Book Review: “Aftermath: Growing In Grace Through Grief” @mcsweeney


Aftermath: Growing in Grace Through Grief {book review}

About the Book:

Loss is a four-letter word that grips our hearts and gridlocks our lives. Grief can hold us captive until we surrender it to God. How do we find the necessary grace to journey through the mourning process? Juxtaposed to the outpouring of her mother’s words about grief, the author shares her parallel journey from the emotional abyss of grief after becoming an adult orphan. With candor, the author shares her own emotions experienced along the spectrum of loss after her parents’ deaths: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—adding interactive options for readers.

Five sections cover these common emotions and provide:

• comfort Scripture lists

• counsel sections from grief experts

• chronicling sections with detailed helps

• tangible handles on dealing with grief during holidays, capturing loved ones’ legacy, and more.

About Margaret:

Margaret McSweeney is a well-published author often writing online articles for Make It Better (the former North Shore Magazine) and freelance articles for the Daily Herald, the largest suburban Chicago newspaper. In addition, she has authored and compiled several books including A Mother’s Heart Knows; Go Back and Be Happy; Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace and most recently, Mother of Pearl.

Margaret has a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in international business. As is the founder of Pearl Girls, Margaret collaborates with other writers on projects to help fund a safe house for WINGS, an organization that helps women and their children who are victims of domestic violence, and to build wells for schoolchildren in Uganda through Hands of Hope. For the past 10 years she has served on the board of directors and leadership advisory board for WINGS. Margaret lives with her husband and 2 daughters in the Chicago suburbs. Learn more about Margaret and the work of Pearl Girls at


My Impressions:

Part of being human is experiencing a vast array of emotions. We don’t mind “feeling” when the emotions are positive—- like joy, happiness, pride, etc., but when the feelings are sadness, grief, depression, etc., we can quickly become overwhelmed. When an event that we can’t control occurs { e.g., someone we love dies}, emotions can literally paralyze us. So how do you deal with the loss of a loved one? Are your feelings “normal”? Where do you turn for help? If you are spiritual, a Christian, or looking to become spiritual, you read this book.

Written in a personable, non-judgmental tone, Margaret shares her very personal journey of dealing with the death of her parents {and her brother}. Although Margaret uses Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stage of grief as a framework for the book, she is clear in explaining that not everyone experiences grief the same way and not everyone goes through five stages. Grief and grieving are very individualized experiences and the author definitely reinforces this.

A very important point that the author makes in the book is that we should each show our love and appreciation for our friends and family while they are alive. Make that phone call. Send them a handwritten note. Pay them a visit. Don’t wait until it is too late to express your love or affection as tomorrow is not promised.

I am giving Aftermath 5 stars out of 5.

Please consider buying this book for your local church or for a friend or family member. It will surely be appreciated by the person who reads it.


“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 Holy Bible


Blog Tour Schedule:

Would you like to see what other bloggers are saying about Aftermath? You can find a list here.


Disclosure: I received a complimentary book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are 100% mine and are accurately reflected in this post.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    August 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I lost my father a couple of years ago rather suddenly to gastric cancer. I think that is the first time in my life I experienced true grief..It was consuming and some days still bubbles to the surface. I think any tool that allows people to recover and regain faith is important. I will have to ad this book to my must read list.

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