Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief

by Martha W. Hickman


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The classic guide for dealing with grief and loss

For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, here are thoughtful words to strengthen, inspire and comfort.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380773381
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/01/1994
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 5,208
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

M A R T H A W . H I C K M A N was the author of more than twenty books, including The Growing Season, Fullness of Time, I Will Not Leave You Desolate, and Such Good People, and the children’s books When Andy’s Father Went to Prison, And God Created Squash, and Eeps Creeps, It’s My Room.

A native of Massachusetts and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke, she lived in the South for many years. To her writing she brought the additional perspective of being a wife, mother, grandmother, and sometime editor and teacher. Her work continues to serve as an invaluable source of inspiration well after her passing.


Read an Excerpt

Healing After LossJanuary 1

I put down these memorandums of my affections
In honor of tenderness,
in honor of all of those who have been
Conscripted into the brotherhood
Of loss . . .

Edward Hirsch

When we are drawn into the brotherhood or sisterhood of loss, tenderness seems to be our natural state. We are so vulnerable. Everything brushes against the raw wound of our grief, reminding us of what we have lost, triggering memories — a tilt of the head, a laugh, a way of walking, a touch, a particular conversation. These images are like beads strung together on the necklace of loss. Tenderly, we turn them again and again. We cannot bear them. We cannot let them go.

