"This book should be on every bookshelf!"
David Knapp wrote his book, I Didn't Know What To Say, for the express purpose of equipping people to be better friends and helpers to those who are going through the painful process of grief.
David draws on his own experience of losing both his first and second wife to cancer to provide insight into some of the unhelpful responses we often make, and presents a repertoire of ideas on how to be a genuine friend and helper to a grieving person.
Various chapters in the book deal with different kinds of losses, including the trauma of losing a spouse or child, divorce, loss of pets, and other losses that we sometimes fail to recognize need to be grieved over if healing is to occur.
A veteran teacher, David supplements his chapters with practical lists of responses that may be helpful at different points in the grieving process.
His book is a wonderful took for preparing ourselves for the inevitable human experience of dealing with another's grief, or our own.
What readers are saying:
"⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 4!"
"In I Didn't Know What To Say, David Knapp offers real life experience to friends of grievers. Suggestions on what should and should not be said, couples with ideas to actually help those who are hurting are all shown through real life examples.
The loss of a job is a serious thing for those who have dedicated their life to their work and should not be taken lightly. To a couple who have never had children or a small girl whose best friend is her dog, the loss of a pet can be devastating. The loss of a spouse or child are both traumatizing and friends shouldn't expect the mourner to 'just get over it' anytime soon.
As the author points out in his book, everyone looses something precious to them at some point in their lives, which means that everyone knows someone who has experienced loss. Whether it was a child, spouse, job, or even pet, there are levels of grieving that everyone goes through. How you as a friend react to this process is a key instrument in helping them through it.
When I was younger, I lost a distant relative who I wasn't very close to. I was very close with another member of the immediate family, though, and it was so hard not knowing what to do or say to help them. Reading this book showed me what I did right, what I did wrong, and where I could have done more. I wish I had had it back then.
The author doesn't simply offer advice from his own experience and perspective, but years accumulation of suggestions and advice from men and women who had experienced deep loss in some way. He covers the different types of emotional responses that can be expected and emphasizes everyone's right to grieve in their own way. Also, while the author comes from a distincitly Christian perspective, he talks about being sensitive and accepting of others' religious (or non-religious) beliefs during the grieving process.
This is a great book for anyone to read, whether you know someone who is grieving at the moment or not. Everything is to the point, makes sense, and is easy to understand. I highly suggest it just for the sake of having this know-how for the next time your friends wants to talk about his job loss or the neighbor next door loses her precious cat.
I give I Didn't Know What To Say 4 out of 4 stars for being almost completely unique in its advice for the friend of grievers, and for its usefulness to nearly everyone in this modern day and age where we are so disconnected and really just don't know what to say."
-An official OnlineBookClub.org review by AbbyC