Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One

Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One


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Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul: Stories About Life, Death and Overcoming the Loss of a Loved One by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen

When you're grieving, it helps to read stories from other people who have been through the same thing. Losing a family member or dear friend is a shared human experience. You'll find comfort, inspiration and camraderie in these revealing personal stories from other people who have lost loved ones.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623611019
Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
Publication date: 09/04/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 150,417
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jack Canfield is co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.


Santa Barbara, California

Date of Birth:

August 19, 1944

Place of Birth:

Fort Worth, Texas


B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973

Read an Excerpt

A Surprise Gift for Mother

On Christmas Day, all the joys of a close family relationship radiated throughout our parents' home. The smells of
roasted turkey, Southern-baked ham and homemade bread hung in the air. Tables and chairs were set up everywhere
to accommodate toddlers, teenagers, parents and grandparents. Every room was lavishly decorated. No family
member had ever missed Christmas Day with our mother and father.

Only this year, things were different. Our father had passed away November 26, and this was our first Christmas
without him. Mother was doing her best to be the gracious hostess, but I could tell this was especially hard for her. I
felt a catch in my throat, and again I wondered if I should give her my planned Christmas gift, or if it had become
inappropriate in my father's absence.

A few months earlier I had been putting the finishing touches on portraits I had painted of each of my parents. I'd
planned to give them as Christmas gifts. This would be a surprise for everyone, as I had not studied art or tried serious
painting. There had been an undeniable urge within that pushed me relentlessly to do this. The portraits did look like
them, but I was still unsure of my painting techniques.

While painting one day, I was surprised by a doorbell ring. Quickly putting all my painting materials out of sight,
I opened the door. To my astonishment, my father ambled in alone, never before having visited me without my
mother. Grinning, he said, "I've missed our early morning talks. You know, the ones we had before you decided to
leave me for another man!" Ihadn't been married long. Also, I was the only girl and the baby of the family.

Immediately I wanted to show him the paintings, but I was reluctant to ruin his Christmas surprise. Yet something
urged me to share this moment with him. After swearing him to secrecy, I insisted he keep his eyes closed until I had
the portraits set on easels. "Okay, Daddy. Now you can look!"

He appeared dazed but said nothing. Getting up, he walked closer to inspect them. Then he withdrew to eye them
at a distance. I tried to control my stomach flip flops. Finally, with a tear escaping down one cheek, he mumbled, "I
don't believe it. The eyes are so real that they follow you everywhereùand look how beautiful your mother is. Will
you let me have them framed?"

Thrilled with his response, I happily volunteered to drop them off the next day at the frame shop. Several weeks
passed. Then one night in November the phone rang, and a cold chill numbed my body. I picked up the receiver to
hear my husband, a doctor, say, "I'm in the emergency room. Your father has had a stroke. It's bad, but he is still

Daddy lingered in a coma for several days. I went to see him in the hospital the day before he died. I slipped my
hand in his and asked, "Do you know who I am, Daddy?"

He surprised everyone when he whispered, "You're my darling daughter." He died the next day, and it seemed all
joy was drained from the lives of my mother and me.

I finally remembered to call about the portrait framing and thanked God my father had gotten a chance to see the
pictures before he died. I was surprised when the shopkeeper told me my father had visited the shop, paid for the
framing and had them gift-wrapped. In all our grief, I had no longer planned to give the portraits to my mother.

Even though we had lost the patriarch of our family, everyone was assembled on Christmas Dayùmaking an
effort to be cheerful. As I looked into my mother's sad eyes and unsmiling face, I decided to give her Daddy's and my
gift. As she stripped the paper from the box, I saw her heart wasn't in it. There was a small card inside attached to the

After looking at the portraits and reading the card, her entire demeanor changed. She bounced out of her chair,
handed the card to me and commissioned my brothers to hang the paintings facing each other over the fireplace. She
stepped back and looked for a long while. With sparkling, tear-filled eyes and a wide smile, she quickly turned and
said, "I knew Daddy would be with us on Christmas Day!"