Then, gradually, bit by bit, the binding thread of grief somehow transmutes, reconstitutes itself as a thread of treasured memories — a tilt of the head, a laugh, a way of walking, a touch, a particular conversation as gifts from the life we shared with the one we have lost, gifts that can never be taken away.Healing After Loss. Copyright (c) by Martha Hickman . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
LoveToReadItAll More than 1 year ago
If you are reading this review it is most likely that you or someone you love has suffered a tragic loss. You must be hoping to find something to help you find a way to help you deal with what has happened and to find your way toward a life without your loved-one. I can't say enough about this wonderful little book. Our daughter and her husband lost their infant daughter 3 years ago. The death of this beautiful little baby crushed us all. One day, I wandered through the bookstore, blindly searching for a book on grief. I could find none that I thought I was capable of getting through. I turned to walk away when my glance fell upon Ms. Whitmore Hickman's book. Maybe I could manage one page a day. I began reading that day, and each following day. I was amazed at what I discovered on all of those pages. Each was such a comfort and so close to what I was feeling. It was just what I needed, and just what I was capable of handling. I began to look forward to the next page, and ultimately the next day. I suppose that I would have moved forward at some point, but this little book helped to make the transition a bit easier, a bit more graceful. I found the book so comforting that I gave a copy to my daughter. She, in turn, gave a copy to a friend. Since that time, I have given copies to friends who have suffered a great loss. I want to say that I am sorry that you have lost someone you love, and I hope that your can find the comfort in these pages that I found.
Renney More than 1 year ago
As a therapist, I highly recommend this book to anyone in mourning or who is grieving. It relates so very well to all readers that they feel certain the author understands what they are going through. I always used it in therapy for home reading. I now give it to any one that I personally am involved with who is mourning a loss. It speaks much louder than flowers.
RRZ More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me when my husband died at age 42 - I read it daily for several years. Each page is designated for a particular day of the year. The contents seemed to be just what I needed on any particular day. I have since given this book to anyone I know who is grieving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are purchasing this for yourself, I am so sorry for your loss - I know something of the dark, sad and surreal world that appears without the one you loved. I hope this book can be of some comfort to you as it was for me. Of course this is only one tiny shaft of light in the darkness, but I am grateful for each one. If you are getting it for a friend or family member, bless you and your efforts to be there. This book has incredibly insight, hope, understanding and some new ideas delivered in small doses (the tiny shafts of light in the darkness). Since concentration levels are so affected during grieving, the one page entries are easy to read or skip, if you need a one that will more fit your moment. With grief, at least for me, it seems like my mood and outlook can change so much within a couple days - this book fills many needs. Although my husband hasn't read it like I have, I will now and again give him a page to read that is particularly insightful for us at that moment and it can, however briefly, help him as well. I often find myself highlighting passages in it. I really do like it and I think that every funeral home, hospice, and hospital should carry this to help those who are going home for the first time to a new life without their loved one.    
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If, like me, you have been in a perpetual semi-fog due to the death of a loved one and feel like you can't snap out of it, I would recommmend this book to you. My mother died from ovarian cancer a few months back and so my family is in the midst of the first-year anniversaries, birthdays, etc. "The first" of everything without her. I find that this book keeps me centered and gives me something to look forward to every day, like a regular routine. I know I must dedicate 2 minutes or so to relaxing and comprehending what each day's reading is saying. There are a lot of relevant and inspirational passages and sometimes it's like the author is able to read my mind....which makes me realize that other people feel the same way I do and I'm not the first to ever have these feelings and thoughts, as I try to make my way through the days.
CarlG More than 1 year ago
On August 15, 2011, my beloved wife of 32 years passed away after battling cancer for 16 years. Prior to her death, I read various books on the subject of grief, feeling they would help prepare me for what was about to come. I could not have been more mistaken, for there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can prepare you for the loss of someone so close to you. For three months following her death, I struggled to find any way to cope with her loss, until I walked into a Barnes and Noble and found this book, which is actually a devotional book of daily meditations. It has now become something of my best friend, and I do not get out of bed in the morning and read the passage for that particular day. This little book is a virtual treasure-trove of wisdom, comfort, and above all, hope. It has by itself helped me greatly to cope with the loss of my wife and to help prepare me for my new life as a single widower. This book covers all measures of grief, all measures of loss, and does it in a simple, gentle manner, speaking in the common language and addressing all who have experienced loss in one way or another. I cannot think of a better book I would give to someone who is going through their own personal loss, for I know it could help them as much as it has helped me. I own both the hard copy and Nook edition of this little book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has lost a loved one. I can give no higher praise to the author of this book, Martha Whitmore Hickman. Her book has been a source of comfort and healing for me, and I know it can help others as well. It is truly medicine for the heart and the soul.
LEK More than 1 year ago
I gave this to my mom shortly after my father died. It's a wonderful book. The author has great insight into the subject, and the way in which the book was done -- brief, thoughtful daily meditations -- is really what you need when you've just lost someone you loved immensely and you need the thoughts and insight of someone who's been there but you aren't feeling up to sitting and reading a long book. I have read the book myself, and the quotes and ideas have stuck with me.
forjim More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me by a friend after we lost our son in a media helicopter collision over the city of Phoenix. As members of For the Love of Christi, a grief support group in Austin, Tx, my husband and I have found that those who attend, especially the women, are attracted to books which may affirm our faith and give us hope that we can get through the years ahead. This book, written by a grieving mother, is my favorite of all. There is a quotation, poem or line of scripture for every day of the year followed by the author's explanation of the chosen writing and ending with a resolution to help you get through that day. I donated copies to the Christi Center and others have done so as well. When anyone that I know loses a child, I buy a book for them. I recommend it above all others for those who are grieving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is exactly what a grieving person craves - comfort in a concise form . . . . because it's often hard to concentrate while going through the grieving process. Every day the passage spoke to my heart either about what I was feeling or had felt. Since my husband passed away (2 yrs ago), I've purchased this book for friends you had lost their son, mother, husband. Even gave a copy of a close friend having a difficult time after a divorce - it can also be a grieving process. Every one of them has told me or written me how much they've appreciated this book. I highly recommend this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I received the book from a friend for obvious reasons. Normally I would not venture to do so for myself. But I found this text very helpful and I am grateful for good, thoughtful friends. For those who have suffered loss I would recommend this book to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book expresses my feelings as no person or book was able to. It helps me feel understood and not alone after my husband's sudden loss. It gives the right words to my feelings so I can let go and move on. I recommend it to anyone grieving.
JAEC More than 1 year ago
this book has helped my mom in her slow healing process. My father passed away 2 months ago, and after 54 yrs together the process is slow, but mom has read and reread this book atleast 3 times.. each time getting something different from it. Thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my second review.I have recommended this book to many people over the last 10 months.I still read it daily and it continues to help me move forward with my life and gives me hope.I started reading it from the beginning again last week and was surprised at how much better I was coping than when I first read it.That raw almost unbearable grief has softened and I feel stronger than I wiser than I was 10 months ago.There really is something to the saying...What doesnt kill you makes you stronger.I will miss the mother I cared for and who died in my arms everyday for the rest of my life.I wont be crushed by grief though.This book taught me so so much and I am certain Gods hand guided the authors when she wrote this book.Thank you for this wonderful book that was there in the middle of the night when I couldnt sleep,in the mornings when I couldn't face another day.I plan on donating some of these books to our local Hospice that helped me so much.If you buy this book know that it will be the best thing you could have done to help yourself.Please "Pay It Forward" and give one to another person who needs help too.Thank you Martha for sharing your grief and wisdom and kindness and for helping so many people.
Daisyblue More than 1 year ago
Have given this to many people and all have found it helpful in many ways. It is well written, caring and loving with just enough spiritual guidance for anyone who reads it. The author has woven kindness, understanding, and a sense of compassion into the writings.
maddiesmom220 More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book for those who are grieving. We use this in our grief support meetings and many people have found it helpful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing more and nothing less. Just amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A few years ago, a co-worker asked me if there was something for her to read after the death of her 2 daughters. I came across this book and gave it to her. She found it very helpful. Since then, I have shared this with a number of others who always have the same reaction. My latest purchase is for another co-worker who just lost an adult daughter. I gave her this book about 2 years ago when she lost a son. She wants copies for her two remaining children. She has shared passages from her book, but wants them to have their own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So grateful for this book.....have you ever read a book or heard a speech and you think that it HAD to be written just for you?? That is how this book is for me. Her writings are amazing. The depth and the way that she expresses what my grief looks like and how it affects me is amazing. The book contains daily readings but you can begin with the date you receive it. Doesn't matter....I am buying 5 copies now to give to friends with recent losses.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have purchased this book many times for friends experiencing loss. It was an invaluable companion for me when my husband died suddenly. I am grateful to the friend who gave it to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great little book. I was disappointed to find that it is almost identical to the writing in the daily journal she wrote with the same name. I am using the journal for the second time after my Dad passed. It gives you a short thought provoking passage and asks you a question. Some days it speaks to me more than others but I look forward to writing in it each day. It is interesting to read what I wrote a couple of years ago when my Mom passed. Each loss is different.
PJwatcher More than 1 year ago
This book is so helpful during this time of grieving and loss for me. I've been reading it for almost 6 months. It was given to me by a friend and I'm so thrilled with it that I bought copies for my children. Sometimes I even re-read the passages.
Galireads51 More than 1 year ago
This book somehow brings comfort when most needed. At first, after your loss, it is hard to look at anything and imagine that anything could help. It takes time but when you do pick it up, each day is a healing process and this little book helps just in that way, day by day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago