Who is this book for?
Anyone working through loss, bereavement, grief
Anyone running grief support groups
Anyone supporting people who grieve - pastors, funeral directors, church workers, counsellors, partners, spouses, parents, friends
Where might the book be helpful?
Doctors’, therapists’ & counsellors’ waiting rooms
Church lounges/ foyers
Simple powerful gifts for someone at a difficult time
A book to gently process grief
If you knew Eddie Askew and have read any of his other books (see ) or listened to any of his radio broadcasts, you will know nothing he did was ordinary.
His life, with Barbara, was massively influential first in the world of leprosy care & control, and later in his writing and painting. His approach was always to lead the reader or viewer into new territory, gently (usually) challenging us about how we were thinking, and lead us into new more helpful places.
His daughter Jenny has taken his sketches & paintings with his journals and reflections on the journey of grief he was experiencing himself, as he processed Barbara’s stroke and then dying. Jenny, with her sister Stephanie, has added many of her own thoughts, feelings and art, and has produced a beautiful book to help anyone trying to process loss.
It is intensely personal but in the process wonderfully healing.
A professional view
As an ex-hospice nurse, I know this book would be such source of comfort and an immeasurably valuable aid to those who have lost or are losing someone dear to them, and, just as importantly, to those who seek desperately to reach out to those who grieve. The emotions captured in this book are raw, painful, honest, real - to be allowed to share them is both incredibly moving and a deep privilege. This book is for those who are angry, hurting, afraid, lost and for those who feel helpless to comfort them.
It is fundamentally about the meeting point between the assertions of belief, the randomness of events and the unpredictability of their outcome.
Here is also honesty, anger, trust, puzzlement, doubt and a surprisingly calm end.
Those in grief will recognise his reaction to the empty chair and the heaviness of silence. The way grief probes to the weakest point and then goes deeper. The irritation at the well-meant ignorance that thinks all that needs to be done is ‘let-go’; yet never speaks its mind.
Anyone who has discovered that they are taking for granted a person close to them should take the time to read this book.
Many of us felt a deep sadness when we heard that Eddie Askew had died in 2007. His poems, paintings & thoughts had inspired us for such a long time. For his daughters this was a second sadness in a year and almost unbearable. He wrote a journal of grief after the death of his wife and with some of his paintings and relevant thoughts from previous writing, Jenny & Stephanie have edited a helpful memory for themselves and for us, who cannot escape from the painful inevitability of the separation from a loved one. As one who has experienced just that this year, I am finding it very calming and familiar, even the anger and bewilderment that he did not try to or could not hide from. This is a special book to be handled and given with love and care.