Finding The Good In Grief by John F. Baggett

Finding The Good In Grief

Review Copy

Finding The Good In Grief – Book Review

When you lose someone you love – no matter what the circumstances – it takes time to heal. Unfortunately, the process, necessity and importance of grieving are rarely taught or valued in our culture. Because other people are uncomfortable with our pain, they often encourage us to rush through the grieving process.

That’s why surrounding yourself with people who have suffered their own losses – gone through the process – and found healing on the other side is crucial to helping you navigate your way through your own situation. There is much wisdom to be gained from other people’s experiences.

John F. Baggett is one such person. John experienced loss in an unusual way. For 17 years, John was the father of a “gifted and talented young man with a bright and promising future”. Then, within a matter of weeks, everything changed.

Out of the blue, his son Mark began to exhibit inappropriate, incoherent, and violent behavior. At first, John suspected Mark might be on drugs. But soon, John learned that his son was experiencing something worse: the onset of schizophrenia, an incurable brain disease that not only stole Mark’s personality and changed him forever, but also changed John, too.

In Finding The Good In Grief – Rediscover Joy After A Life-Changing Loss, John F. Baggett draws upon his experiences and those of others to write about the journey through grief from a Christian perspective. For the framework of the book, John draws on – and expands upon – the five stages of grief that Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross originally identified many years ago in her classic book, On Death and Dying.

Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books on death, loss and grief, and can honestly say that Finding The Good In Grief is one of the most sensitive and beautifully written books I’ve come across. There are a number of things that I loved about this book, including:

  • The incorporation of the author’s personal story into the book
  • The inclusion of Scripture throughout the book
  • The questions at the end of each chapter that move the reader towards healing

If you have suffered any kind of loss or lived through any type of tragedy, I cannot recommend Finding The Good In Grief by John F. Baggett highly enough for your healing journey.

About John F. Baggett

John F Baggett

Rev. Dr. John F. Baggett is a United Methodist pastor, counselor and mental health professional who has served as the Executive Director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of North Carolina and as the Director of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services. John is also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, the Association of Christian Therapists, and other pastoral associations.

John has written several books, including Seeing Through The Eyes Of Jesus and his most recent book, Finding The Good In Grief. John is also a contributing author to the Handbook of Mental Health Administration and Management.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications for review purposes. I was not compensated or required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


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15 Responses to “Finding The Good In Grief by John F. Baggett”

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  1. the onset of schizophrenia is my diagnosis, therefore I am confused while reading that my state is worse than being on drugs. But I would like to read about journey through grief from a Christian perspective because I am going to write about knowing no grief from a schizophrenic’s perspective. When the world close all doors before us, we learn the silence and it fire us with the desire to share the received insights- not fear the names but go beyond the ugly definitions to the fairyland

  2. Wonderful review! So glad I came by today because I want to add this to my must read list.
    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this book. It’s sad what he has gone through with his son.
    Hope your well honey! I always enjoy when you stop by for a visit.
    I am still dealing with the stomach virus but this too shall pass.
    Love ya

  3. LuAnn Braley
    Twitter: KentuckyGal

    Wow…I can only imagine. I worked with a young man once who had been relatively ‘normal’ (whatever that means) until the age of 17. During a fireworks show, he had a seizure and now communicates in a language all his own. People used to say that he did not or could not ‘talk’, but I started mimicking his sounds back to him and he became way, way more animated. Luckily, while it was necessary for him to live in an institution, his mother still visited regularly and was very involved in his life. Contrast that with the family of another client, who did not want to hear anything about her life. They did not want to be contacted on anything…not even hospital visits. It was really sad.

    I know everyone deals with grief in their own way. Even “not dealing” is a form of dealing. But one that will come back to bite you.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      “Not dealing” is one of the things the author talks about in the book. I could not agree with you more – that we all deal with grief in our own way. One of the things I liked about this book was how insightful the author was about identifying some of the many ways we deal with our grief – and some of the many pitfalls we need to watch for to avoid getting stuck in any one place.

      The fireworks story reminds me of how fragile life is and how things can change in the blink of an eye. How sad a story that is.

  4. Esther Joy says:

    Wow! I had some tremendous losses nearly 20 years ago when I lost three siblings in an accident ahead of me on the way to my father’s funeral, but losing a son in this way would be a very different sort of grief…

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Wow – it’s amazing some of the incredibly heartbreaking losses we live through.
      I’m sorry for your loss.
      Whenever I visit your site, I am always so inspired.

  5. Kaye Swain says:

    Oh my, what a difficult journey for this family. But praise God for bringing good from the sorrow with a book that sounds wonderful. I’m pinning this to my Pinterest board – Words of Encouragement and Inspiration – for future reference, along with some others I’ve found that are excellent. Thank you for sharing it.

  6. Donna DM says:

    I’ll have to get this book. I understand this grief, for both of them. Thank you for doing a post on this.

  7. Gail Golden says:

    This book helped me tremendously. I’d always associated grief with death, but through reading it, I was grieving my mother’s illness and having to place her in a nursing home. The book came into my hands at just the right time to help me deal with my emotions. I bought several copies to use in ministry.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      I agree Gail – I also most strongly associate grief with death, but this book reminded me that grief encompasses so many more situations!
      I’m so glad this book came to you at just the right time! I pray it will be a source of comfort and healing for you!

  8. Chootheresa says:

    Hi ; where can I purchase this book. FInding the good in grief….


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