Helping too review books is one of the great joys and difficulties in my too-full, yet rich life. When the emails arrive with book suggestions for review. I want them all.
Full disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for a review. My opinions are my own.
Alongside by Sarah Beckham struck me in all the choices that I had, though, because…well, have you read the subtitle? “A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in their Time of Trial”
Book Recommendation: Alongside by Sarah Beckham
Honestly, Alongside should be required reading for every human who interacts with other humans. And I’ve been telling everyone who listen that I’m reading this amazing book that deals with how to love people who are hurting! In fact, I wish that those surrounding me while I grieved the end of a relationship, dreams, and my grandmother’s death had read this book. However, I wonder if a few of my friends helped to write this book.
If you want to learn how to help people who are dealing with loss, you need Alongside by Sarah Beckham.
Part personal story and how to, Alongside maps the route for offering comfort and swerving around the potholes of unhelpful and even hurtful cliche statements. Alongside shares lists of how to analyze what you can do and gifts. Furthermore, Alongside gives rules of thumb to guide you on the meal-preparation-teams, the hospital visits, and what-not-to-say (we need a tv show for this one).
Honestly, this is going to feel like nit-picking. But I wanted more. I wanted more on how important it is to sit in the dark with your hurting friend.
And I wish that Alongside had the space to include the fact that loss includes more than severe illness, death, and divorce. What about the loss of dreams? A job? A dating relationship? Your world perspective?
I really love this book and I think it could change a lot of potentially painful moments for the better.
LOVED that Alongside uses personal experiences, not only the author’s but also stories from others.
LOVED the easy-to-use lists.
LOVED the simple mantras: “it’s not about you” and “listen; don’t speak” and “don’t get caught in grief comparison.”
On a scale of cotton candy to Brussels sprouts, Alongside by Sarah Beckham is a cold glass of full fat milk. It’s thick, refreshing, and nutrient-filled-bone-strengthening goodness.
Alongside challenges readers from page one to take stock of his or her relationship to the hurting person. It’s not about you. And if you want to serve others well, it can never for a moment be about you. More importantly, Alongside emphasizes the gift of listening and not speaking.
Not only do I recommend Alongside, but I think it should be required reading. I know very few people who know how to walk alongside grieving individuals well (and I’m rarely good at it). If you’re struggling to know when and how to care for someone in a tight spot, Alongside is for you.