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On Loss and Living Onward: Collected Voices for the Grieving and Those Who Would Mourn with Them

4.71  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  27 reviews
After experiencing the loss of her first-born son, Melissa Dalton-Bradford thrust herself into literature searching for those who have experienced similar, devastating loss. What she found was comfort and guidance to help her overcome the pain of losing a loved one and the faith to face her own life without him. In On Loss and Living Onward, she has compiled the best resou ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Familius (first published January 1st 2014)
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4.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  27 reviews


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Debbie Hoskins
This book switches between chapters of quotes and personal essays. The author is a compelling and intelligent writer. This is the story of the author's oldest son's accidental drowning death The essays kept me reading and I found the quotes, although well chosen, kind of boring. I was moved by the sensitive, personal, and sincere tone that the author uses to share her grief. I found her appendix on "suggestions for mourning with and comforting others" an interesting choice.
Kel
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone grieving, who has lost, who wants to help those mourning
Loss: noun: failure to keep or to continue to have something

: the experience of having something taken from you or destroyed

Grief: noun: deep sadness caused especially by someone’s death

: a cause of deep sadness

: trouble or annoyance

There is no dictionary-wrapped definition which fully conveys or explains loss or grief. For all who have lost, who have mourned, who have been wracked by pain, every ache and stab, every fresh realisation and memory is a unique, isolating event. For those who stand
...more
Ruth
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've just now finished my reading of "On Loss and Living Onward". It is a journey of anguish and grief; of joy and redemption. As Melissa writes in her introduction, in spite of every possible scientific and spiritual intervention death comes to us all. "Resurrection is for those on both sides of the tomb". "When your most beloved dies--you die too. . . Like a literal resurrection, [Melissa's] family's resurrection began from underground, buried in sorrow, entombed in grief." Vicariously, I walk ...more
Bridget
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Melissa Dalton-Bradford's story touched me deeply and (unbeknownst to her) we shared tears together.

Each chapter is preceded by various quotes from various grief books/writings that she has come across. While some of these are great, I found many of them to be long and I wasn't interested or emotionally invested into what these other authors were saying. I just wanted to hear about the author's experience with Parker's death. Consequently, I skipped over most of them, especially the longer ones
...more
Jameses6
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book by Melissa Dalton-Bradford is insightful, personal and enlightening, and I would like recommend it. It is a book about grieving, and I found it beautifully written and very personal. Melissa doesn't tell us how to mourn, but is with us as we mourn. She is a beautiful, descriptive writer, and it is easy to feel connected to her through her writing. Her tragedy makes this a genuine journey that she shares. Yes, I highly recommend it for anyone who is grieving and anyone who wants to unde ...more
Teresa Hirst
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Whether you are suffering a loss in your own life or want to comfort someone who is, this is a book to keep by your bedside during times of mourning. It is not a book to just finish, but like a book of scripture, to taste its verses and thoughts one at a time. Those samplings will bring a heart of understanding to a topic that is so easily misunderstood or mishandled. The author tutors all of us with the thoughts she has collected and the personal narratives she offers in how we might better res ...more
Louise
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, compassionate, heart-wrenching book about loss and grief. I read it desiring to understand how to mourn with some friends who have suffered devastating losses - and I finished it with a lump in my throat, many tears shed and a deep sense of reverence and respect for life, love and those who must continue on without their loved ones here. I am thankful to the author for her brave and valiant soul - this is a book to be read by all.
Mary Kenyon
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Melissa writes beautifully about the loss of her son and the subsequent search for words regarding healing and loss. This is a book I will want to share with my daughter, whose own son died last year. Sometimes it helps to read the words of those who have traveled the path before you.
Segullah
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
After the loss of Parker, her 18-year-old son, Melissa found comfort in the works of writers who had lost a loved one. She combed through the writings of famous people who suffered loss such as Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis and Anne Marrow Lindbergh. She shares these in her book, On Loss and Living Onward: Collected Voices for the Grieving and Those Who Would Mourn with Them.

She also draws from grief memoirs written by average people dealing with extraordinary circumstances and sharin
...more
Jillaire
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
When a friend of mine lost her toddler in an accident last summer, I reached out to the author of this book, who is a colleague of mine, and she offered to send my friend an inscribed copy. After flipping through the book before mailing it on to my friend, I decided that I needed to own a copy.

This book alternates between quotes from various writings on grief (ancient and modern) and the author's own story of losing her son Parker when he was 18 years old. The essays brought me to tears several
...more
Vicki
After experiencing the loss of her first-born son, Melissa Dalton-Bradford thrust herself into literature searching for those who have experienced similar, devastating loss. What she found was comfort and guidance to help her overcome the pain of losing a loved one and the faith to face her own life without him. In On Loss and Living Onward, she has compiled the best resources that will guide the living through the process of grief.

