Book Review: Grief, a Mother’s Unwanted Journey

I’m not sure why I picked this book as my first pick when I signed up for BookLook Bloggers book reviews.

Honestly, I think it’s because I’m terrified of losing Tera, whether in a tragic way or through a slow sickness. There have been several instances recently that a story has popped up on my news feed about a child dying. And not just on my news feed. Personal friends have lost loved ones. I have mostly opted to not even read those articles, as I can no longer stand to think about how that would feel to go through.

But I understand that I have no more control over something bad like that happening than any of those Moms did. It’s not up to me to choose the days of my daughters life. So I think I finally decided to face my fears head-on and read this story.

The book is called Grief: A Mama’s Unwanted Journey by Shelley Ramsey. It is a short book that details the death of Shelley’s son, Joseph, and the following days, weeks, months and years of mourning that took place within their family after his life was taken in a car accident.  When I say detailed…I mean…detailed. And it’s the most humbling, glorious look into grief I have ever seen. Grief is something that happens to other people, and if you don’t know grief, you don’t know what is going on. But Shelley opens up her heart and lets us in, and it is a powerful peek into the world that those who have lost loved ones go through.

Let me tell you what. I can’t recommend it. Not to everyone.

No, this is a special book. For special people.

If you are a Mama dealing with losing your child, this is a book you need to read only after you have grieved for a little while on your own. You will find incredible comfort in the words and the details that this sweet Mama writes out. She does not leave a single detail out of her grief journey. For that reason, I would not recommend you reading it soon after your own loss. It is almost too many details for me to stomach, and I know I have never even come close to the pain that you are feeling.

Now, this book is for you RIGHT NOW if you have a friend that has lost a child. I INSIST that you read this book. You MUST. You will understand their grief and the process in a much different light after reading this Mom’s journey.

As I was reading the story, I kept coming across quotes that I wanted to include in this review. I could probably fill up this entire blog post with quotes from the book, but instead I will just close with one quote and then encourage you to check out the book yourself.

Friend, your grief will not look the same as mine, but it will overtake you. Sometimes in ways you might expect, sometimes in ways you will never see coming. You may find comfort in visiting family and friends when I couldn’t. You, too, may forget to show up to all kinds of appointments. You may fall apart in public on a day you don’t expect. The important thing is that you recognize that your grief will manifest in different ways at different times and you need to give yourself the time, space and permission to let it happen.



BookLook Bloggers is for Christian Bloggers who love reading! Sign up for a free account (they will ask for blog stats like how many readers you have), browse through the books and choose one that you would like to review. They will send the book to your e-reader (kindle, nook, etc.) for free! After reading the book, write a review on your blog and then post it to their website! Once you have turned in the review, you can request another book!



  1. Debbie Dovel says:

    I purchased this book on Kindle over a year ago after the loss of my 24-year-old son on 2/09/14. When I came across this review on FB today, I realized I never finished the book. So, I just now pulled it up and read the rest of it. I’m so glad that I did. As I sat her for the past hour reading about this woman’s grief with tears falling down, I realize that I’m still grieving and that’s ok. It doesn’t make me a bad Christian. It doesn’t mean I’m being selfish. It just means my life has changed & God understands. You are right in your review that it should not be read immediately after losing a child. I would not have been able to bear some of her words even a year ago. Also, for friends of parents who have lost a child, please read it to understand how you can really help and the words NOT to say that push a grieving parent away. Thanks for your review. I will be sharing it with others whom I know really need this book.

    • [email protected] says:

      I am SO incredibly thankful that you read my blog post and that it was a small agent in helping bring about more healing. Your comment is so beautiful and full of grace, and I appreciate you dropping by to leave it. It truly means so much. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you…and I’m not just saying that in a trite way. I truly have learned how to pray for a grieving mother after reading this book. Feel free to share with whomever you would like.

  2. Barbara Zajicek says:

    My son, Jacob was 24 years old when he took his own life by hanging himself. No one can even begin to comprehend the pain and anguish that comes when one has lost a child. The tremendous loss reaches every area of one’s life. It not only affects my present but my future. It affects every family member. I truly ravages a family, as if a tornado just came through and uprooted anything and everything. Now we wandering aimlessly looking for the pieces. So many pieces are missing, it doesn’t even resemble the life that we once had. Every aspect of every piece is coated with pain, anger, guilt, blame and shame, directed at anyone, everyone and no one. Lost and wandering, in search of something we will never be able to obtain. As my son is gone, it is not possible to bring him back. So I exist in this empty shell with no clear direction. Lost forever….

    • [email protected] says:

      The magnitude of pain that you must be going through is so hard for me comprehend. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish there was a way I could just take the pain away. I wish that I could undo what has been done for you. I do not know you or the circumstances surrounding the death of your son, but I can assure you that it was not your fault. You may have made mistakes in the motherhood journey, but it is not your fault. I would encourage you to find others who have been on this journey and can simply listen to you and help you heal. It may take a long time, but I believe that you can have freedom from the pain, anger, guilt, blame and shame that you feel. You will be in my prayers. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] if you would like to continue to talk about this with me. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Your raw authenticity has truly brought my own life into perspective. Thank you for that. You are truly a blessing, even if the grief shrouds your view of yourself.

  3. Shelley Ramsey says:

    I’m so sorry that I am just now discovering your heartfelt review of my book.I do appreciate that your reading and your recommendation!

    I will share your review on my Facebook page, Grace, Grief, and Gratitude.


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