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Wednesday Mourning: A Theology of Grief Review by Erica BeyeaNorma J. Bennett
Bennett Hall Publishing
Many books, both Christian and secular, have been written on the grief of losing a child, and having experienced the loss of my own baby through stillbirth, I have probably read most of them. They share common themes, outlining the grieving process and attempting to leave the reader with the hope that one day their heart will heal, and they will begin to feel whole again. Wednesday Mourning: A Theology of Grief takes the healing conversation in a very different direction. Rather than an author carefully telling the reader how to get to the next level of their new normal, it is instead a journal of author Norma Bennett’s own journey through the stillbirth of her firstborn son, Levi.
This small, 66-page softcover book could be read in one sitting. It is well-written and engaging, complete with journal entries by date. The author introduces herself and husband Roy, young Bible School students just starting out in marriage and ministry. After waiting three years to become pregnant, they were eagerly planning and anticipating the birth of their son when tragedy struck.
Norma Bennett takes the reader through the days that follow, openly discussing her spiritual struggles with God as those around her attempted to console her in her despair. She tells of the very raw feelings of pain and even jealousy as many in her circle of friends raised babies, and shared birth and motherhood stories at all the ministry get-togethers she attended. She shares the very real ways that God spoke to her and eased her through the weeks and months, helping her to grow stronger when she didn’t even realize that He was at work in her heart. In the end, she does briefly touch on the story of her family and how she eventually became a mother.
Having lived through this journey myself, I was slightly uneasy about reading yet another book on the grief of stillbirth and sharing in Norma’s journey. Each grieving mother’s story is so different. Once I started this book I couldn’t put it down. I was so deeply touched by Norma’s openness and honesty about the real feelings she experienced, many of which might be criticized as unspiritual or immature. I found so many statements that made me chuckle and that I could relate to. Norma doesn’t just write about the times when her thoughts were unpleasant though. She also writes about the many victories and small ways God carried her through. The book has Scripture woven throughout, and Norma explains how those verses spoke to her heart.
This is an amazing little book that I found very relatable and comforting, and I would feel very comfortable having several copies on hand to give away to grieving mothers who cross my path. I think that many people will find help and strength through reading the story of Levi and his parents, Roy and Norma.
-Product review by Erica Beyea, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018