Breathing Through Grief

A Devotional Journal for Seasons of Loss

About the Book

Reflect on your unique path through grief with this guided journal, featuring compassionate resources, short devotionals, and heartfelt essays from the perspective of a woman who has walked her own journey of loss.

After the sudden loss of her husband, Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young felt lost in her grief. With Breathing Through Grief, she provides a comforting, giftable resource for those who are processing their own loss, whether of a loved one, a season of life, or a dream. In addition to the twenty-five short devotionals that each focus on a different aspect of grief from Dorina's personal experience, the journal includes special resources such as breathing exercises, reflection questions, soul care tips, ample writing space, advice on how to talk to children about death, suggestions on how to approach triggers, and creative ways to honor a loved one’s memory. 

If you or someone close to you is walking through loss⁠, let the comforting words in Breathing Through Grief encourage you with the knowledge that you are not alone and bring you a semblance of peace as you continue forward on the road to healing.
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Praise for Breathing Through Grief

“For thirty years, I’ve experienced a series of unexpected and traumatic losses. One after the other, they turned my life upside down. It was only through experiencing grief—not avoiding it—that I finally discovered healing and new hope. But I needed friends and guides to walk through it with me. Dorina Gilmore and her book Breathing Through Grief are two such friends. With gentleness, they will hold your hand through a season you never wanted.”—Michele Cushatt, author of A Faith That Will Not Fail: 10 Practices to Build Up Your Faith When Your World Is Falling Apart

Breathing Through Grief is the best devotional journal I’ve read to help navigate the sorrow of loss with hope. Dorina gives us a beautiful tool, steeped in scripture, to unpack the emotions, struggles, and questions that come in grief. This book would make a meaningful gift for anyone walking through the pain of grief.”—Lisa Appelo, author of Life Can Be Good Again: Putting Your World Back Together After It All Falls Apart

Breathing Through Grief offers a well of serenity in the bewildering desert of crushing loss. Like a bright light in the darkness, it will be a faithful companion not only for grievers but also for those who desire to weep with those who weep and bless all who mourn.”—Marcie Alvis Walker, author of Everybody Come Alive

Breathing Through Grief makes space for grievers to reflect, honor, grieve, and just breathe. With personal stories, biblical insight, relevant scriptures, and prayers, Dorina provides a road map for the journey of grief. With gracious pauses along the way, Breathing Through Grief is a necessary resource for every grieving heart.”—Natasha Smith, author of Can You Just Sit with Me? Healthy Grieving for the Losses of Life

 “Breathing Through Grief is a gentle and practical guide for mourners. Dorina writes with the hard-won wisdom of a fellow griever, making space for our sorrow but also for our hope.”—Amanda Held Opelt, songwriter and author of A Hole in the World: Finding Hope in Rituals of Grief and Healing

“In Breathing Through Grief, Dorina gently makes room to emotionally and practically sort out the overwhelming pain of loss. When the death of a loved one leaves us feeling unable even to breathe, this book points us straight back to our very Breath of Life.”—Danita Jenae, author of When Mountains Crumble: Rebuilding Your Life After Losing Someone You Love

Breathing Through Grief is beautifully written and incredibly practical. The pages are thoughtfully filled with solid teaching from scripture, space to honestly process, helpful perspective, and, ultimately, hope. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is in a season of loss and for those who may have experienced an especially painful time in the past. The words found in these pages will be a balm for those who are hurting.”—Vivian Mabuni, national speaker, podcast host, Bible teacher, and author of Open Hands, Willing Heart
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Breathing Through Grief


When I spoke my wedding vows, I never dreamed those words—“in sickness and health, until death do us part”—would mean burying my husband eleven years later. I imagined having babies, doing ministry as a team, and chasing careers. We dreamed of traveling to distant shores and fulfilling dreams together.

I never imagined the word cancer would one day separate us before we were old and gray.

I never dreamed there would be a day when I would usher my young daughters—ages two, five, and eight—into the room, one by one, and urge them to kiss Daddy one more time.

I never dreamed I would be cradling his hand in mine, fingering that wedding band—an unending circle of love between us—as his hazel eyes moved toward dawn’s light streaming wildly through the blinds of our bedroom window the moment before he left his broken body behind.

I never dreamed I would kneel by his grave when our three girls were still so young, and we would all have to whisper our goodbyes.

This is a story I never would have written for myself. But this is the story I’ve lived. I’ve also learned the grief journey can be lonely. We can start to second guess ourselves when we are navigating grief. We can start to wonder if we are the only ones on this wild and weaving path. Maybe you haven’t lost a spouse but you have experienced loss in another way. Maybe you have buried a parent, a friend, or a child.

Maybe you have left a job, a community, or a church. Maybe you have faced infertility or experienced a miscarriage. Maybe you have been abandoned by a family member or betrayed by a friend. Maybe your marriage is broken or you have endured some kind of medical trauma. Maybe your heart is bleeding from the injustice in our world.

Friend, this book is for you.

I wish I could give you a five-step plan, grant you a wish from a magic lamp, or write you a how-to guide that could help you get through grief faster. Unfortunately, the only way through grief is through. You have to do the work. No prescription or pill will help you bypass that pain. However, I’m here to offer you a hand because I do not want you to journey alone.

This journal is an invitation for you to make space for your own grief. Accompanied by glimpses into my personal story, each devotional section will invite you to process your experience as you fill these pages with thoughts, prayers, fears, and any other whispers of your heart, both in response to the Inhale prompt sections and in the free-writing Exhale sections. As you read these words and write on these lines, I pray that you will be present to your own grief journey in the way that most suits you. After all, grief is always unique, and I hope you will feel the freedom to approach this journal not as a prescribed rule book, but as an encouraging guide, companion, and confidante. My prayer is that these stories, scriptures, prayers, and prompts will help you catch your breath and gently guide you toward the healing that only comes through communion with Christ.

About the Author

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young
Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young is a writer, speaker, teacher, and former journalist. As the founder of the Widow Mama Collective grief support group on Facebook, she is passionate about helping people navigate grief and discover God’s glory on life’s unexpected trails. Her previous books include the award-winning children’s book Cora Cooks Pancit, Chasing God’s Glory, Walk Run Soar, and Create in Me a Heart of Mercy.

Dorina enjoys meeting God as she runs trails through mountains or near the ocean. She and her husband, Shawn, are raising three daughters in central California. More by Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young
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Random House Publishing Group