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Don't Sing Songs To A Heavy Heart: How To Relate To Those Who Are Suffering
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Don't Sing Songs To A Heavy Heart: How To Relate To Those Who Are Suffering

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Published (first published January 1st 2004)
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4.39  · 
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 ·  218 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Stephen Ministers, Pastors, Care Givers, ANYONE
This is recommended reading for Stephen Ministers (as a Stephen Leader, frankly I think this should be required reading for our Stephen Ministers) however the information contained in this book would be beneficial to anyone providing care to or even simply interacting with a hurting or suffering person, which means, pretty much EVERYONE should read this book. This book lays out all the constructive things you can say or do (and does not hesitate to point out those things that you should NOT say ...more
James Chessor
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent read. My only regret is that I didn’t read it four years ago when it was given to me. This is a must read for those who serve in ministry.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a book to help people understand how to relate to people that are suffering. It is truly one of the best books on this topic that I have read on this topic. It comes from a biblical perspective. It is both a theological framework and theology of caring for those who suffer, as well as a practical handbook offering suggestions and ideas to enable the reader to do it.
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is another book by Kenneth C. Haugk giving helpful advice to facilitate "distinctly Christian care giving." Although most everything I read I considered to be common sense, I know that we'll-meaning people say and do the wrong thing while trying to give comfort all the time. This is a quick and easy read and would benefit anyone who desires to be a help not a hindrance to those with hurting hearts! I can't say I learned so much as I was reminded.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Worth the read for anyone engaged in compassionate caregiving (which should be everyone). We all need to invest time in developing our skills in how to relate to those who are suffering -- what to say and not say, what type of "help" is truly helpful and what is not. Much like communication, listening, and thinking, we don't tend to spend much time developing skills in this area as we falsely believe that we already know how to care for people who are hurting -- after all, we do that throughout ...more
Ken Peters
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a pastor, I feel that I’m ever learning how to be helpful to people who are experiencing difficult times, and even though I feel I’ve grown in this area over the years, I know I have so much more I could learn. It seems that with every crisis that comes up, I get in touch with how important it is to be gentle and sensitive and attentive in how I care for people, but also with how easy it is to cause hurt while trying to help. That’s why I appreciated this extremely practical book. It doesn’t ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why I bought this book years ago, but as I read it over the month of December, it was very clear that I could use the direction. I was reading it so that I could pass it on to my dad who is participating in a counseling program in the prison. I know he'll find it useful for the same reasons I did. We are fixers and this book is so helpful in explaining why that just isn't what people need - most of the time. It gives another view to being helpful - being present. Listening. All thin ...more
Lorna Collins
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Hauck is the founder of Stphen Ministries, a one-on-one Christian care ministry. I have read most of his books, and in my opinion, this one is the very best. It was written from Dr. Hauck's personal esperiences when his wife was diagnosed, treated, and ultimately died from cancer. In addition to his own observations, however, Dr. Hauck interviewed many of others who had also been in the same position. Don't know what to say to a friend who is grieving? Dr. Hauck suggest whayt you might say, ...more
Dale March
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great practical advice for would-be compassionate care givers. Wish I had read this book before my father, spouse, mother-in-law and mother all died in a 4 year span. But new dogs can learn new tricks, as “they” are often found to say. Reading this as part of a curriculum of discernment to become a volunteer chaplain. I may need to re-read the book once I get a more practical feel how, in the confines of a public hospital setting, a chaplain’s tool box can be loaded. But a couple things are for ...more
Bonnie Smith
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can't endorse this enough! Being in this kind of pastoral care ministry for many years and also recently having experienced tremendous suffering within our own family, I can tell you that from both angles, the book is thorough and spot on! It is my go-to reference in ministry. I have highlighted something on every page.

