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Reviewed by Lois Henderson for Readers' Favorite
What Not to Say to People Who Are Grieving, by Pamela Sue Pearson and Andrew Allen Smith, was written in response to Pearson’s daughter’s death in a fatal car accident. Realizing that well-wishers are often in a quandary as to how to comfort those who are grieving the loss of a family member or close friend, the authors collaborated on writing this work on how to handle such interchanges in the most compassionate and meaningful way possible. From personal experience, Pearson and Smith have learned what is helpful to say, and what is not, under such circumstances, and they gladly share it with their target audience. Part 1 deals in depth with the less positive things to say, such as “She’s in a better place” and “God needed her more”, while Part 2 covers the more positive things that one can do and say when trying to console a bereaved person, including sending texts and emails and simply being there for the individual or family concerned.
Pearson and Smith’s What Not to Say to People Who Are Grieving is an insightful work that is tinged with humor, which lends depth to this profound and carefully written guide. The close family relationship between the two authors (Pamela is Andrew’s adopted sister) clearly facilitated the writing of this helpful book, giving them greater strength and clarity of vision than might otherwise have been possible. Their tone is not at all disparaging, but only sincere and honest. I could not help having a warm response to the compelling way in which they share their mutual experiences. This is a wonderful work that should find a home on any lay minister’s or family counselor’s book shelves.