A Grief Unveiled by Gregory Floyd

reviewed by Grace.

“There is a difference between early grief and later grief. Early grief is acute; later grief is more diffuse. Early grief smacks, stings, punches; later grief is more gentle. Early grief is a stalker; later grief is a companion. Early grief is crags and crevices; later grief is furrows softened by the passage of time” (Gregory Floyd).

Each of us experiences this mysterious phenomenon of grief in our lives, to which I am certainly no stranger. In the early months after leaving the community I had discerned with, my mom, who spent many years in the field of social work, gently said to me, “I think you’re grieving. You need to let yourself grieve. To cry. To work through what has taken place. You lived a very beautiful and yet difficult life and it is a loss for you.” To which I responded, “No, I’m not. I’m fine. The Lord called me to leave and there is grace for me to transition. I’ll get through this.” Little did I realize that while there was a tremendous amount of grace, that I was in fact certainly going through the grief process, but didn’t want to admit it.

A dear friend of mine passed away during my canonical year and as I was trying to make sense of it all, A Grief Unveiled was given to me. In my opinion, it is one of the best written works on grief available as it articulates the rawness of feelings and emotions one can experience as well as a magnificent integration of our Catholic beliefs to anchor and carry us through the storm of loss, whatever form it may take. As I read it again for the second time in the different context I now find myself in, I receive new insight to what often lies unable to be articulated by my heart. How grateful I am to the Floyds for writing their journey of the Cross so that others might be led to the glory of the Resurrection, the fulfillment of Calvary.

From the back cover of A Grief Unveiled: One Father’s Journey Through the Death of a Child

A candid account of sudden grief and recovery

It was a lazy afternoon in April, 1995, when the unthinkable happened. Six-year-old John-Paul, the youngest son of Gregory and Maureen Floyd, was playing in the front lawn with his brother David when both were struck by an out-of-control car. Rushed to separate hospitals, David survived with bruises, but John-Paul died instantly. In A Grief Unveiled, Floyd reveals with painstaking candor his journey through the sorrow of losing a young child – dealing not only with his own broken heart, but also with the struggle to reconstruct his role as husband, father and protector.

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