Order your copy of the book, I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY today.
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “I didn’t Know What to Say” by David Knapp.]
4 out of 4 stars
Review by AbbyC
Title: I Didn’t Know What To Say
Author: David Knapp
In I Didn’t Know What To Say, David Knapp offers real life experience to friends of grievers. Suggestions on what should and should not be said coupled with ideas to actually help those hurting are all shown through real life examples. The loss of a job is a serious thing for those who have dedicated their life to their work and should not be taken lightly. To a couple who have never had children or a small girl who’s best friend is her dog, the loss of a pet can be devastating. The loss of a spouse or child are both traumatizing and friends shouldn’t expect the mourner to ‘just get over it’ anytime soon.
As the author points out often in his book, everyone losses something precious to them at some point in their lives which means that everyone knows someone who has experienced loss. Whether it was a child, spouse, job or even a pet; there are levels of grieving that everyone goes through. How you as a friend react to this process is a key instrument in helping them through it.
When I was younger I lost a distant relative who I wasn’t very close to. I was very close with another member of the immediate family though and it was so hard not knowing what to do or say to help them. Reading this book showed me what I did right, what I did wrong, and where I could have done more. I wish I had had it back then.
The author doesn’t simply offer advice from his own experience and perspective but years accumulation of suggestions and advice from men and woman who had experienced deep loss in some way. He covers the different types of emotional responses that can be expected and emphasizes everyone’s right to grieve in their own way. Also, while the author comes from a distinctly Christian perspective, he talks about being sensitive and accepting of others religious (or non-religious) beliefs during the grieving process.
This is a great book for anyone to read, whether you know someone who is grieving at the moment or not. Everything is to the point, makes sense and is easy to understand. I highly suggest it just for the sake of having this know-how for the next time you friend wants to talk about his lost job or the neighbor next door loses her precious cat. I give I Didn’t Know What To Say 4 out of 4 stars for being almost completely unique in it’s advice for the friend of grievers, and for it’s usefulness to nearly everyone in this modern day and age where we are so disconnected and really just don’t know what to say.
David, it was a pleasure meeting you. Thanks for the gift of your book. it has ministered to me in a special way, changed my prospective on a long held opinion of how long a person should grieve. My opinion as I so strongly stated to you proved to be absolutely and totally incorrect. You have given me a new and better way to minister to those who have suffered a loss. Thanks and may our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you and keep you as you continue this much needed ministry.
The Author has presented the reader with tools, lessons, & goals for experiencing loss that are not only compassionate, & fulfilling, but also practical, & realistic. Tools for dealing with the loss of a friend or family member. lessons on what to say & how to say it, to people who are deal with loss. A must read on the subject of being a better friend to those who experience loss. His guidance of what to say & when to say it can be applied to every aspect of life, & all its stressful times. Allan V Lewell. B.S., B.B.S., M.C.S
“David is a great author and friend. Most importantly he addresses the most important issues for the modern man as a speaker. I am glad to have him on my talk show. “
Robin Stienberg, Edinburgh Napier University
Wilson Phang DM, PhD (Denver)
Just introduced your work to Cornerstone Christian Counseling therapists and Grief Share group. Thank you for your ministry.
Rob Heijermans (Canada)
I read your book this summer. Thank you. I lost my wife to pancreatic cancer six months ago
Did your parents, your school, your church ever teach you how to respond to someone in grief? I have been finding that most people say no. Well here is a book to fill that gap, as we all need to know how to handle grief. I have found it most helpful in guiding one to know what to say and not say, and when to speak up or remain silent.
John R. Cross
It was a Monday like most. Chores to do, tasks to be accomplished. And I had to go grocery shopping. Not my favorite thing to do. But the refrigerator was looking awfully bare, so I made it my last stop before going home.
I pull up to the store and park on the side because of all the street construction. Once inside I purposefully get what’s needed and swoop into… oops, need one more thing. Pull out of line, search for the right aisle, grab the distilled water and get back into the fastest (I hope) check-out lane.
I hadn’t seen this gal, but then again they’re always changing, right? As she’s checking me out, I notice this rather large gash that’s healing across the bridge of her nose. Not wanting to be nosy I resist asking, but I’m so curious.
Then her supervisor comes up to her with a clipboard and they talk in quick, incomplete sentences about the work schedule and then walks away.
The clerk, Shannon, I see on her name badge, says to no one in particular, “I can work six days a week….” Then she looks at me and explains, “Our Day Manager was killed in a car accident on Saturday night.”
