When my boss first suggested that I author a grief survival guide shortly after I came to ChristianWorks for Children of Dallas in April 2007, I was reluctant. “What me? Write a book?” I replied. “I doubt that I could say anything about grief that has not already been said in the many bereavement books out there.” But my boss insisted and supported the need for me to document my grief story and to add the grief stories and insights of fellow mourners that it has been my privilege to meet over the last 19 years in my career as a grief counselor and thanatologist.
I gave in finally, spent many weeks and months writing, and Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise was published. When readers ask me how the book came about, I tell them that over the last 19 years that I have been given a grief ministry and now a book to minister to those whom I would never have the time or opportunity to personally meet. Since my grief counseling work began and into the publication of Love Never Dies, I have been simply along for the bumpy and many times rewarding ride.
Thanks go to my boss Executive Director Rob Pine, the staff at ChristianWorks for Children (http://christian-works.org) in Dallas, all the families of GriefWorks (http://grief-works.org), family members including my son Christian and daughter Sarah, friends and church family who have encouraged and supported me in putting together and distributing Love Never Dies. But the true thanks and praise goes to my Best Friend and Supporter who has personally been with me for the journey and placed all these encouraging people in my path.
Today the blessings from writing Love Never Dies continue. Churches, service organizations and grief support groups are using the book to minister to mourning children, teens and adults locally, nationally and internationally. Just this past week a mega-church in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Gateway Church, launched a grief support group session based on Love Never Dies.
For the initial session at Gateway Church, the room was filled with over 60 mourners. The assembly broke up later into smaller groups to do personal grief work. I am humbled and thankful to all who have read and are passing along the comfort to others through Love Never Dies. I could never have foreseen how God could use my story and this book in the ways that He has.
I am reminded daily that my story and your story are intertwined with God’s Story. If you are reluctant to tell your grief story, please think again. Many mourners could be encouraged, support or maybe even motivated by what you have to say about the expeirences of grief and what insights you share. Yes, you need to share your story with others. It’s not only therapeutic for you but it may be just the help a struggling mourner needs to hear to make their grief journey become a little easier.
The grief survival guide is also available in Spanish as “El Amor Nunica Muere: Aceptando el Dolor con Esperanza y Promesa” on Amazon.com.
Larry is the director of GriefWorks, a free grief support program for children and their families in Dallas TX http://grief-works.org.
FOR INFORMATION ON SCHEDULING COUNSELING SERVICES WITH LARRY BARBER https://taylorcounselinggroup.com/larry-barber .