With devastating honesty, Dana Goodman writes about the loss of her 30-year-old husband, her young son, and her mother-in-law to cancer. If that is not enough, she must also try to support her second husband through his cancer battle at the same time her son is diagnosed with a deadly brain tumour.
She answers nightmarish questions that parents sometimes torture themselves with, such as how would a mother or father tell a beloved child that he is dying and there is nothing to be done to save him.
Dana outlines with incredible insight her most desperate moments; her irrational, frantic efforts to ward off cancer; and her anger with the God she so deeply loves.
She describes how her husband and son dealt with their terminal illnesses and how her younger son, other family members, and friends coped with events that seemed too terrible to be real. Yet, she also writes of hope, gratitude, and forgiveness.
In the most beautiful but simple prose, she reveals how people are able to draw upon deep inner strength even in the darkest hours. Intertwined with the pain and sadness, there are tales of adventure and physical endurance, and humour.
This uniquely personal book will help grieving people understand they are not alone. It will offer awareness to others who simply wonder why things happen and how those who are struck down by life's tragedies are able to emerge again into the light.
In the Cleft: Joy Comes in the Mourning offers refuge to the saddest hearts and hope for all of us who fear we would not be able to go on.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Oh my goodness. How to review this book. I am reeling from emotions evoked from reading this story. In The Cleft grabbed my heart and never let go. In The Cleft is the true story of a family dealing with heartbreak. More heartbreak than one family should have to bear. Of knowing God's love, feeling forsaken by God and railing against him, and finally learning to let God help them heal. Dana Goodman writes a very personal story of heartbreak as cancer claims three family members over a period of several years. She talks about the roller coaster ride of emotions- denial, anger, hope, depression, inadequacy to make things right, hopelessness, etc. Of trying to cram as much living as possible into a short time. Of trying to memorize ever detail of a loved one so the memories are forever etched on her mind. And so much more. I cried and my heart broke reading this story. Several times I had to stop reading and walk away in order to collect my thoughts and feelings. However, I never thought about not finishing. Mrs. Goodman wrote a beautiful story of loss and moving from the blackness of despair back into the light. Faith is the force that kept her moving forward. Faith is what mended her shattered heart and soul. Faith is what keeps her going. This is a highly emotionally charged book. It is well-written, open, honest, and compelling. I highly recommend reading In The Cleft. 5 Stars
Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite Life brings about several types of challenges and Dana Goodman knows it first hand and all too well as she shares with us her story, In the Cleft (Joy Comes In the Mourning). When Dana was young, her grandmother, with whom Dana had a very special relationship, died of cancer; years later her husband died at only thirty, leaving her with their two very young sons, Zach and Carter. After losing her husband, several other loved ones would be diagnosed with cancer as well, from her son Zach to her mother-in-law. Would Dana be able to handle these challenges? Who can she turn to for help in softening the blow? Where can she go when it appears that disaster is striking at every turn? God? “Never in my life had God seemed so puny, powerless and distant,” Dana said. How will her relationship with God be affected? Will she continue to believe in Him or turn her back on Him and leave the faith? In the Cleft (Joy Comes In the Mourning), Dana Goodman gives an account of how she dealt with the highs and lows of sickness, death and her relationship with God. I was captivated by the title: In the Cleft (Joy Comes In the Mourning) by Dana Goodman and found it to offer a poignant account of how we must live each day as if it’s our last because nothing is promised. I loved how Dana Goodman was transparent in how she dealt with each tragedy and the love and support that she experienced along the way. Everyone will experience their own form of tragedy at one point or another so I challenge you to enjoy life each day as if it’s your last. This means that wondering about bills, fighting, or pondering about what you are lacking is immaterial because tomorrow you could either experience sickness or death.
Review by Margaret Kazmierczak. This book deserves more than 5 stars as it is deeply embedded in the mystery of God's love. The author needs to be congratulated on her courage to write this painful book as her journey in revealing her heart and pain has been relived in every letter that she has typed. It would have been human to have given up after all Dana Goodman has been through, but her strength is clearly grounded in the God of Love. Her struggles just seemed to bombard her, her heart being ripped apart through loss. But her amazing gift to keep going is echoed in this statement: "In the broken moments of our lives, seeds are planted in the very rich soil of God's kindness and when those seeds are showered with his love they bear much fruit and multiply. Just when I thought nothing could grow in the barren waste of broken dreams, seeds began to grow into beautiful plants of love and hope." However, this hope did not just come to the author, she had to endure many years of excruciating pain and suffering. She truly understands the agony of Calvary but above all has witnessed the Resurrection that comes after death. Her faith is proof of this. A lot people would trash God and leave Him, bitter and tormented by the challenges given to them. But Dana Goodman held on with her fingernails to hope. The support of her family and Christian friends too gave her the glimpse that not all was lost. Greatness and healing could come out of the ashes. This book is truly inspirational and a must read for those that have suffered loss, especially the loss of a child. I confess I cried often, but tears are the ointment of God's healing balm. I highly recommend this amazing account of an exceptional woman's journey to hell and back. Dana Goodman stayed focused on God, at times tentatively, understandably so, but none the less, still communicating with Love even though He seemed at times silent and distant. Be warned this book will change you.
In "In the Cleft", Dana Goodman courageously shares her journey through the darkest journey a parent can face - the loss of a child to cancer. This painful journey was also sandwiched by the pain of losing her husband and mother-in-law to cancer. Rather than allowing the pain to overcome her, she learned the secret of abiding in the Shadow of the Almighty. This book will offer wisdom and insight to any painful journey because the principles remain the same. An easy read, but have a box of tissues handy!