Postcards from the Land of Grief by Richard Littledale
Carries a real air of authority and integrity from a man who knows how it feels to have loved and lost
Postcards from the Land of Grief
By Richard Littledale
Reviewed by Heather Skull
There are some books that carry a real air of authority and integrity about them. From the moment you start reading, you’re aware of both of those aspects to Richard Littledale’s writing.
I didn’t know quite what to expect although I was fairly certain the Well Meaning But Sometimes Hurtful Platitude chapter would be absent. What I got was a real walk through a dark place with a man who didn’t offer quick fixes, who was honest about the brutally difficult parts of losing someone he loved so much. There are an awful lot of those points but Richard consistently offered tiny glimpses of the light in those frighteningly dark points which can be held onto when everything else seems gone.
One of the most honest points which I think makes this book a real standout is the honesty around what grief is and how it happens. Richard is quite clear that while grief changes, it won’t end in this life. He compares it to suddenly living in a land you do not know – hence the postcards – and talks in many places about how it’s hard to find a new normal within that place. No spoilers here but his account of the Courage Tree gives a gentle encouragement of how to carry on.
There are also suggestions of practical ways to help in the Land of Grief. They are gentle suggestions from a man who knows what it’s like to live in that land and how to deal with the by-products of guilt that grief can bring. He says quite clearly that grief is something people have to do in their own way and just tells it as it is and has been for him.
It carries a gentle authority from a man who is still finding his way practically and spiritually which makes it a book that I will revisit time and time again in the days, months and years to come. I gently commend it to anyone who has also found themselves in a Land of Grief of their own to walk through its pages with a man who knows how it feels to have loved and lost.
Heather Skull is a former BBC Radio Wiltshire journalist and a member of Trowbridge Baptist Church in Wiltshire. She blogs at tractorgirl66.wordpress.com