Present Comfort: Meditations on Modern Loss and Grief

Present Comfort: Meditations on Modern Loss and Grief - Julie Yarbrough

Present Comfort: Meditations on Modern Loss and Grief


As a society, we grieve more often and more publicly than ever before, with an urgent need to understand our experience of grief. In the twenty-first century, we are confronted with news of random acts of violence, school shootings, mass slayings, natural disasters, and global pandemics with alarming regularity. Our lives are continuously affected by dire reports of shocking events that seem to threaten the very fiber of our civilization. Those who survive are unprepared to make sense of tragedy. In recent years, the accelerated occurrence of catastrophic events has forced more people to experience grief at an ever earlier age. An entire generation has been compelled to confront the emotions of loss prematurely. In the aftermath of inexplicable death and destruction, we grieve with an all-consuming need for deep, abiding comfort.


The meditations in Present Comfort reflect on many of the complicated, more complex issues of modern grief, and identify many of the issues that may arise from the devastation of loss. Topics include collective grief, collateral grief, survivor torment, outcast grief, unresolved grief, and reconciliation, to name a few. The book offers direction and perspective from a spiritual perspective through the comfort and support of scripture.

Present Comfort is for those who have experienced loss as well as for those who are at a loss to understand the myriad emotions of grief. It is for those who feel sad, bewildered, frustrated, or confused by the chaos and uncertainty that is our current reality in the world. It is for those who feel deeply affected by the extraordinary coincidence of a global pandemic, the death of over one million people worldwide, acts of racial injustice, unprecedented natural disasters, perilous fires, and a climate of political strife that most have never before witnessed in their lifetime. It is for those who grieve the death of a family member, a loved one, a friend, or an acquaintance. It is for those who have lost a job, an income, financial security, or physical property. It is for all those who struggle with the loss of hope.

The intent of Present Comfort is to offer compassion and encouragement to those who grieve, and insight for those who desire to share in the heart and language of grief. The hope of Present Comfort is that it will inspire a deeper sense of the presence of God in every circumstance of life. The assurance of Present Comfort is that in each whisper of comfort, we experience a life-renewing peace found only in the presence of God.

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As a society, we grieve more often and more publicly than ever before, with an urgent need to understand our experience of grief. In the twenty-first century, we are confronted with news of random acts of violence, school shootings, mass slayings, natural disasters, and global pandemics with alarming regularity. Our lives are continuously affected by dire reports of shocking events that seem to threaten the very fiber of our civilization. Those who survive are unprepared to make sense of tragedy. In recent years, the accelerated occurrence of catastrophic events has forced more people to experience grief at an ever earlier age. An entire generation has been compelled to confront the emotions of loss prematurely. In the aftermath of inexplicable death and destruction, we grieve with an all-consuming need for deep, abiding comfort.


The meditations in Present Comfort reflect on many of the complicated, more complex issues of modern grief, and identify many of the issues that may arise from the devastation of loss. Topics include collective grief, collateral grief, survivor torment, outcast grief, unresolved grief, and reconciliation, to name a few. The book offers direction and perspective from a spiritual perspective through the comfort and support of scripture.

Present Comfort is for those who have experienced loss as well as for those who are at a loss to understand the myriad emotions of grief. It is for those who feel sad, bewildered, frustrated, or confused by the chaos and uncertainty that is our current reality in the world. It is for those who feel deeply affected by the extraordinary coincidence of a global pandemic, the death of over one million people worldwide, acts of racial injustice, unprecedented natural disasters, perilous fires, and a climate of political strife that most have never before witnessed in their lifetime. It is for those who grieve the death of a family member, a loved one, a friend, or an acquaintance. It is for those who have lost a job, an income, financial security, or physical property. It is for all those who struggle with the loss of hope.

The intent of Present Comfort is to offer compassion and encouragement to those who grieve, and insight for those who desire to share in the heart and language of grief. The hope of Present Comfort is that it will inspire a deeper sense of the presence of God in every circumstance of life. The assurance of Present Comfort is that in each whisper of comfort, we experience a life-renewing peace found only in the presence of God.

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