTear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss, Pat Schwiebert & Chuck DeKlyen
Tear Soup is the story of Grandy, who has just suffered a big loss in her life. She blends emotions and memories into her soup as a way to work thru the healing and grieving process.


For children:

Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept, Debra Byrne
This is a beautifully illustrated picture book that sensitively broaches the subject of keeping our children safe from sexual abuse.  This book was written as a tool to help parents, caregivers and teachers broach the subject with children in a non-threatening way.  Visit YouTube to see the book read by the author.


SafetoTellA Secret Safe to Tell, Naomi Hunter
It happened when I was little, always when we were alone…but, sometimes he did things that worried me and made me feel strange on the inside…I thought games were supposed to be FUN. This is a gentle book that encourages children to tell someone about any confusing feelings that they might be experiencing, as a way of HEALING.



Grace Disguised pictureA Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss, Jerry Sittser
In one tragic moment, a DUI claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter.  He was left a single parent of three children.  What grief!  In his book he recalls a waking dream he had about darkness and light.  He likens grief to chasing the sun as it sets in the west, afraid that the darkness would cover him up.  Realizing that he would not be fast enough to outrun the darkness, he believed he would be in darkness forever.  But then someone told him that the quickest way to reach the sun and the light of day was not by running to the west – but by heading east, plunging into the darkness until one reaches the sunrise.  He realized that he could be transformed by his suffering, rather than thinking he could somehow avoid it.  A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of sorrow, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love.  The circumstances are not important; what we do with those circumstances is.  In coming to the end of ourselves, we can come to the beginning of a new life – one marked by spiritual depth, joy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of simple blessings.

Grief Observed pictureGrief Observed, C. S. Lewis
Lewis, in his 60’s married Joy Davidman in 1956, becoming the stepfather to her two boys.  Her death four years later triggered the writing of A Grief Observed.  When Joy died, Lewis’s life was turned upside down with grief.  His brave words melted down into Grief, a composition that simply reproduces the four handwritten journals Lewis wrote in an attempt to work through his pain.  He writes, “God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality.  He knew it already.  It was I who didn’t.  In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once.  He always knew that my temple was a house of cards.  His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”

one-thousand-giftsOne Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp,
This New York Times best seller addresses “why, God?”  She writes, “No, God?  No, God, we won’t take what You give.  No, God, Your plans are a gutted, bleeding mess and I didn’t sign up for this and You really thought I’d go for this?  No, God, this is ugly and this is a mess and can’t You get anything right and just haul all this pain out of here and I’ll take it from here, thanks.  And, God, Thanks for nothing.”  She goes on to wonder, “Isn’t this the human inheritance, the legacy of the Garden?  I wake and put the feet to the plank floors, and I believe the Serpent’s hissing lie, the repeating refrain of his campaign through the ages:  God isn’t good.  It’s the cornerstone of his movement.  That God withholds good from His children, that God does not genuinely, fully, love us.”
Really, when you bury a child – or when you just simply get up every day and live life raw-you murmur the question soundlessly. No one hears. Can there be a good God? A God who graces with good gifts when a crib lies empty through long nights, and bugs burrow through coffins? Where’s God, Really? How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away. Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life is full of hurt? How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the full life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?  Excerpt from One Thousand Gifts