This book is an honest faith-based look at the grieving process, including the 5 stages of grief, and lesser-covered aspects of grief, such as crisis of faith, strain on marriage, pressure to “move on,” and how one real family found light as they navigated the experience. While the circumstances surrounding the narrative are specifically related to child loss, Joy Comes in the Mourning offers hope for people enduring grief of any kind.
About the Author
Jessica has been a teacher, musician, entrepreneur, wife, and mother. She discovered a passion for telling true stories following the passing of her son and blogs on grief and marriage at www.heartfullypresent.com. Jessica and her husband share their hearts with four miracle children, and on any given day can be found working together at the kitchen table or living at the local baseball fields. This memoir is Jessica’s debut book, written in celebration of her son LJ’s 10th birthday.
Barton Wallace –
I have enjoyed reading other things by this author because her writing style is so gut real, but this has to be her best work. Not that anyone wants to experience loss and grief, but how else can you explain it without first experiencing it. She describes the various stages of grief and how she experienced them (sometimes well and other times not so much). But isn’t that how we all deal with grief.? She has a way of putting into words things I’ve felt but never could explain. I especially liked her suggestions for how to help others who have experienced some kind of loss. This book would be a great help to someone struggling with loss or for those who love them and want to help. Highly recommend!
What a fantastic read! I am struggling to find the words to express why you should read this book. Read it because it’s well written. Read it because it will touch your soul. Read it to learn how to deal with loss. Read it for the “what to do’s” and “what not to do’s” when someone loses someone special. You will cry, you will laugh, you will fall in love with the author and her story. Oh, and you’ll cry. Joy Comes in the Mourning is a true story of love and loss that will pull at your heart strings. Read it, love it and recommend it to everyone. Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your story.
Michelle Wandell –
Wow! This book has pulled at my heart strings! Reading this book has opened my eyes in so many ways. I have not lost a child, but I lost my nephew. This not only helped me go through grief for myself, it gave me and in-depth perspective of what my dear sister experienced, and still experiences. I would recommend this to anyone who is dealing with loss of any kind. And truly, to family members, so we can get a realization of how to help. You can tell that the things Jessica wrote in this book are things that anyone would feel, but things that are too hard to talk about. Thank you for opening your heart and pouring it out for us. I have truly been touched by LJ’s story.
Lindsey Allen –
This book was an incredible read that pulls on the heart strings and gives you a raw look into the heart of a mother who has lost a precious baby but found joy through the pain. This book gives you proof that GOD has his hand on every situation and has a plan bigger than any of us can imagine. There is no other explanation for how things have unfolded in Jessica and her family’s life. This book is vital for any parent who has lost a child but also for those who know someone going through that pain. Her honesty is a guide on how to help loved ones through their loss , and not just right afterwards – for years down the road. You don’t want to miss this read! Just grab some tissues! ❤️
So much gratitude for this book, which tugs at the heartstrings on so many levels. Joy Comes in the Mourning teaches us that what we feel when we are grieving, all of it…. is absolutely okay.
Jessica Allen’s writing gives hope, even in the darkest hour. This book is for anyone who has experienced loss, or knows someone who has. It is heart wrenching, uplifting, beautiful, and joyous.
This is the book I desperately needed after going through my own loss. Through a simple and honest sharing of her own experiences, Jessica manages to infuse hope into a seemingly hopeless and painful time. She invites the reader into her home and her heart, offering other Moms the chance to feel normal and not so alone as they attempt to make sense of a senseless event. Joy Comes in the Mourning is not only a literary hug and a shoulder to cry on but also a practical guide for navigating the emotional devastation of losing a child.
This gifted author manages to take life’s most challenging experiences, and put words to her (and our) most deeply felt emotions. Whether one’s grief is infant loss, or another kind of loss, one quickly ‘hears’ the truth on these pages. No longer feeling the isolation of the grief experience, the reader immediately connects with this journey that is so exquisitely tied to this author’s amazing faith………a hope and joy that we all desire!
Linda McBride –
Jessica writes with courage and bravery as she openly shares her heart with readers. It is such an easy read for such a difficult topic, more like a soul-satisfying conversation with a dear friend. Very practical help is found in the pages for dealing with grief and for how to support loved ones experiencing it. We are reminded that grief has no set timeline and because we are individuals, we will have a unique path to processing loss and finding our path to a new normal.
Lisa C –
You will benefit from this book as a friend and family member or someone going through any kind of loss. I wish I had this resource years ago to be more helpful to my sister. The author gives specific ways we can help in actions and words, and also things that are NOT helpful. Her stories are not sugar-coated…the book is real life – heartbreaking and heartwarming. All the emotions are in this book (including some comic relief every now and then) and it is written so well. I will be reading her book again and I know I will get something different from it each time. I am buying copies for a few friends who have also experienced incredible loss, but not necessarily the same kind. I think that her grief journey is relatable to many different kinds of loss. The book is small enough to fit in my purse and the chapters are short enough to read even just on a quick wait to pick up my kids.
Alicia Webster –
Whether you have experienced a loss or you have a friend who is grieving, this is a must read. Jessica opens up to every crevice of her grief journey in the most honest, humble, beautiful and powerfully relatable way. The journey is as non-linear as mourning can be but she manages to put into words every emotion in the process. This living memorial can breathe hope into any weary soul. So grateful to know we are not alone…
J.R. Smith –
This book was a read I didn’t know I needed in my life. Going through my own trials it has really helped. As a man it is difficult to really acknowledge your grief and I feel more at ease and encouraged to help myself. And as a person that does not handle grief well with others the tips I received on things to do or say was extremely helpful. I can not recommend this book enough especially for those who feel they don’t know how to just be when around those who are grieving.
Lori Phillips –
Oh, Sweet Jessica. While we in your universe were praying and crying and praying even more for you, Jack, and LJ, we now read about the crippling pain you endured as well as your endeavor to work through that pain in your daily lives. Your beautiful words are invaluable for anyone that struggles with moving forward after the loss of a loved one.
Thank you for sharing your story with the world.
This is as much a “how-to” as it is a beautiful story. It’s captivating and can be read in one sitting. I loved the personal experiences the author shares, and I feel better prepared to comfort my loved ones on their own grief journeys having read this.
Charlsie Gomez (verified owner) –
Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone! Whether you have experienced a heartbreaking loss like the author’s family, or you are supporting a grieving family member or friend (at some point, this is every single one of us), this book is for you. Jessica is raw and authentic and real, and following this journey via her blog and now this book is a true privilege. She has a true gift for storytelling, and reading this book is like getting great advice from an old friend. You will laugh, you will cry, and most importantly, you will be better equipped to deal with anything life throws your way.
Gwen Bengfort –
I so loved reading this book and wish it had been available six years ago when I lost my sister, Sally! Her death was not unexpected and I certainly had time to prepare my heart and mind for her passing, but grief is a funny thing…it sneaks up on you and holds you hostage until you deal with it. That’s the only way to describe the process and emotions I experienced in the months after she died. I thought I went through the stages of grief… I surely experienced all of them during the period she was in hospice care. It was many months later, relating our last conversation to a dear friend who asked me if Sally had been a believer. I said, “I think so!” and I remembered Sally asking me if I truly thought Heaven was real. I answered quickly and with conviction — YES!!! In remembering and acknowledging my witness to my sweet sister, I began to heal!
Thank you, dear Jessica, for documenting your journey and giving your suffering an endpoint! How glorious!!!
This book is thoughtful and honest, at times hard to read and yet, I could not put it down. I recommend it to anyone who has experienced a loss and wants the healing to begin! Our Father in Heaven desires this!!!!
