Chicken Soup For The Soul

Welcome to Sheila Roe, an Arizona author. Sheila and I met several years ago, and since then, She’s been busy writing! She shares with us about her story for Chicken Soup For The Soul this week, and is offering TWO signed paperback copies to two of you who leave a comment.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving, Loss & Healing

It’s not a question of “if”, but “when” grief will intrude on your life. While it’s true there are many aspects to grief, they may rear their ugly heads in random patterns, look like something unexpected and even ambush you in a quiet moment when everything seems to be fine.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving, Loss & Healing is a collection of 101 true stories of grief. Each story is unique, yet there are commonalities across the spectrum. Thankfully, as our society has become more open about sharing difficult times, the way in which we approach grief as individuals and families has evolved. Chapter 7: “The Monty Dinner” is the story of a first-grief experience for children. As related in this chapter, that experience is often the death of a beloved family pet. What was a crushing blow to our children provided our family an opportunity to lay the groundwork for grief experiences to come later in life.

“The silence in the car is oppressive as we drive home on Thursday night. Just the four of us and an empty collar. The weight of a tiny dog is crushing all of us with his absence. Glancing at my husband behind the wheel, his eyes fixed on the road ahead, I turn to Max and Emma in the back seat. “Okay, tomorrow night we’re having dinner in the dining room. Your job is to find your favorite picture of Monty and bring it, and a story that goes with it.” They stare vacantly ahead. I’m not even sure they have heard me.

As parents, we do the best we can, often crafting plans on the fly, hoping they will yield the results we need and expect. In the end, we must have faith that the journey is what was intended. Perhaps it will heal us, certainly it will test us, but ultimately, it will strengthen us if we choose to share it with those we love and He who loves us through moments of darkness and light. 

How has a loss affected you and your family?

Arizona author Sheila Roe has worked with those in grief since 2003. She served as a Group Facilitator for and was the lead Facilitator Trainer and Director of Development for Walking the Mourner’s Path and acted as a consultant to the Journey to Joy grief recovery program. She has written extensively about grief, including its annual cost to American business and has presented grief training programs across the country. Sheila is a public speaker and freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona whose work has been published in newspapers, magazines and books in the U.S. and Europe.

She is an award-winning author who co-wrote and co-edited the Arizona Centennial anthology Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Writers and Journalists 1912 – 2012, the co-author of New Beginnings, Daily Christian Studies to Begin Your Grief Recovery, the author of Surviving the Holidays with a Grieving Heart and an author included in the 2022 Chicken Soup for the Soul book entitled Grieving, Loss and Healing.

13 thoughts on “Chicken Soup For The Soul

  1. It is so crucial for us to acknowledge grief in our lives and to take the time and effort to process it well. This sounds like a wonderful book to which Sheila has contributed.

    • Martha, thank you for your comments. Such a difficult topic, but so rewarding to see the hope that can emerge on the other side of dealing with it. I hope you enjoy receiving a copy of the book for your participation in our discussion.

    • Tracy, thank you. The origins of The Monty Dinner show that we can be led where we need to be if we trust more than we question. I hope you enjoy receiving a copy of the book.

      • I got the chance to read this lovely story the other day and I was deeply impressed with the unconditional love Monty was showered with by a the members of a lovely family, especially Max and Emma. To live in the hearts we left behind is never to die at all. Wishing you the best in your writing, Sheila.

        Saudi Arabia

  2. So happy to have Sheila Roe here at Christian Gifts And Home Decor in Payson today, March 12th from 11 am to 2 pm. It’s truly a blessing that she is using the writing talent she has been given to touch others in their time of grief. Hope you will come out and meet Sheila, buy a book and have it signed.

    • Candy, thank you for a wonderful day at Christian Gifts & Home Decor! I’m not sure how you arranged the glorious weather, but it was a “10”! It was a real pleasure to visit with guests who came to your store and to be able to share my new book and its healing stories with them. Thank you for making Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving, Loss and Healing a part of your store’s book inventory.

    • Peggy, thank you for your kind words. I cannot take credit for the idea. I simply acted as a conduit from above, but the results showed that we can trust in His guidance in times both happy and sad.

  3. Ms Roe, I am a fellow contributor to this latest Chicken Soup book, and when my box of books arrived I sat down and began reading. Of course, it wasn’t long into the book before I came to your story about Monty.

    What an excellent and insightful idea you came up with to help your children, as well as yourself, navigate the loss of a pet. And the fact that you return to this when the sad times set in again, as they will, makes for such a helpful bridge over those hard moments.

    Well done, you!

    • R’becca, thank you for your kind words. After reading your story in the book, I know we have both experienced the power of photographs. They are a tangible reminder of people and experiences that are otherwise imprinted only on our hearts. I send my wishes for peace and comfort to you on your grief journeys.

  4. Grief touches everyone, but we each handle it in unique ways. I think of times I’ve grieved in my life, and the most difficult were those with folks who I wasn’t sure was secure in Christ before their death. Thank you for introducing us to this sweet lady, who helps folks navigate through difficult waters indeed.

  5. J.D., I find there is tremendous healing in walking with others through their grief journeys, allowing them to set the pace but gently encouraging them forward to make their own discoveries.

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