This is hard. (a new resource)

True confession. I almost didn’t write here about my newest publication project.

This Is Hard is a collection of things I say to people in the moments and hours after a loved one dies. They are words that I’ve found sitting in rooms and walking down the hall and looking in the mirror. They are the responses to things people like you and me say in our moments of loss.

I almost didn’t write about it here because I was a little afraid that it’s not spiritual enough.

It isn’t a collection of sayings about how God works things out for good, or God having a plan, or God not giving us more than we can handle. (The first is really bad timing, the second is complicated, the last isn’t in the Bible.).

And then I realized I wasn’t being fair to you.

This Is Hard acknowledges that this moment of death is hard. And then there are brief chapters reminding us that of course it’s hard to think, that people say stupid things, that we can feel happy for our loved one and sad for ourselves, and even that not everyone who dies is a nice person.

There is also space for people who like to write things down and some prompts. (For example, “What will you never say to a person going through this” and “What do you want to say to the person who is grieving.”)

I make no claim that this is the best book or the most comprehensive book on grief and loss. In fact, that’s not my goal. Instead, I wanted to have a small resource that says what I would say if I were there.

You may find that helpful, too. Since most of us don’t have lots of experience with what to say to others in those moments. And even when we have lots of experience, we still need to find words.

You can read it for free at

You can buy it at amazon: This Is Hard: What I Say When Loved Ones Die

If you want 100 or more copies, you can email me about that.

And if you find it helpful, I’d love for you share it with other people who need to know “this is hard.”

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