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Sunset: On the Passing of Those We Love

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  46 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
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Hardcover, 135 pages
Published June 29th 2012 by Deseret Book (first published November 25th 2011)
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Tami
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. Then...as 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
Camille
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
Michelle
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
Shannan
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.
Megan
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.
Lori
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
Teresa
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
Deyanne
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
Alysia
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
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
Suzan
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
Barb
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.
Shelli
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.
Becky
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.
Beautiful.
Jenny
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.
Timber
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!
Rae
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.
Sandy
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
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.
Amber
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.
Brooke
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
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.
Marilyn
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.
Valerie
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
One of the most beautiful and moving books I have ever read. I will read it again.
Nicole Humes
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.
Kimberly
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.
Becky
This is a very personal, emotional book about the death of his wife Laurie from brain cancer. It is not in chronological order,which I don't necessarily mind. I was expecting something different, insight into their lives and relationship. Rather it reminds me of reading someone's raw emotions in a diary. He fears Laurie won't love him because she is now "perfect" and in a better world, spending many pages on this theme, though Laurie and the Lord sends him many messages to the contrary. I wanted ...more
Kaye
This is a personal, poignant love letter written from a journal of a man as he is losing his wife to brain cancer. Wilcox is writing from the heart and his deep reflections are interesting and personal. I am not sure that everyone who looses a loved one would have the same feelings, or reflections. Also I was puzzled that he and his wife never talked of death and he never talked with how he helped his children through this difficult time (or maybe they helped him). This seems clearly written for ...more
Laura
I know of this author, and was anxious to read this book about the death of his wife. Since they have at least 4 children (or more), I would've liked to hear about his interactions with his children as their mother died. I realize it is his personal journal about his feelings, but I'm surprised he scarcely wrote of anyone else's feelings, including his wife's feelings. They really never talked about her impending death????
Still, I wept most of the way through this book and it was very touching a
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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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