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What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) (Guthrie)

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We want to say or do something that helps our grieving friend. But what?

When someone we know is grieving, we want to help. But sometimes we stay away or stay silent, afraid that we will do or say the wrong thing, that we will hurt instead of help.

In this straightforward and practical book, Nancy Guthrie provides us with the insight we need to confidently interact with grieving people. Drawing upon the input of hundreds of grieving people, as well as her own experience of grief, Nancy offers specifics on what to say and what not to say, and what to do and what to avoid. Tackling touchy topics like talking about heaven, navigating interactions on social media, and more, this book will equip readers to support those who are grieving with wisdom and love.


Table of Contents:  

  1. What to Say (and What Not to Say)
  2. Typical Things People Say (and What You Can Say Instead)
  3. Assumptions We Make That Keep Us Away (and Why We Should Simply Show Up)
  4. What to Do (and What Not to Do)
  5. Social Media and Grief (When the “Like” Button Just Seems Wrong)
  6. Let’s Talk about Talking about Heaven (and Hell)
  7. A Few Quick Questions (and Answers)



Nancy Guthrie teaches the Bible at her church, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and at conferences worldwide. She and her husband, David, are the cohosts of the GriefShare video series used in more than 10,000 churches nationwide and also host Respite Retreats for couples who have experienced the death of a child. Guthrie is also the host of Help Me Teach the Bible, a podcast of the Gospel Coalition.



“This book is tender, compassionate, clear, honest, gospel-rich, and practical. There is nothing distant and theoretical about it, because it's written out of the deep well of the author's own experience.” - Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries; author, What Did You Expect?

“Most of us struggle with what to say and how to help when interacting with a person who is grieving. This wonderful book will help you be more comfortable ministering after a death because you’ll better understand what your family member or friend needs most. I read this book on an airplane, headed for a funeral. I learned helpful things that I was able to use immediately.” - Steve Grissom, Founder, GriefShare

“In the aftermath of deep loss, grievers struggle to articulate what is helpful. These honest and practical suggestions will equip tenderhearted people to come alongside us as we grieve.” - Kay Warren, Cofounder, Saddleback Church; international speaker; best-selling author, Choose Joy