Whoah. Less than two days ago! “Is this the thin one?” I ask in stunned alarm. Since I’m there at the store fairly often, I do recall her…
“Yes. I feel a measure of guilt,” she says as she scans my items, “though I know you’re not supposed to.” Looking at her intently and indicating that I wanted to listen, she continued. “I was in a car accident two weeks ago and got pretty banged up.” She motions towards the cut and goes on to describe how she had a concussion and had five days off because of it. “Then I returned to work a little too early. I couldn’t make it through my full shift and had to leave. I told them I couldn’t come in the next day too. I needed to rest. So everyone had to take up the slack. She,” (I never did get the Day Manager’s name) “said she’d do it and go riding with her boyfriend on Saturday. If I wouldn’t have changed things around…” her voice trailed off.
I comforted her, reassuring her that she was in no way responsible. But still she was hurting. Her demeanor was professional of course, but the emotional hurt was obviously there. I quickly mentioned about my husband’s book and searched for his business card that we designed that has an intriguing design leading to the message of the book. But I couldn’t find one in my big, everyday full-of-everything-else purse.
As I wheeled the cart out to my car, I remembered that we kept books in the trunk. Quickly I dialed David to see what he thought. Without skipping a beat he said, “Give her a book.”
I went back into the store and stood beside her until she could give me her attention and handed her his book. She hugged me tightly and said, “Thank you. Thank you very much.”
That was the second time in two weeks we have given away a book because of the person’s immediate need. I knew it was right and wondered throughout the evening what might come of it.
Oddly, I couldn’t shake the account of this motorcycle accident and the Day Manager. It kept coming to mind. Little by little over the next couple of days visual pieces of another encounter began to come together…
I was in the checkout lane nearest the west entrance, bright sun shone in almost blinding you. They hadn’t pulled the blinds yet. And the clerk, it was her! The Day Manager. Thin, very thin and very tanned – weathered looking – so it was impossible to guess her age. I had been in her lane! Possibly the Monday or Tuesday before!
She really never acknowledged me. Having less than 15 items, there was very little interaction – no time. And, as I recall — someone came up to her with a clipboard while she was checking me out.
The scene kept “filling out.”
As I’m gathering my few bags, she’s not looking at me. She’s just standing, arching her back and looking straight ahead almost bored with the constant, repetitive actions. Almost under her breath with some sense of anticipation she says, “Yeah, I’ll do it. That way I get to go riding with my boyfriend on Saturday.”
I was there that day never knowing that I’d never stand in her line again. I was there when she quickly rearranged her weekend plans, never knowing it would be her last because of a horrific accident that didn’t even make the local evening news.
I’m still stunned by it. What am I to learn? I’ve always been pretty sensitive to the brevity of life and the finality of death. But still, I guess you never really do know, do you?
I am writing you a quick thank you message for writing the book you authored on grief and how to handle it. My family was ravaged and touched by grief over the last 10 years following my divorce. The mother of my children kidnapped my two kids and fled to Alaska with them. Took a lot of effort by Law enforcement, Governor’s office and God’s grace in three states to find them and return them to me. Then, while awaiting prosecution for the act, Zach and Katie’s mother committed suicide on Christmas eve 2014. My whole family has been dealing with this pain and sorrow so bad and your book has been a big help in the healing process. You were most definitely guided in your witness. Thank you and God bless. David L Fooks
“Have you ever felt uncomfortable in trying to help someone who is grieving a loss? Did you ever “shrink back” because you didn’t know how best to be a support and didn’t want to make it worse? Few of us know what to say or do to offer real comfort, that is, until now. Through his own heartfelt grieving, David has overcome, breaking down the process for us and providing a road map for anyone who wants to “be there” for a hurting person. Since loss affects us all at one time or another, this book should be a very helpful tool.”
David Knapp has given me a whole new insight on how to talk with a grieving friend or family member. He shares his experience with his own losses; he helps us to understand how we can be a better friend to those who are experiencing grief. How many times have I said to myself, I hate funerals because I just never know what to say to that friend or family member who has just lost a loved one?
Saying I am sorry for the lost just never seems to be enough. So I have found myself unconsciously avoiding that person because, I just didn’t know what to say. When I reflect back, how many times I have been guilty of saying to someone that their loved one is out of pain and is no longer suffering, or to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord was just so insensitive while trying to give words of comfort, I was jabbing at a fresh wound. Even though they may know their loved one is out of pain and with the Lord there is a huge whole in their life because of the missing loved one.
David Knapp has shown me that it is alright to talk about the deceased loved one, or to talk to someone who has just lost a job or a best friend, because loss of a career of friend can be just as devas ting as loosing someone in death. It’s alright to just talk, because maybe all they need is for someone to listen. Grief is never an easy thing to deal with. I hardily recommend this book to anyone who has ever said or thought to themselves, I just don’t know what to say to a grieving friend or family member.
Carolyn A. Walker
Former Arizona State Senator
Order your copy of the book, I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY today.