Robert Kellemen sent me a complimentary copy of his book, God’s Healing for Life’s Losses, to review here. This was my first reading of Kellemen’s work. I found it to be well-written, thoughtful, and immensely practical. Most people in full-time ministry )myself included) have read several books on grief counseling and have attended a few training seminars on the topic. Even so, I found much of the material here to be a fresh presentation that combined some of the best resources with practical exercises to help guide the reader through the grieving process in a way that promotes healing.
I found Kellemen’s linkage of the traditional ‘Stages of Grief’ with a ‘Biblical Grief Response’ to be very helpful. For example, he links Stage One: Denial with Candor: Honesty with Myself and Stage Two: Anger with Complaint: Honesty with God. That linkage helps the Christ-follower to seek and apply biblically-based answers to their grief.
The key to God’s Healing for Life’s Losses are the “grief and growth exercises.” Kellemen introduces these sections with this statement: “Grieving is not just about reading. It’s about relating – relating God’s truth to your life. Because we’re all different and because the grief journey is filled with twists and turns, we end every chapter with different types of “grief and growth exercises.” These sections provide a variety of exercises for the reader to choose from that will help guide them through various grief stages.
Probably the best way to gain the greatest help from this book is to read and re-read it over time. Grief is not a linear process that moves neatly from one stage to the next. Grief can toss you back and forth between stages – even taking you back to the beginning just when you thought you were well on your way through stage five or six! Reviewing previously read sections of this book would be invaluable in those moments.
This is a book that I will recommend to my colleagues, to those who counsel and care for those who are grieving, and for all who finds themselves in need of healing from life’s losses.