When Your Family's Lost a Loved One

In When Your Family’s Lost a Loved One, David and Nancy share some of what they’ve learned from their experience with other families who find themselves working their way through the trauma of grief. “We’ve spent a lot of time talking with other people who know the devastation of a death in their family—the loss of a child, a spouse, or another close family member,” Nancy explained. “We’ve poured into this book all of the things we’ve found ourselves discussing with so many hurting families. And while every loss is unique, experiences such as frustration with what people say, fear of how grief will affect your children, the awkwardness of sadness, and questions about the purposes of God are common to all families working through loss.”

In writing When Your Family’s Lost a Loved One, the Guthries set out to create a resource that included both the husband’s and wife‘s perspective because they realize that one of the greatest challenges to grieving families is the differing ways in which family members experience and express their grief. “It seems most grief books are read by women who then hand them to their husbands who don’t want to read them,” David says. “So we felt that hearing from both of us, and showing how we experienced and processed our grief differently, will be a help to couples who find themselves struggling to understand and relate to their spouse’s grief.”

While many marriages and families falter under the load of grief that losing a child brings, David and Nancy have not only stayed together but have grown closer. “It breaks my heart to think of couples who not only lose their child but also lose the one person who connects them most closely to that child,” said Nancy. “But in researching this book, we also discovered that some of the staggering statistics so often quoted about marriages ending in divorce after the death of a child seem to have no basis in fact. In reality, the death of a child does not spell the certain death of a marriage. It can actually draw a family closer.”

When Your Family’s Lost a Loved One includes interviews with numerous ordinary people and more well-known people who’ve experienced a death in their family as well as interviews with experts in psychiatry, education, and parenting, to add a breadth of experience and expertise to the resource. “While the people we interviewed were candid about their own experiences of desperation and disappointment in the loss of their loved ones, it was encouraging to hear so many of them relate how God has brought healing and wholeness into their lives and their families, and how they’ve seen Him use their loss for good,” said Nancy. “We hope our readers will be deeply encouraged by these testimonies of hope, and will be able to believe that as they work through their loss as a family, life can be good again.”


Table of Contents

1. How Are You?
God Fills in the Gaps: A Q&A with Angela Robbins

2. When People Add to Your Pain
What Kind of Grief Work Have You Done?: A Q&A with Susan Shafer

3. Soothing the Hurt
Will a Pill Help My Pain?: A Q&A with Richard C. Shelton, M.D

4. Keeping Your Faith in the Midst of Loss
Seeing His Goodness: A Q&A with Gracia Burnham

5. Heaven Matters
The Long Good-bye of a Long-Term Illness: A Q&A with Max Lucado

6. Staying Together

7. Her Grief

8. His Grief
Grieving Alone Together: A Q&A with Rex & Connie Kennemer

9. Helping Kids Cope
Helping Kids Get Through Grief: A Q&A with Anne Purdy
Helping a Child Through Complicated Grief: A Q&A with Katherine Koonce
Helping Boys Through Grief: A Q&A with David Thomas
You Don’t Have to Be Strong: A Q&A with Rachel Robbins

10. Birthdays, Deathdays, and Holidays
Feeling Like a Family Again: A Q&A with Bill Lee

11. The Grave

12. Going On