Jennifer Wilder Morgan –
Profound. Real. Devastating. Healing. Joyful. These are just some of the words that describe Jessica Allen’s story. In her Foreword, Jessica states, “I realize now that there really isn’t an “other side.” Rather, real people with real grief simply find a path moving forward and choose to walk it one step at a time.” Joy Comes in the Mourning is a beautiful and moving chronicle of how she did just that…on step at a time…one breath at a time. If we allow ourselves to be immersed in her journey, we will better learn how to live within our own grief experiences, as well as how to walk alongside others who are navigating through the shadows of death, grief and loss. The turning of each page brings with it the faithful whisper of God’s ever-present patience and love. What a blessing. Please share this with the people you love.
Jennifer Wilder Morgan
Mary Davis –
Jessica’s amazing ability to share her heartbreaking experience of grief touched my heart and soul.
Stacie Hardy –
Joy Comes in the Mourning is a gentle guide and hopeful read for anyone who is grieving. Jessica shares her experience after the loss of a child and her perspective through honest story-telling, an easy-to-read style, and hopeful messaging. Regardless of the “why” behind your grief, this book is full of insight and practical advice that will help you navigate through your own emotions. If your heart is hurting, fix a tea, curl up in a blanket, and take comfort in reading this book.
Gaby Hagler (verified owner) –
Through the author’s candid sharing of a decade of brilliant and jagged introspection, I came to face with my stubborn fear of grief for the first time. This powerful little book is jam packed with a deep bravery and a gracefully raw richness that jerks tears and laughs whether the reader is ready or not! There is no fluff here; yet the author’s voice is so beautiful that it feels like a gentle slide into the deepest parts of one’s own soul. Every single line is carefully crafted to deliver a sacred personal story in a way that offers much needed practical information about grief and its intricacies. I love how the author explains – specifically – what words and gestures from loved ones have been helpful versus hurtful and visa versa during the various stages of her journey.
This book is eloquent bravery bound succinctly into powerful pages that everyone should have in their home … and etched in their hearts.
Erin Reeves –
Thank you so much, Jessica, for baring your heart for the world to see. Though losing your child is an experience no one should ever have to endure, it is a story that all too many need to hear, and your unique perspective will speak to so many in grief.
To those in pain, I pray you will allow Jessica’s words and and especially her testament of faith to speak life into your own experience as you move through your own grief journey.
Jerry T –
This book is an incredible, true-to-life account of a tragedy-to-triumph journey through the loss of an infant child. Jessica relates not only the struggles she went through after the death of her son, but adds her personal insights into how she was able to work through them to rebuild her life, save her marriage and hold her family together. A story sure to bring tears of both sorrow and joy to anybody who reads it – and a road map for anybody going through difficult times and how to overcome them.
Nancy Miller –
The things the author felt are the things I’m going through… this book is amazing, and it’s going to help so many people.
George Kalamaras, poet –
During the snows last evening I sat and read your book, fireside, cover to cover… I felt engaged throughout… your writing itself propels one through the narrative. I was especially moved…
Tricia Monticello Kievlan (verified owner) –
“Joy” is warm, approachable, and deeply moving. Jessica shares her story in a way that reveals her own grief and also explores larger themes about grief, love, and loss. I haven’t experienced a loss like hers, but this book still resonated deeply with me: I was struck by her sage advice for how to be supportive of a grieving loved one, especially her guidance about what to say — and what to leave unsaid. Further, Jessica touches on the guilt, shame, and silence that surrounds postpartum physical and mental health, both of which are enormous parts of women’s lives that don’t get the airtime, consideration, or seriousness that they deserve. I especially appreciated the book’s structure: sections about LJ’s life and the aftermath of his passing are punctuated by brief, thoughtful chapters that reflect on the book’s larger themes. “Joy” works equally well as a book to be read straight through and as something to be revisited in shorter bursts, perhaps as a starting point for meditation, reflection, or prayer. I look forward to returning to it and continuing to reflect on its insights.
Jamie (verified owner) –
Jessica did an amazing job telling LJ’s story. Reading her process through grief has not only helped me through my own grief, but has shown me how to help others who are grieving as well. He insight to the “stages of grief” and how it affects each of us differently makes you feel like you are not alone, and it is ok, to not be ok. I cant Wait to share this with loved ones that are currently in the trenches of loosing their mom, a spouse, and a father.