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Summary

Whether it is pastoral care for the bereaved, discussions about the afterlife or being called out to perform the last rites, death is part of the Reverend Richard Coles' life and work. But when his partner, the Reverend David Coles, died, shortly before Christmas in 2019, much about death took Coles by surprise. For one thing, David's death at the early age of 43 was unexpected.

The man that so often assists others to examine life's moral questions now found himself in need of help. He began to look to others for guidance to steer him through his grief. The flock was leading the shepherd. Much about grief surprised him: the volume of 'sadmin' you have to do when someone dies, how much harder it is travelling for work alone, even the pain of typing a text message to your partner - then realising you are alone.

The Reverend Richard Coles's deeply personal account of life after grief will resonate, unforgettably, with anyone who has lost a loved one.

©2021 Richard Coles (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Madness of Grief

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Everyone needs this book

A book full of love. Wry, practical and spiritual. It has something to say to everyone dealing with loss and grief. He is a kind and funny companion on a journey no one chooses and through those dreadful nights and worse mornings. I listened to it in one go as I baked a cake for my partner who has spent lockdown on a spinal unit and is now quadriplegic. This helped me more than anything else I have heard or read apart from the poem Invictus... The two being on a par. Thankyou from the bottom of my cracked heart.

43 people found this helpful

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Much needed

I listened to this in a whole day. It resonated with me completely after having just lost my Mum. Thank you Richard, I felt like a friend had come to stay and we shared experiences and cried and laughed together. I needed this right now, I won’t forget this book or your braveness to commit yourself to it. I miss you already.

21 people found this helpful

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A "Must Listen"

Rev Richard Coles gives a wonderful insight into losing a lovere=d one and the immediate aftermath. THe final s=chapter, 10 months after David's deaths shows how little things affect you long after your life companion has left this world.

17 people found this helpful

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Exceptional

A beautiful love story, a recounting of unbearable loss and the minefield of daily life that has to be endured by the newly bereaved for the rest of their lives. Time heals the rawness, the shock fades, then the new life begins. Rev Coles is living that life, like so many. Rest in peace Fr David. Live in peace, Fr Richard.

12 people found this helpful

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Wonderful writing from the Rev, as always

Absolutely beautiful. I don't know how he has had the energy and courage to record this work, given it is all about grief and the loss of his beloved husband David. A wonderful contribution to grief literature and timely publication as so many of us have lost loved ones to this pandemic.

10 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written, observant, funny yet sad

I really enjoyed this book.
I can really relate to it as I've been through the dame recently.
Well narrated by the author.

8 people found this helpful

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Beautifully Written.

It’s an awful shame this book had to be written at all,I found it moving and so true the title, The Madness of Grief.You go through so many emotions and this encapsulates every up and down you feel.Just beautifully written and an excellent read,would highly recommend.

7 people found this helpful

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all about the vicar and padded out very boring

This could have been an interesting account but was spoiled by the useless detail of family members, the vicars theological learnings and on and on....not much about the two of them really and not much about the really bad times which he publicised the book on...I gave up and didn't finish it...his narration also is very monotone and no emotion comes through no matter the subject....my own fault for hoping this would not be padded with a lot of religious stuff...I was wrong...waste of 8 quid!!!

6 people found this helpful

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A beautiful and honest memoir

I listened to this in days. As Richard Coles reads this himself it feels like it’s being told just to you. He shows how love and grief are one and the same in so many ways. As a fan The Communards in my teenage years, and also being from Northampton too I have always known of his professional life since, and this book is an insight in to his personal life at the hardest time after the loss of his husband. It’s honest, it’s raw, it’s sad - yet it’s full of love.

3 people found this helpful

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A love poem

This is the most beautiful love poem I've ever read. It is a song to love of a partner, love of nature, love of dogs, love of God and love of love.
There were parts of the book which almost broke me but do not be put off because the wit and warmth are wonderfully uplifting. As you would expect from surely one of the kindest people on earth, Richard Coles is a generous, thoughtful writer, who is as kind to his readers as he is to everyone.
This is a story which needed to be told and a book which needs to be read.

3 people found this helpful