LIVING FULLY IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH: Assurance and Guidance to Finish Well

Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge, Author, Robert C. De Vries, Author . Baker $14.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8010-6507-1

Zonnebelt-Smeenge, a clinical psychologist, and De Vries, a pastor and seminary professor, bill their work as everyone's guide to preparing for and coping with death from a Christian perspective. They have forged a reliable tool for the job. Well-organized sections view death from three seasons of life: during good health; after a dire diagnosis; and near the end. Each explains the physical and psychological aspects of facing death, and each offers scripture meditations and prayers. The authors' experiences—each lost a spouse to cancer—lend a gentle personal touch. Practical suggestions abound, answering the flood of questions that come with the prospect of dying. For example, the first section explains what a will should include and how to explain death to children; the last section tells how to recognize that a person has died. The meditations mine scripture for strong insights about such issues as God's control of life, the reason God allows suffering and whether a person should be cremated. The work never mentions hell, focusing exclusively on the joys of heaven. An appendix recommends books to help children, adolescents and young adults deal with grief and death. Zonnebelt-Smeenge and De Vries handle a difficult topic with grace and expertise, and many will find their work useful and comforting. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 07/01/2004
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