Stunned by Grief

Remapping Your Life When Loss Changes Everything

Non-Fiction - Grief/Hardship
296 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Judy Brizendine—author, blogger, and speaker—is a woman with a passionate mission that developed as a result of a tragic loss. The statement, “Out of your deepest pain comes your greatest gift,” describes her experience.

In 1998, Judy’s husband of twenty-nine years died suddenly on a mountain bike ride, and her grief journey changed her life, perspective, and career.

Because she was painfully unprepared to face grief—just as most of us are—she is committed to easing your struggle to understand and deal with grief. Her goal is to meet you wherever you are, and connect with you in such a way that you will know that you can make it through this experience and discover a new sense of hope and direction.

Her STUNNED by Grief books gently guide you through the chaos and confusion of grief in a realistic, revealing, personal, and practical way. Readers facing grief and loss have discovered a source of sanity, solutions, validation, and life-changing support in STUNNED by Grief.

Judy was blessed to remarry several years ago, and she currently lives in southern California with her husband, Jon Kreider, and two very pampered (or probably spoiled) cats, Max and Molly—affectionately referred to as “Bubba” and “the Princess.” The family hopes to relocate in a few years to a small, quiet SC coastal town.

Her mission: to educate, encourage, inspire, and motivate anyone facing grief and loss to step into the process that can empower them to move from pain to living expectantly again

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite

"Stunned by Grief" is a self-help book written not by an expert, but by a so-called grief traveler who has experience with her husband tragically dying unexpectedly of a heart attack. The book is split into various parts so that the reader has many options: reading it chapter by chapter, going to the chapter/section that they want, or going back and forth. After every chapter there is a “Thought to Write About” section and “Hope Thought,” which helps the grievers answer hard questions in a journal and to be inspired by many quotes. The book is also full of very useful quotes from the Bible, quotes from other authors, poems, other grievers' own grief accounts/stories, and the author’s own personal journey.

Author Judy Brizendine writes a very comprehensive, thorough book about grief through her own struggles with going through the grief process. It is written with empathy, compassion, a deep insightfulness, and deep religious beliefs about God. Even if you are not religious, this book can really help grief travelers go through each step of their recovery process. I chose this book to help better understand my cousin’s journey through grief as her father passed away last year – and it really helped me to get a glimpse into this difficult journey. It also provided tools to help her through this difficult time. Only someone going through grief can fully comprehend the full magnitude of its deep pain, but this is a wonderful resource to have with you at all times through the grief process. I would highly recommend it to anyone going through this difficult time as the advice is straight forward and offers a light at the end of the tunnel. Exceptionally well-organized and helpful! A MUST HAVE!

Sampling of Reviews

“As a Bereavement Specialist with over 25 years experience, it is rare that I come across a book that makes me so excited.

“Judy wrote an incredible book to support bereaved people and I can only share that this book was the best! It is an easy read which bereaved folks will be appreciative of, and it was very well written from my professional perspective. All the information was accurate and Judy’s personal experience of losing her husband was riveting!

“I have recommended this book in workshops and groups that I have led and believe it to be one of the best on the market!!!! Thanks Judy for sharing your heart and helping so many in the process!!!”
—Leslie Delp, MA
Bereavement Specialist
Olivia’s House – A Grief and Loss Center for Children

“Just as graduation is called a commencement and not a termination, one’s life is about the never-ending beginnings we all experience through loss and change. The courageous recreate themselves and their lives and enter love’s service because of their wounds. Read and learn from Judy’s experience.”
—Bernie Siegel, MD,
author of 365 Prescriptions for the Soul and Prescriptions for Living

“From loss to renewal, STUNNED by Grief provides clear, inspirational steps to manage the death of a loved one...Everyone, from military spouse to parents and friends, will find calm, steady guidance that resonates. Definitely a book worth reading...”
—Scott Rutter (LTC, U.S. Army, Ret.),
national spokesman, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

“STUNNED by Grief brings purpose and direction to the painful grief process from someone who’s been there...STUNNED will meet you right where you are. It’s a book about grief unlike any other.”
—Darrell and Stevie Waltrip,
founders of Motor Racing Outreach,
FOX Sports commentator and former NASCAR Winston Cup champion

