Review Date: 11/29/2011 by Shaun Tabatt
Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us will need to come to terms with the loss of our parents at some time in our lives. When the time comes, we will encounter deep grief and emotion at a level that we generally have not experienced before. It’s almost like a part of you dies when your father or mother breathes their last breath. In Learning to Jump Again, Anthony Weber shares his own story of the devastating loss of his father to a two and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer. Anthony never intend to write a book about his experience, but things changed when he received an overwhelming response to his journal entries after he shared some of them on Facebook. it was obvious that he had struck a chord and he felt strongly that others dealing with this sort of loss would benefit from the story of his journey towards freedom and healing chronicled in his journal.
Learning to Jump Again is divided into three sections. Part one (The Journal) contains entries from Anthony’s personal journal, sharing the raw feelings and emotion he experienced from the time he first learned of his father’s cancer, through his decline and passing, and the aftermath of the eight years following the funeral. Part two (Moving Beyond the Memories) contrasts life’s realities against truths found in God’s word and touches on topics like emotions, dreams, memory, faith, prayer, God and several other related topics. The last part of the book (From Heart to Head) is largely based on essays Anthony wrote for a class he took at Trinity Theological Seminary in Indiana, exploring the problem of pain and evil at a philosophical and theological level. Essays of this sort may at first glance seem out of place in this sort of book, but Anthony shares the reasons he felt it was necessary to include them in the final section of his book:
- “My journal mostly captures the way things are, at least at that point in my life. These essays are an attempt to address the way things ought to be, from a biblical perspective. “
- “My journal recorded what I felt; these essays capture what I believe.”
- “My journal seems to capture a sense of pessimism that does not reflect the life I have today.”
- “I wanted this book to close in a manner that reminds us that, though we grieve, we have a bulwark of truth to support us and a foundation of hope to sustain us.
When the time comes for any of us to face this new chapter in our lives, we will feel like the boy on the cover of the book, staring down and wondering if we are ready to jump again. While we may not be ready to resume normal life immediately following our loss, this book offers a message of hope. Life will not be the same as it was before, but we can find a new sense of normal through the hope and healing available through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Having personally experienced the loss of a father, this book resonated deeply with my personal experience. I would recommend this book to anyone who is working through the loss of a parent or other loved one, but my only caution is that this book may be too much for you right after the funeral. I would suggest picking up Learning to Jump Again at least three to six months afterwards.
Anthony Weber is a pastor, high school and college teacher, coach, husband, and father of three boys. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Education from Cedarville University, and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana. You can learn more about Anthony Weber and his book at his web site and Facebook page.
This book was provided by the author for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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