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Sunset: On the Passing of Those We Love

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  113 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
“I did not know I had so many tears.”

When Michael Wilcox’s wife, Laurie, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that would ultimately take her life, he began keeping a journal to record what he was learning about living, loving, and grieving. Although at the time he was not intending that it would ever be published, he gradually came to recognize our “sacred covenan
Hardcover, 135 pages
Published June 29th 2012 by Deseret Book (first published January 1st 2011)
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Apr 02, 2012 Tami rated it it was amazing
Michael Wilcox was a teacher of mine about 35 years ago in Alberta, Canada. He and his wife, Laurie, will forever be in my memory as major contributors in my life. I had initially picked up the book after noticing his name as the author. if by fate...realized that it was a book about the death of his Laurie. I found this book two weeks after losing my own sweet husband. Every word and thought he wrote, I had thought but could not write. It was truly a Godsend for me. As I read, I felt ...more
Sep 11, 2012 Camille rated it really liked it
What a heart-wrenching book! Beautifully (almost poetically) written, but also very raw in its expression of love lost - I had to read it in small doses since I cried on nearly every page. As a younger widow myself, there were lots of feelings and fears I could relate to and some that I have not experienced at all, but I've discovered that grief is an extremely personal thing that affects everyone differently, and it certainly isn't subject to rational thought or a predictable timeline. Kudos to ...more
Feb 15, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing
A poignant read of love and loss. At times a very poetic read. What a sweet story of love amidst the grief of losing one's spouse. Having been a part of much loss in the past few years I love when I find a book that truly expresses feelings that accompany grief. Grief can be a very lonely road. The author hopes that through his honest heartfelt words..."May it be a small permission for all to feel what they feel without wondering if they somehow lack faith or conviction or sufficient love - who ...more
Oct 01, 2012 Shannan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites, 2012
Thank you Megan Crandall for giving me this book (written by her father Michael Wilcox). This was a wonderful way to grieve and celebrate my mother's death. It also made me feel normal for all the things I was thinking and feeling. Thank you. This is the perfect book/gift for anyone who has lost a loved one.
Feb 13, 2012 Megan rated it it was amazing
This is the best book My dad has ever written. It is about his journey of losing my mother. It would be perfect for anyone who has ever lost a loved one.
Mar 03, 2012 Lori rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is perfect for anyone who lost a loved one, especially a spouse. But it really is for anyone who has ever had to enter that dreaded path of losing any loved one. S. Michael Wilcox wrote in his journal, once his wife started to decline from a brain tumor that would one day take her life. His journal entries alone are very healing and help you to feel "normal" and not crazy. He has been in that awful place of despair and heartbreak and has felt the loneliness it brings. He gives ver ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Teresa rated it liked it
I have always loved S. Michael Wilcox's books and hearing him as a speaker. When I found out he was writing a book about the death of his wife, who died from a brain tumor in December 2010, I was really interested to see what insights he would have to share especially having lost my own mom to a similar cancer, While the book is probably more suited for someone losing a spouse, is not chronological in sequence and a big break from his normal writing style,it still helped me to read about his exp ...more
Apr 18, 2012 Deyanne rated it it was amazing
This book impacted me. I am always impressed by honesty, and I realize how truly difficult that is for some people, especially when dealing with death. The diverse feelings experienced by the author were real and raw. I completed the book with a sense of empty yearning for the lost companionship, but also with a sense of peace that the author's beliefs are strong and fortified by a continuous effort to rely on the Lord. I also want to revisit the lives of Elizabeth and Robert Browning. The inter ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Alysia rated it it was amazing
This is a pretty short, but emotionally packed book. I read it after losing my Mom and I loved it. There were different things that I went through during the process of losing her that the author touched on that he also experienced, but he put it in much more eloquent words, and the gospel reminders throughout the book were a great comfort to me. He did take some liberties with opinion rather than docterine, but I like thinking about different perspectives, so I enjoyed that. He did lose a wife, ...more
Chelsey Hancock
Jul 06, 2012 Chelsey Hancock rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church
This was one of those rare books that really has changed my perspective on life. My mom had me read this book because my dad passed away. It is written from the viewpoint of an LDS author who lost his wife to cancer a few years ago. It is incredibly written, easy to read, and honestly one of the best books I have ever read. Even if you are not LDS or don't have someone close to you who has died, I would recommend this book - it has helped me look at life through a different lens and really appre ...more
Mar 18, 2012 Suzan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A sweet, honest, tender glimpse at the experience of losing one's spouse. The author's expressions of his deep love for his wife were beautiful and inspirational. His grief and pain over losing her are heartbreaking. I appreciate his openess and honesty and think this book will truly help others who have lost a loved one, but I also think it would be of great benefit to those who have not lost a loved one yet...a poignant reminder to cherish those we love and to be grateful for each and every da ...more
Apr 26, 2012 Barb rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book, but I had to read it in small doses. It made me feel sad and melancholy sometimes. Death is such a personal, and sensitive topic. I appreciated his candor and sincerity about what he suffered at he loss of his wife and how he is trying to face the rest of his earthly life without her. As always with this author, I really appreciate his insight and it really rings true for me. I plan on giving this book to a friend who lost a spouse just a couple of years ago.
Feb 04, 2012 Shelli rated it it was amazing
As I read this book, I wondered, "Did Brother Wilcox somehow read my journals over the past two and a half years?" If I was a gifted writer of beautiful prose and thoughtful imagery, I would have written this book. But I'm not, and I'm so glad Michael Wilcox has the talent to express his insights so movingly. If you've lost a spouse, or are wondering what is going on in the mind and heart of someone who has, you will find this book worthwhile reading.
Feb 13, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing
Michael Wilcox has opened his heart and shared his most tender and intimate feelings at the loss of his beloved wife.
This little book is beautifully written. I have not lost a spouse, but other loved family members and the insight the author shares is a salve to a grieving heart.
Every person should read this little book. It has helped me recognizes anew how very precious life is..and how precious our spouse is.
Feb 05, 2012 Jenny's rated it really liked it
Shelves: death-near-death
For me, Sunset was a love story first and for most. The anguish, and pain of loosing a life partner, and spouse is exposed in Michael Wilcox's ability to share his thoughts and feelings in a most beautiful manner. The grief process, and his willingness to share the most sacred, and difficult moments of this experience. The way he shares his thoughts and emotions so honestly is the endearing gift of the book.
Mar 09, 2012 Timber rated it it was amazing
I cried the entire way through this book. I was privileged to know Laurie in real life and I could hear her voice and laugh echo through the pages as I read. I mourned with Mike as he spoke of his love and doubts as she passed away. This book is not in his regular writing style, it is his journal. What a beautiful love they shared, what a beautiful book this is!
Sep 24, 2013 Rae rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, grief-stuff
Want to know what the aftermath of a spouse's death feels like? Read this book.