I glanced at the gift card scrawled in my father's handwriting. "MotherùOur daughter reminded me why I am so
blessed. I'll be looking at you alwaysùDaddy."

Sarah A. River

2003. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission
of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street,
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 Final Gifts

A Timeless Gift Gloria Givens 2

A Rose for Mother Maria E. Sears 6

Mom's Last Laugh Robin Lee Shove 10

I'm Okay, Mom and Dad Lark Whittemore Ricklefs 13

Meant to Be Cindy Midgette 16

A Surprise Gift for Mother Sarah A Rivers 20

A Gift of Faith Kelly E. Kyburz 23

I'll Make You a Rainbow Linda Bremner 27

Seven White, Four Red, Two Blue Robert P. Curry 31

Joseph's Living Legacy Kathie Kroot as told to Heather Black 35

To Remember Me Robert N. Test 40

The Pencil Box Don's Sanford 42

2 The Power of Support

When No Words Seem Appropriate: Written by a Pediatric Nurse to Ann Landers 46

What You Can Do for a Grieving Friend Jo Coudert 48

Lot's Wife Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. 56

One So Young Diane C. Nicholson 59

Being There Debi L. Pettigrew 65

A New Strength Kara L. Dutchover 67

The Wisdom of a Child Kevin D. Catton 71

A Light in the Darkness Nina A. Henry 74

3 Coping and Healing

Sorrow Abraham Lincoln 78

Love and Water Emily Sue Harvey 79

Garrit Molly Bruce Jacobs 84

Ashley's Garden Candy Chand 92

Two Answers to One Prayer Allen Klein, MA, C.S.P 95

Laugh and Let Go Ted Menten 98

My Grief Is Like a River Cynthia G. Kelley 101

Legacy of Love Ed Sandra Kervin 102

Chris's Funeral Scott Michael Mastley 107

Grieving Time, a Time for Love Barbara Bergen 110

The Letter Jim Schneegold 111

A Firehouse Christmas Aaron Espy 115

Grief Helps Others Heather Black 120

Let the Body Grieve Itself Ken Druck 124

4 Those We Will Miss

Father's Day Ruth Hancock 130

The Nickel Story Hana Haatainen Caye 134

Bubba's Secret Life Natalie "Paige" Kelly-Lunceford 137

My Son, a Gentle Giant, Dies Michael Gartner 141

Going On Walker Meade 144

Opening Day in Heaven Mike Bergen 149

Never Good at Good-Bye Amanda Dodson 152

5 Special Moments

Trailing Clouds of Glory Paul D. Wood 156

The Beach Trip Dawn Holt 161

I Still Choose "Mom" Connie Sturm Cameron 1163

Ballerina Feme Kirshenbaum as told to Bill Holton 169

Mom's Stained-Glass Window Katherine Von Ahnen 173

I Still See Him Everywhere Richard Morsilli Jo Coudert 177

I Don't Want to Walk Without You Joyce A. Harvey 184

I Wish You Enough Bob Perks 188

The Quickening Monica Kiernan 190

The Horizon Henry Scott Holland 194

6 Insights and Lessons

Chocolate-Covered Cherries Dawn Holt 198

Remember with Courage Janelle M. Breese Biagioni 202

My Father's Voice Walker Meade 205

Missing Pa Am Hood 209

What Death Has Taught Me Barb Kerr 214

Keep Your Fork Dr. Roger William Thomas 217

7 Living Again

Lilyfish Bill Heavey 222

Hope Is Stronger Than Sorrow Duane Shearer as told to Janice Finnell 226

The Miracle of Gary's Gift Sandy Allinder as told to Dianne Gill 231

Choosing to Live Chris Thiry 236

The Mother Box Linda Webb Gustafson 242

Evolution Stephanie Hesse 245

Who Is Jack Canfield? 247

Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 248

Contributors 249

Permissions 257

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