And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I lost my dad a few years ago under tragic circumstances that I will someday be brave enough to write about. I go through periods of peace with his loss and periods of the stabbing pain of grief. I ache when I tell stories of him to my children because they don't remember him and so don't fully understand him or my tales of his antics. I think anyone who losses a parent or child grieves in a unique way. No two journeys of grief seem to be the same. The process of grief is like a snowflake- unique, beautiful, and cold.

Shannon Huffman Polson lost her father and stepmother in a tragic event. She was far away as they lost their lives to a bear attack in the Artic. North of Hope: A Daughter's Artic Journey is Polson's journey of grief following the loss of these two loved ones. Polson sets out on a journey to retrace the steps of her Dad and Kathy on that fateful trip down the HulaHula river.

I've never been to Alaska and I'm not much of an outdoor enthusiast so there was quite a bit of unfamiliar language in this book. Once I began reading, though I was drawn into her story. I could relate to many of her feelings since I too lost my father. I could understand her emotions following her parents' divorce. Reading someone else's memoir can be difficult with the flow of thought and differences in rhetoric, but I did enjoy the tribute to her dad and stepmother.

Just as we (Christians) each hold a different and special relationship with Jesus, we each follow the path of loss and grief differently. I think reading someone else's trek through a difficult loss can give us strength and motivation to maneuver our own process.

This is a great book for those struggling through grief, still processing a loss, and those who live the outdoor lifestyle of hiking and canoeing.

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I received a free copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I also read and loved this book. It’s the kind of book that stuns you with its beauty, even as it describes some difficult things. I have not suffered loss like Shannon did and yet her observations felt applicable to my life–I found myself nodding in agreement at her insights about grief, God and the way that any suffering transforms and strengthens us–eventually. She did not pretend that this was an easy journey, but ultimately, it was a hopeful one. I also recommend it. The Author’s blog at is also a must-read.


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