cover image As Long As You Need: Permission to Grieve

As Long As You Need: Permission to Grieve

J.S. Park. Thomas Nelson, $19.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-4003-3684-5

Park (The Voices We Carry) extends a heartfelt invitation for grieving readers to refrain from “sprinting to closure” and instead mourn on their own timelines. Drawing on his experience as a hospital chaplain, he outlines four types of loss—physical, spiritual, mental, and relational—and the challenges of each, such as losing bodily autonomy (the inability to move or eat on one’s own, for example) or the curtailing of dreams, as experienced by a mother with stillborn triplets who, in a particularly harrowing anecdote, asked the author to narrate what their futures might have been. According to Park, grief is “not something you get over, but something you carry everywhere you go.” Though there’s plenty of gentle advice—construct a healthy support system, grieve in community—readers will welcome Park’s willingness to raise as many questions as he answers, whether he’s describing his patients’ challenges or his own, including how his faith disintegrated early on in his chaplaincy, when he often felt that “prayers are radio waves but God has no antenna, no receiver, no face.” It’s an excellent resource for those working their way through loss. (Apr.)