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Finding the Good in Grief: Rediscovering Joy after a Life-Changing Loss By John F. Baggett Book Review


Finding the Good in Grief is a potent resource on guiding readers through the different stages of grief and rediscovering your sense of purpose and joy. The different stages of grief are, “trust God and rely on others, choose reality instead of illusion, resist the temptation to get stuck, recognize moments of grace, and discover new meaning and purpose. Many times we didn’t see the sickness and death knocking on our loved ones doors until they were gone. Our cold hard fears came upon us when we least expected them to. At least some part of us gets stuck asking God why we had to lose someone that we loved dearly. Like many people struggling with grief, healing and still living your life can seem impossible after going through a difficult tragic loss, this book will reveal to you how to do just that. 

Dr. John F. Baggett writes this book from personal experience and the terrible pain he had to endure through the hardships of life. His lost occurred when an un-expecting event changed his son, Mark’s life. Mark was always a loving teenager who had incredible dreams to make a difference in people’s lives. He truly cared about others and wanted to go into a profession that he could have an impact in their lives for good. But at the age of seventeen, everything dramatically changed. Mark began to act abnormally and was talking in his room loudly and ramblingly frequently. He also told John that his friend was using mental telepathy to give him a heart attack. He also started to punch holes in the walls and he broke things for no reason. Eventually, the doctors diagnosed Mark as having schizophrenia and in that moment his life was never the same again. John Baggett went through the stages of grief and the losing of his son that he knew for seventeen years. This book was written to help others going through grief.

The book contained many stories that John Baggett wrote in order to discuss the different stages of grief. Some of the stories included a loved one being diagnosed with cancer and they end up losing the fight, a child being diagnosed with mental retardation and the hopes and dreams for the future are gone in an instant, overspending and then losing a job and escaping the pain and hurt through alcohol and one night stands, a young boy seeing his parents get a divorce and questioning why God didn’t answer his prayers, the effects of drunk driving, a person committing suicide, a person getting rape, and many more heartbreaking stories.

One of my stories that stuck out to me was, the story about Nancy and how she used her lost for a new calling and purpose. Nancy and her husband, Carl put their young daughter to bed and was about to watch TV when someone rang the doorbell. Two men dressed in dark clothes pushed her backwards and she screamed and her husband came running and they pointed a gun at him. They tied him up and raped his wife and forced him to watch the brutal crime. They found some wine bottles and began to devour them. When Nancy tried to untie her husband, one of the men seized a knife and began to attack her. She felt unconscious and next, they stabbed her husband and killed him. Then they took valuables and jewelry and they discovered the three year old little girl and they took her. The neighbor spotted them taking the daughter and called the police and gave them their license plate number. They ultimately found out that the car belonged to a felon who had been already been convicted of rape and armed robbery. The man was left out of jail six week earlier because the prosecutor was found guilty of prosecutorial misconduct on a different case and the system freed eight people pending retrials. The police tracked down the two criminals and arrested them. They entered a plea deal with the second attacker and stated that he wouldn’t get the death penalty, if he told them where the daughter’s remains were located. The police uncovered the remains of the daughter and they both were sentenced. The first attacker was sentenced death by lethal injection. Nancy was outraged and bitter like anyone would understanding be. She went through the different stages of grief and finally found a way to help others going through suffering events. She watched the news and reached out to others who were victims of crimes and she founded support groups and internet chat groups to assist hurting victims. Like many people, this story disturbs me and upsets me of how evil spreads and gets it’s time in the spotlight and scars many people. This story deeply moved me and reinstated that when bad things happen, there is still some good that can come from it.
I would recommend this excellent book to everyone because no one gets through life without losing someone they love or grieving a terrible occurrence. I exceedingly recommend this book to anyone who is currently dealing with grief right now and they are stuck and don’t know how to move forward and how to continue living their life. This book will serve as a catalyst for readers to read to recover from a horrible lost. Like most people, I have experienced losing a loved one, for example, I have lost an aunt to cancer. I also lost a grandpa and I can still remember hearing the phone ring at 3:00 am and receiving the news that my grandpa dropped dead in the kitchen table from a heart attack. I remember rushing over there and they had him lying on the floor. It’s an image that you can’t ease from your memory. I wish that this book would have been released when I was going through the grieving process. I immensely loved the many diverse stories that John Baggett wrote about in order to portray how these different stages of grief presented themselves in people’s lives. I loved how John didn’t just focus all of his stories on just sickness and death. He pointed out that grief can occur through many different situations like a divorce, losing your job, death, and other losses. The book had a number of encouraging scriptures to assist readers in their grief. I liked how each chapter had multiple questions to lead readers into digging deeper in their feelings and emotions. If readers are persistent in learning about the different stages of grief, when they are having to endure grief, this book will inspire them and help them.


"I received this book free from the publisher from Kregel Publications book review bloggers program."


If you would like to purchase a copy of Finding the Good in Grief, then check it out on



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