“This book is a true gem and a must read for anyone who has experienced the grief of a close personal loss. The author opens her heart, mind, and, most importantly, her soul to examine the devastation of her husband’s death and her ultimate triumph through her faith in God...She is painfully honest, open, and extremely uplifting in her writing.”
—Gary L. Malone, MD,
board certified psychiatrist and psychoanalyst,
author of Five Keys for Understanding Men: A Woman’s Guide

“Ready or not – the experience of the death of a loved one is stunning. Like being left blindfolded in a deep dark jungle, finding one’s way to a safe and familiar territory will overwhelm you with hopelessness. You might ask, ‘If only someone who has been here could walk me through this …?’ Well, your map and guide are within your grasp. More than just answers, Judy Brizendine will ‘red dot’ your heart’s location and give you a clear sense of direction and renewed destiny. You will laugh, live, and yes, love again!”
—Phil Munsey,
founding pastor, Life Church,
author of Legacy Now: Why Everything about You Matters

“Out of her tears and personal grief, Judy Brizendine has created a warm and sensitive message that is filled with great wisdom, practical help – and a pathway of hope for the future. Make this book a gift to every person you know who is in the midst of grief.”
—Paul A. Eshleman,
vice president, Campus Crusade for Christ, International

“Judy has so eloquently portrayed the process of grieving and of subsequent healing. Reading her excellent book has released a river of Hope that springs eternal. I am amazed at the insights and clarity that she projects. Many will be blessed who read it.”
—Moses and Betty Vegh,
Ambassadors of Hope to the Nations

“For anyone who has ever walked through the dark days of grief – or knows someone who is there right now – STUNNED by Grief is a must. You’ll find hope, help, and honesty between these pages. Written by one who has been there, STUNNED will encourage and equip those caught in the throes of loss.”
—J.P. Jones,
senior pastor, Crossline Community Church
—Donna Jones,
speaker and author

“Loss is inevitable in life. How we respond to the grief that accompanies loss defines who we are and touches at the heart of our walk with God. Judy’s book, STUNNED by Grief (along with her helpful Journal) masterfully combines scriptural truths with practical tools to help guide us as we walk through those difficult times in life. This book is precisely written, candid, and a marvelous contribution to the Body of Christ.”
—Dick Eastman,
international president, Every Home for Christ

Sampling of Reviews

“Anyone who has experienced a critical incident in life — death, disasters, disappointment — has experienced the feelings of perceived loss and the resulting grief. STUNNED by Grief gives voice to the grieving person through awareness — empathetic, insightful, and hopeful. Every crisis interventionist, chaplain, and spiritual care provider will benefit from the personal experience, the practical helps, and the purposeful direction provided within the inspirational pages of this journey of hope.”
—Rev. Dr. Naomi Paget, BCC,
board certified expert in traumatic stress; co-author of The Work of the Chaplain

“STUNNED by Grief describes perfectly what I have witnessed and personally experienced when someone who is dearly loved dies. An overwhelming sense of losing all security and control in your life takes over — along with the fear that you will never regain either. Hopelessness sets in and becomes paralyzing...Regaining a sense of security and control is possible, but understanding that it will take time and some effort on your part is important. So where do I begin?

“Read on … Judy has opened her life to us all and her transparency provides insights and direction that will stir new hope within you, and encourage and inspire you to move forward step-by-step with each new day. I believe STUNNED by Grief is going to be a tremendous resource to many people.”
—Billy E. Mauldin, Jr.,
president and chief executive officer, Motor Racing Outreach

“STUNNED by Grief is an absolutely must-read book for anyone who finds themselves desperately trying to cope with grief. This book walks you step-by-step through the stages of the grieving process and provides practical and tangible tools you will need to not only survive, but come through stronger than when you started.

“Judy shares her personal story of loss as well as thoroughly researched methods and solid biblical principles that carefully guide you along your journey of healing. This book will bring comfort as you discover that you are not alone in your grief and will also provide hope. A great resource for pastors, counselors, leaders and anyone who wants to better understand the grieving process to help others around them.

