*** DEBUG END ***

Grief Notes: Walking through loss: The first year after bereavement by Tony Horsfall

15 July 2022

Pat Ashworth reads an articulation of feelings arising from loss

A PARADOX confronts those writing about grieving, because, if there’s one thing everyone in that situation accepts, it is that grieving is different for everyone, and no one can tell you how to do it. The way we grieve is “as unique as our fingerprints”, Tony Horsfall points out in this memoir of the first year after bereavement, drawn from his diary notes.

His grief after losing his wife of 47 years was intensified by the lockdown and consequent loss of the support systems that would normally have come into play. Survival was harder. Eating alone was worse. Almost all that he writes about will be recognisable to those who have lost a spouse, not least the unpredictability of how you will feel at any one time.

In a sense, there is nothing new here. The book doesn’t attempt deep philosophy around death and loss; nor is it a manual on how to cope day by day. But he articulates feelings that resonate, like this one: “It often feels like I live in two worlds at the same time. The one universe is full of kind compassionate friends doing their best to comfort and reassure me. . . But then there’s the space within my head, a parallel universe, to which I must return.”

He finds comfort in his daily devotions; he finds resources that help, and he concludes that grief can provide a “doorway to growth”, in which “hopefully we become deeper people, freed from the shallowness associated with a comfortable life.”


Grief Notes: Walking through loss: The first year after bereavement
Tony Horsfall
BRF £8.99
Church Times Bookshop £8.09

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM: 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Church Times/Canterbury Press:

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

Early bird tickets available



The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)