Wilcox articulates most profoundly my own emotions since the death of my spouse. I was comforted to know that what I am experiencing is within the norm. I loved every word of this one!

Note: Although anyone could read this, it is primarily intended for an LDS audience.
Mar 04, 2012 Sandy rated it really liked it
This book expressed so many of my own thoughts and feelings after having a spouse die too early from cancer. Some of the author's actions and thoughts were exactly the same as mine: from listening to the same Hillary Weeks song "If I only Had Today" to asking for "Hezekiah time". Amazing ability to express his feelings.
London Litchfield
Nov 16, 2014 London Litchfield rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This was a moving tribute to his deceased wife. Made me cry and at times I felt almost as if I were eavesdropping on something so personal. I was going to give it to a friend who just lost a daughter, but found it inappropriate for that situation. I would suggest only as a read for someone who has lost a spouse.
May 13, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it
Pretty heart wrenching to read first hand words from a husband who has just lost the love of his life. The reality that this will happen to us all hit home. Crazy the thoughts that you have as you struggle with death. Sad, yet inspiring. Appreciating life a lot more this week.
Nov 17, 2014 Brooke rated it it was amazing
Reads like a love letter to his wife. Beautiful, thought-provoking. I read it because my brother-in-law said it was one of the few books that has helped him since my sister's death. The author was extremely open and honest. Loved it.
Marvelle Morgan
Jul 11, 2012 Marvelle Morgan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
I felt that this book was mostly a love story. I had expected advice on how to deal with the death of a loved one but found instead a poignant, raw-emotional, story of love and loss. Mostly, this book just made me want to be a better wife.
Mar 10, 2012 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
A beautifully written account of the death of a beloved spouse. Sweet, tender, poetic at times and always heartfelt this book is wonderful. As I read I was inspired to make each day count and to show greater love to all the people in my life.
Jan 07, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
I know Mike. He was my brother's roommate the first year I went to BYU and my friend and I sang with him and I danced with him at the Arizona Stomps and I dreamed of impressing him, but it was not to be. Instead, he met and married Laurie, another member of our BYU student Ward. They were such a good match! So, when I heard she had passed, it hit me hard. I was interested to read this book, and wept many times as he talked about his struggles, but ultimately his love and faith. I found many simi ...more
Cheryl Knowlton
Jun 08, 2014 Cheryl Knowlton rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautiful and moving books I have ever read. I will read it again.
Jan 23, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
Sunset: On the Passing of Those We Love by S. Michael Wilcox is a beautiful expression of consecrated love for the author's eternal mate who passed away from cancer at not old enough age. His writing is poetically tender. Michael Wilcox shares the compensatory graces he was given as he grieved her diagnosis, her illness, and following her death. The sanctifying principles he speaks of can be applied to any loss, physical or spiritual, we will feel in this mortal life.
Nicole Humes
Jan 15, 2015 Nicole Humes rated it really liked it
This was a really tender book. Even though I haven't experienced the loss of such a close loved one like Brother Wilcox, it helped to see that one can still have joy in life, even through the grieving, and continue on peacefully until they are reunited again with their loved one.
Feb 29, 2012 Sherrill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book about the death of Michael Wilcox wife to cancer is, of course, very good but I did not identify with it. My husband lived a very full life, did not die young,and he did not linger for 8 months. Michael is a wordsmith who loves poetry, an English major writer who knows all of the right words. My husband and I were not like that. Michael did have some insight into things that have troubled me like why wasn't I a nicer wife? Did I act like a forever companion all of the time? Will Herm w ...more
Jan 27, 2014 Kimberly rated it it was ok
I thought I would really enjoy this book. It is more of a compilation of journal entries from the author as he dealt with his wife's death. The writing wandered quite a bit, as one would expect with journal entries of grief. I just did not connect with most of it.
Aug 04, 2015 Melissa rated it liked it
This is a ok about him working through his grief when his wife died. He decided to share ihis personal writings in hopes of helping someone else.
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S. Michael Wilcox is an instructor at the institute of religion adjacent to the University of Utah. A frequent speaker at Brigham Young University Education Week, Michael also conducts tours of the Holy Land, Church history sites, Europe, China, and Central America. He received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brigham Young University, a master’s in media from the University of Arizo ...more
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