BOOK REVIEW: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven and Other Miracles
With all the warmth and comfort the Chicken Noodle Soup series has become known for, this installment, entitled “Messages from Heaven and Other Miracles” is no exception. These stories are heartwarming windows into the lives of others experiencing grief, and serve as inspiration for the reader’s own healing. Whether it be a loss from a […]
With all the warmth and comfort the Chicken Noodle Soup series has become known for, this installment, entitled “Messages from Heaven and Other Miracles” is no exception. These stories are heartwarming windows into the lives of others experiencing grief, and serve as inspiration for the reader’s own healing. Whether it be a loss from a year ago, or a loss from 35 years ago, this fresh batch of stories deals with how their authors have been helped through their grief by the various ways we are comforted after a loved one’s death. Finding a letter written in your mother’s handwriting, the sound of your grandmother’s windchimes on a day when there’s no wind, your father’s favorite song playing on the radio at the exact time you need it – these are all ways the living process the loss of our loved ones. Having some piece of them, no matter how small or coincidental, makes remembering them easier, and parting with them a little less painful. For some people, it’s only through these “signs” that they are able to accept the loss and move on.
Grief is an extremely personal subject, and the book does a great job of offering something for everyone. I was able to identify with several stories (my personal favorite being “Horse from Heaven”). There’s something very comforting about reading the stories of how others were comforted that can’t help but cradle you as well. Losing my grandfather in February of this year was a very painful experience, and peppered through the pages of this book I can see my own experiences and emotions. Knowing that you are not alone is a powerful feeling, and in my opinion that is the strength of this Chicken Soup edition.
Primarily, the stories are about communication with loved ones (in some fashion) after their passing. The bulk of the stories contain a narrative which describes the grieving being “reached out” to from their deceased loved one. It also has varying descriptions of heaven, angels, and the like. At times, it may not perfectly align with anyone’s doctrine of choice, and if that type of conversation is uncomfortable for, you may need to skip this installment. However, it’s important to remember that this is how the author(s) genuinely feels God has decided to reassure and comfort them in their time of sorrow. These experiences are deeply personal and vital to the people writing about them. So, while you or I may not personally agree with the concepts described in the stories, we can still appreciate the peace the experience has given the person and glean from it a seed of hope which may ease our own suffering. At the end of the day, it’s simply about being inspired to live again.
Because of some more mature themes, this book merits the Dove-Approved Seal for Ages 12+
The Dove Take:
The strength of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven and Other Miracles is its ability to make readers feel, even in some small way, that they are not alone in their grief.