Superbly written essays by author and bereaved mother accompany
...more
Ranee
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very personal and heart-wrenching/warming book. An amazing collection of quotes from a variety of sources - I did skip through some of them to keep reading Melissa's personal story but will go back at different times to read those gems. I love the theme of "no fear", fear that keeps us from reaching out to others in their times of need when we don't know how to help, fear that keeps us from reaching out to others when we don't know what we need to help ourselves through our own grief. Thank yo ...more
Tracie
Instructive and So Inspiring!
I have been anticipating this book for years because I became acquainted with the author when she was compiling it. While I loved her recent memoir, I have been more eager to read this book. It grabs you from the introduction, the reason she needed to write this book and share it with the world. Her son, Parker Fairbourne Bradford.

My family often visited relatives in the Munich congregation where the author often taught Sunday School lessons back around 2009. My husb
...more
Karen
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Part of life includes the painful and difficult experience of loss. The death of a loved one can be devastating and isolating for the bereaved. Dalton-Bradford does a great service in her book by inviting the bereaved to join others who have walked the difficult path of loss.

After the death of her oldest son Parker when he was only 18, Dalton-Bradford searched through hundreds of written works in order to find her path. She carefully selected and organized dozens of quotes into the following fi
...more
Russell Fox
This collections of short essays (mostly revolving around the author's family's tragic loss of their son in a random accident, and their efforts to deal with their feelings afterwards) and random quotations (all dealing with loss, grief, and healing, collected from a huge range of world literature) is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. It's not mine, to be honest; Dalton-Bradford lives the life of the global 1%, whether she'd admit to it or not, and the uncritical way in which she works out ...more
Meredith
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Dalton-Bradford speaks not only to those who have lost someone, but also those who may feel unequipped in supporting friends or family who are grieving. The writing, although sometimes painful, feels lyrical. I would find myself moved to tears on one page, and then feel such a sense of hope on the next by just the right quote. Grief hurts, it's not pretty. Losing someone you love is the one thing that no one on this earth will escape from, and the one thing that we all dread. It bonds us ...more
Betsy
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book, because everyone will experience loss and have dear people in their lives experience loss. The book consists of Dalton-Bradford's personal essays on the unexpected death of her son Parker at age 18, as well as quotes from a wide spectrum of literature that the author found to resonate with her experience.

The first half or so of the book has much to say about the experience of grief and loss, and what the bereaved need from those close to them. The more I think on
...more
Carynpayzant
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful resource for those who are grieving and suffered loss. Melissa weaves her own experience with death (loosing her teenage son in a swimming accident as he was trying to rescue a friend) with quotes from other sources that she found helpful in dealing with her own personal struggles. What I like best about this book is that you don't have to read it all the way through every time you are looking for peace and a way to cope. You can go to a particular chapter and read one, two, or more ...more
Angela
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When Melissa Dalton-Bradford lost her oldest son, Parker, to a tragic accident, she turned to the words of poets, philosophers, spiritual leaders, and ordinary men and women who had suffered similar losses to find strength and healing. Melissa has compiled these wise words--and as a poet, philosopher, spiritual leader, and grieving mother herself, has added her own profound insights as she eloquently and honestly shares her experience. This book is a gift to anyone who has lost a loved one, in p ...more
Michele P
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Love this book! From firsthand experience, Melissa takes readers--those who may have lost a loved one or those who wish to offer support to them--with her on her journey through the darkness of the Valley of Sorrow through her tender experiences with the loss of her son Parker, and brings them into the light of hope and peace. And she does this all in deep and poignant and beautifully written prose as well as through the thoughts of others who have gone through similar experiences. The spirit of ...more
Lisa
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Following the death of my young daughter, I poured through anything and everything to find comfort and solace. I needed to understand how to manage this gnarly planet of grief I now occupied. This new book "On Loss and Living Onward" grown from Melissa's own aching heart will help provide that understanding to anyone living in that same awful place. For the innocent...still untouched by death and watching someone you love grieve, this book is essential reading. Oh if I could hand one of these bo ...more
Lana Wood
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Touching! This is a "must keep in my reference section" book collection. I want to buy it so I can be reminded of what it feels like and what to say/do to a person who's lost a loved one. It is a collection of famous people's authentic thoughts and feelings pertaining to death of their loved ones. It is a story of a Mormon woman's journey through the loss of her young son and what she discovered along the way.
Darlene Dion
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Melissa and I attended church together in Munich. She has composed an excellent book of quotes intermingled with her family's story of loss that will help others to understand how to help those who are grieving.
Sharlee Mullins
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a gift to a needy world. It is a magnificent work, wise and compassionate, born of Melissa's own devastating loss, and is a must-have for anyone who has lost a loved one or who longs to offer comfort and something tangible and of real value to others who have been crushed by loss.
Kim
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I couldn't read this at night because I just wanted to wake up the kids and play with them. A moving memoir. I didn't read every quote she included, but anyone that experienced a devastating loss would want them in there.
Julie
Jun 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Touching collection of poems and thoughts about grieving interspersed with authors experience grieving her son
Chelsa
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
beautiful. absolutely beautiful.
Maryanne
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Feb 23, 2016
Shantel
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Jun 07, 2015
Brandon Schembri
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Oct 29, 2014
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