“I highly recommend this book and am using it as a main resource in leading a grief recovery small group ministry. I also recommend you use the STUNNED by Grief Journal.”
—David Good,
pastor, Trinity Church, San Antonio, TX

“I first saw your book on the ‘hot shelf’ at my public library. It is a lovely and practical book for people creating the next chapter of their life after loss.”
—Lynne McCollum Staley,
grief recovery specialist,
author of In Death Is the Secret to Life: A Tribute Journal

Reader Reviews

“Most amazing book on grief EVER! It’s as if we’re living the same life and facing the same challenges. Since losing my husband, I meet more and more women with the same challenges and ALWAYS recommend your book!!!! Thanks for writing it!”
—Jennifer Pagan

“I just finished your book, couldn’t put it down. I’m 51 years old and my husband died walking … last June. His too was a sudden heart attack.

“Complete shock!

“I loved your book, what a wonderful thing to be able to help others with their grief….I wish I had more opportunities. I love your positive, God-based approach. That’s how I’ve approached it also. It is so refreshing to get a forward-moving perspective, so many books seem to commiserate with the grief instead of focusing on moving through it. As if we don’t realize we are sad, lonely, scared, shocked, etc … we do, don’t we?

“I’ve already shared your lovely book with some others and I will keep it as inspiration..”
—Karen F.

“Judy Brizendine’s book, Stunned by Grief, is a personal journey, a sharing, a virtual hug, and a shoulder to lean on from someone who has experienced the pain of sudden loss and devastation firsthand–the death of a loved one.

“The author of Stunned By Grief is a survivor, a woman of action who shares her own journey and has a passion to help others who are grieving. She understands the overwhelming sense of isolation, depression, chaos (and sometimes guilt), that come from the loss of a loved one. Brizendine’s book explains the importance of allowing yourself to grieve–and not trying to suppress this natural healing process. ‘You are not alone’ is more than an expression because this book truly makes you feel you are not alone. To have someone who understands the burden, pain, and struggles connected to loss is a great relief. I very highly recommend this book.”
—R.J.K. Kendle

“Of the more than 2 dozen or so books I bought in the year following Jim’s (my husband’s) death, only two were helpful. Yours was one of them.

“There are so MANY books out there on grief, but from a Christian standpoint, they are rubbish compared to your book. Good solid answers are what I was looking for. Your book gave me those. I will always love you for the help you unknowingly gave me at a time when I felt like I would die of grief.

“That book (STUNNED by Grief) helped me SOOOO much. I wish I’d known about it right after Jim died. It would have saved me so much mental anguish.”
—Sandy Keith

Reader Reviews

“I love to read, and just perchance saw this book at our local library, so I checked it out. I am a bereavement counselor for a local hospice organization. I have gotten SO much out of your book, and I wish I could afford to gift each of my clients with a copy. I did read the section aloud on ‘remapping’ at my last support group meeting…

“I am going to start by ordering one for myself, and one for someone who just lost her husband a month ago at church. My continual prayer is that God can use me through my position to lead others to Him!!! I love what I do, and know that God has placed me in this position for a reason.

“Thank you again for this book!”
—Becky Jacobson

“I found your book in the library and am swimming in gratitude for your wisdom.

“My son was murdered almost 2 years ago and the grief, anger, horror, and shattering of trust that I have experienced is beyond words.

“Your book is the first one to truly touch the reality of my feelings. I am trying to read it slowly (ordered my own copy) so that I can fully absorb as I take this journey slowly.

“My art, my family, my friends and time are helping me heal…but your ability to put into words exactly what I am going through is wonderful. (Murder is another whole layer, of course.) Thank you!”

“I just finished your book STUNNED by Grief and it was a life-changing experience. I have never received validation like I did in the words you wrote. It was the first time that I felt someone ‘got it.’

“Thank you for this book … I have recommended it to several people (including my therapist) already.”
—K. Ward

“This book should be required reading for anyone who has suffered a loss, and their friends wondering how they can ‘be there’ for them. Wonderfully written Judy, thank you!

“I appreciate your being able and willing to share your story.”
—Amy Bee