Skip to main content

Book Review: Aftermath, Growing in Grace Through Grief by Margaret McSweeney

Grief is a subject that is difficult to write about. One reason is that it's a sad subject. Second, some readers could become offended or turned off by it's content. Only a person who has been there, who understands, could write on this subject and bring comforting words of wisdom. Margaret McSweeney is familiar with the depths of grief after loosing three family members. She also watched her mother navigate the journey of grief. Margaret has written a much-needed book, because all of us at some point will deal with grief. Margaret shares her story, as well as her mother's story with included writings from her published book and journals. Margaret's mother wrote poetry after the death of her husband, and her poems (included in book) speak from the anguish of her heart. The words of the poems resonate with shock, betrayal, anger, sadness, and acceptance. Margaret includes the stages of grief, compassionate advice to the griever, as well as advice for others who are witnessing a loved one grieving.

Main points that I loved in this wonderful and much needed book! 

  • What I loved most is that it's candid. Margaret shares her raw and tender feelings. She does not hide the tearful questions of why? She doesn't hide behind a mask of a stoic Christian. She is approachable, because she has allowed herself to be human. 
  • Margaret writes intimately. She does not speak at us, but she sits beside us and holds our hand. She whispers quiet words of assurance, and shares what she has learned. 
  • The chapters are organized well with the stages of grief, applications to help in the process of grieving, the legacy of our loved one's as well as our own, and moving forward in the years to come. 
  • Chapter one is the aptly titled "Grief Needs No Introduction." Margaret lets us know exactly what she hopes to accomplish in this book, as well as the goal. 
  • The chapter on acceptance. This is the ultimate goal in grieving; yet seems so difficult to attain. This is the chapter that stood out to me the most, and was the most meaningful.
  • Each chapter has several Bible verses to read that soothe the grieving soul. 
  • Questions for further thought and study are given at the end of each chapter. These questions are meant to help the griever "work-through" their unspoken thoughts. 
  • The importance of prayer, including intercessory prayer.

Aftermath, Growing in Grace Through Grief is exactly what I needed to read. My mother died March 2, 2008. It was not only her death that I have grieved, but the eighteen years of Alzheimer's before her death, this in itself is a constant stream of memories to grieve over. In the coming weeks I plan to write a few posts on my own process of grieving, using the questions given in Margaret McSweeney's book.

Some of my favorite quotes:
"Honest praying that expresses to God hostility toward Him or others, often gives opportunity for God to bring healing and recovery from grief." page 60. 
"Life is a series of moves...nothing stays the same in life, God prepares the way for each change and provides the measure of strength we need to meet the challenges." page 111.

FTC Regulation: Thank you to New Hope Publishers and Litfuse Publicity Group for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Link for Litfuse Blog Tour:

Published by New Hope Publishers July 3, 2012

Interview of Margaret McSweeney about writing book link @ publisher website:

Margaret's website:
and her blog:

Link @ Christian Book:
Paperback $9.99
Margaret McSweeney


Terry said…
Nominated you for the Liebster Award. Stop by and check it out.