Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Review: The Pregnant Pause of Grief

The Pregnant Pause of Grief: The First Trimester of Widowhood


WordAlive Press, 2013, 194 pages

My Review

by Carley Cooper 

In Brenda J Wood’s The Pregnant Pause of Grief: The First Trimester of Widowhood; I cried with her and I laughed with her.  This book touched my heart like no other I’ve ever read.  Brenda writes her way through her grief of the loss of her husband of almost 50 years.  I have no doubt that losing a husband of so many years is probably the worst type of grief there is, next to losing a child.  However, the process can be applied to any type of grief. 

All while reading about her pain and troubles adjusting to a new life, I feel as though I’m reading a romance.  She explains their love so eloquently it fills my heart.  They had such a great love, and it began from such a young and tender age.  I can only dream that one day I will have something half as great as Brenda and her beloved Ron.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have loved the same person all your life; or more to the point, to have another person love me that much.  She’s given me hope.

I’ve learned through this book that it’s OK for me to grieve for my lost loves.  What’s not OK is for me to keep on holding on to it like I have been.  Staying stuck in the grief is not healthy for me or my relationship with God.  Brenda says “If we let our minds dwell on the past, the pain, and the loneliness, we get stuck there.  But by moving ourselves into today and refusing to panic over either past or future, we do better”. 

She compares losing her beloved husband of nearly 50 years to the phantom limb feeling that happens when one has a limb amputated.  Like Brenda, I feel that phantom limb every time I cook a meal, every time I go shopping, every night when I go to bed, every time I see others being happy with a partner or their families.  The pain is excruciating.  One of the most surprising things there is to learn about grief is that we can survive it.  Brenda said “I feared missing Ron, yet now I stand in the midst of that and survive.”  I remember feeling much the same when I got divorced.  Wow.  It didn’t kill me.  Who knew?  I could have sworn I was dying when I was in the midst of it. 

Despite her pain there is always a glimmer of hope shining through.  She gives us all hope.  We can survive this grief and loneliness by looking to Jesus.  He is the only way to get through it and He is the best comfort we will find. 
My overall rating

From Word Alive Press Author Spotlight:

About the Author

Former TV personality Brenda J. Wood has been an author and motivational speaker for more years than she cares to admit! Her trademarks include common sense wisdom, humour, and a quirky personality. She is a recovered bulimic and loser of thousands of pounds, so she understands the pain of being overweight and the agony of living with an eating disorder.

She calls herself the “ABC girl,” because she’s survived the ABCs of abuse, bulimia, and cancer. The D poses a challenge now, as she recovers from the death of her beloved husband, Ronald.

Since she’s written books on each of these topics, she hopes the E word will stand for something in her next book, like eternal, entertainment, or endurance—but definitely not epilogue or Epsom salts!

Brenda lives near Toronto, Canada. A few of her favourite things include her grandchildren, guest speaking, writing, sewing, a warm fire, a good book, and pounding the pavement on her early morning walks. 

Her books include:
  • The Pregnant Pause of Grief: The First Trimester of Widowhood
  • Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind
  • The Big Red Chair: A Storybook (with CD) for Grieving Children
  • Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living
  • God, Gluttony, and You: The Bible Study.
  • 2 Years North of 53 Degrees
  • Letters from North of 53 Degrees
  • Several health-related cookbooks

Some of her current speaking topics are:

  • Overcoming What Is Overcoming You
  • How to Live Like a Princess When Your Life Is the Pits
  • What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do
  • The Healing Power of Laughter
  • Suddenly Single, When We Becomes Me.
  • Overcoming Fear
  • Choose Life
  • Living Above Your Circumstances
  • The Ins and Outs of Self-Publishing
  • Writing with Heart

Brenda also writes devotionals for several websites, including Everyday Christian and Heartfelt Devotionals 

Author Interview 

How can you write about so many painfully honest topics, yet still turn them into funny reads?
Life isn’t always wonderful, but we can decide how to handle it. It took me a while to learn that laughter really is the best medicine.

Writing Meeting Myself must have dredged up memories best forgotten. Why did you decide to write about your abuse after all these years?
I needed to turn a spotlight on those awful experiences so that they no longer had power over me.

Your husband died a short time ago, but here you are writing about it in The Pregnant Pause of Grief: The First Trimester of Widowhood. How can you stand it?
I read dozens of books about grief, but none of them really spoke to my situation. I had to get my grief out where I could examine it. My readers tell me that the book closely chronicles their own pain.

Do you have a motto for life, and if so, what is it?
Yes. I believe that Jesus is the answer to every question.

Which book is your favourite?
My favourite book is always the one I’m writing. I’m not ready to tell you about that one yet!

What advice do you have for wannabe writers?
I’ll share what I say to myself every single day. If you never, ever write, you will never, ever be read. Write something everyday, even if it’s in your personal journal. 

The Pregnant Pause of Grief as well as Meeting Myself are available through Amazon, Chapters/Indigo,, and wherever fine Christian books are sold.

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