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What Grieving People Wish You Knew

About What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)

Nancy Guthrie



What Grieving People Wish You Knew

About What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)

Nancy 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.

  • Title

    What Grieving People Wish You Knew

  • Author(s)

    Nancy Guthrie

  • ISBN


  • Format


  • Publisher


  • Topic

    Death / eternity, Suffering / Loss

  • Audience


  • Pages


  • Published


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Nancy Guthrie

Nancy Guthrie

Nancy Guthrie and her husband, David, have a son, Matt, who works with his dad creating kids musicals for the church through Little Big Stuff Music. They also have a daughter, Hope, and a son, Gabriel, who were born with a rare genetic disorder called Zellweger Syndrome and each lived six months.

Nancy offered many of the lessons she learned from the loss of two of their children in her first book, Holding On to Hope: A Pathway of Suffering to the Heart of God which was published in 2002. Since then, Nancy has continued to write books that reflect her compassion for hurting people and her passion for applying God's Word to real life. Her desire to grow in her understanding of God's Word prompted her to pursue graduate work in theological studies via Reformed Theological Seminary Global which is ongoing. She and her husband, David, host weekend Respite Retreats for couples who have faced the death of a child. She speaks regularly at conferences nationally and internationally, and is a regular contributor to The Gospel Coalition, including hosting the Help Me Teach the Bible podcast.

Most recently, Nancy has been focused on her mission to infiltrate women’s Bible study in the local church with biblical theology. “I regularly have women who have worked their way through all five of my Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible Study series tell me that those studies helped them to see connections in the Bible they had never seen before. And that thrills me,” says Nancy. She wrote Even Better Than Eden to take women a step further into understanding some of the major themes than run from Genesis to Revelation in the Bible. And in the Biblical Theology Workshops for Women she is now offering around the country and internationally, she is training women how to trace these themes for themselves. “The workshops are energetic and fun and women leave telling me that their minds are spinning with all they’ve learned, and their hearts are warmed by seeing Christ in new ways. Nothing could make me happier.”

Nancy and her husband, David, make their home in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Overall rating

5.0 based on 1 review

A really, really helpful book

Nancy shares her own experience, and that of 100s of others, in dealing with grief to equip us, the reader, to support and care for those who are grieving in wisdom and love. The author wants us to discover ideas and encouragement to engage with those who are grieving, rather than avoiding them, and to keep trying to enter into the awkwardness and difficulty of loving grieving people, even when we're scared to do so. Two things about the book really stood out to me: 1) It's practical. There's plenty of examples of what's good to say and do and what's best to avoid, without falling into a 'one-size-fits-all' approach. She covers a lot of questions that we might have about how to interact with and love those who are grieving. 2) It's personal. Nancy's story of loss, and that of her survey respondents, are heart-breaking. I cried at the grief and sorrow these people have gone through. And I cried even more at the ways in which others have helped and loved these grieving people with empathy and respect. There's a lot of grace for those who have made mistakes in this area (Nancy's no exception), which gives a wonderful humble, sensitive tone to the book. All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. May we too seek to combine a genuine care for grieving people with pointing them to Jesus and the hope and comfort and strength only he can provide.

Matthew Brown

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