Anyone in care ministry of any kind (not just Christian) should read this book, and every church leader should read it. Amazing! Thank you, Kenneth Haugk!
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this really helpful for spelling out what to say and especially what not to say when coming alongside people dealing with different kinds of grief (not just death.) This book doesn't just give helpful tips, it tells you the script. The foundation of this is teaching you empathy and what it practically looks like.
Susan Henn
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
1/2019 Excellent book for people wanting to improve their caregiving skills. Haugk researched, using 4000 people who had experienced hurt or trauma, to uncover what words and actions from friends, family, and caregivers, were helpful versus hurtful. Very practical and insightful. I hope I remember everything the book presented!!!!
Bernie Tomasso
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a good review for me as I prepare to lead a Bereavement Support Group. It has many practical suggestions for assisting individuals who are in need of healing. I highly recommend it. This was the second time that I read it and I learned new ideas from re-reading it.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book everyone should read. What not to say to hurting people in suffering situations.
Now I just hope I can apply the book to real life.
Paula Montgomery
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read but with lots to think about in how to deal with those who are hurting. This is a wonderful way to introduce others to ways tyhey can be comforting especially in grief.
Marie Conrad
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
All true but probably could have been said in about half the pages.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help, religious
Wonderful book to assist a caregiver in what to say/not to say.
Gives very concrete and helpful examplesl
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
great book. If you have ever wondered how to be helpful to a person in pain, this is a must read!
Ruth Ann
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a book everyone should read to become more fully human and compassionate. It is wise but not didactic, full of heart but not preachy. Anyone who has suffered pain from illness, loss, or accident and anyone who knows others who suffer would benefit from this book. The author was inspired to write this book when his wife was struggling with ovarian cancer but it is not just his opinion. He surveyed about 5,000 people who were suffering and compiled their answers in order to make the sugges ...more
Ronald L Kirkland
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How many time have we come along side of one in great pain or grieving the loss of a loved one and when we go our way we sense that our words have not caused relief or comfort but added pain. This marvelously frank and easily read book is a must read; especially for caregivers.

I finished reading it seemingly far too long after starting it because of re-reading portions and gleaning practical applications during sessions helping people cope with their grief; it was invaluable!

The rating has littl
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a great book. I would recommend it for Christians and non-believers both. While it does use prayer and scripture a lot of the concepts in it would work well for non-believers as well and the scripture wouldn’t be too overpowering for them in my opinion. The author took his personal experiences (his wife died of cancer) as well as those of thousands others into consideration on what is and is not helpful to people that are grieving. Everyone has or will know someone that is grieving in th ...more
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers
Great book, almost done with it. I never know what to say when a loved one is going through a tough time and this book has helped me to better understand what a hurting person needs. Be there. Saying little is ok, as long as it's not harmful. Be a caregiver, not a cure-giver. I highly recommend this book.

Great book. This is a keeper. Loss and hard times happen and having this book I feel is a good way to be there for loved ones who are going through bad times.
Crystal Toegel
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book with very practical information about how to help someone who is in a tough place. I have not liked it in the past when people respond to difficulties in very cliche ways, and this book affirms that. Cliches are cheap and very ineffective. This book gives very practical advice about what might be good to say, what is NOT good to say, and most of all, just being present and not saying anything. Great book.
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent source for learning how to relate to those who are hurting. The author uses his own experience (his wife died of ovarian cancer), along with results from a survey given to over 4000 people who have gone through many different types of suffering. It is very well written with useful advice on what to say, what not to say and what to do to care for those who need someone to be with them during a dark time.
Rachel Boothby
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Yes, most of the thoughts of this books are common sense. At the same time, when someone close to you experiences a tragedy, I feel like sometimes you lose your common sense when you're unsure of what to say and how to help. I really appreciated this book's take on grieving, and the practical do's and don't it laid out. If you have anyone in your life who is hurting, I would absolutely recommend reading this!
Stacy Hawley
Feb 01, 2008 rated it liked it
This book would be wonderful for people to read so that they understand how their words to the grief stricken can really affect their grieving process. Having walked through many losses myself, I found much of what it said to be true, I recommend it to those who want to help others walk through the grieving process and even to help themselves in that process.
Melanie Griffin
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This was pretty good, but nothing groundbreaking. If you've been in community with its attendant suffering and/or have lost some loved ones of your own, there's probably not much new here. But it's worth a read just because it's such an important topic.
If you are younger or haven't been around much death and suffering, then definitely read it!
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read this as part of a Stephens Ministry book study but would highly recommend it to everyone. Dr. Haugk does an excellent job of relating how to approach hurting people, what and what not to do and say.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a well written guide to help friends and family understand how to be there for a suffering person. This book will help whether the person is dealing with grief from a loss or suffering due to an illness. A very nice book for would be comforters.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very helpful book as I begin my Bereavement Process Ministry. I used a suggestion from the book with a dear friend and found the suggestion to be spot on. Thanks for the recommendations and the guide lines.
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