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Tears to Joy

One man's journey through grief

BY Mike Tucker

“Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NASB).

Someone once said, “Grief never ends…but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…It is the price of love.”

If you have ever lost someone you love, you know how deep the wound cuts. In Tears to Joy, author Mike Tucker shares from his heart his struggles through the heartache of grief after the death of his wife of more than 40 years, Gayle Anne Whitacre Tucker. Her death affected every corner of his life, both personal and professional. He didn’t only lose a wife but a ministry partner as well.

For years as a pastor, chaplain, and counselor, Mike taught grief recovery classes. While he had experienced losses in his life, he had never known the life-altering devastation that can only be realized through the loss of a spouse or child. His life was in shambles, and he found himself putting to the test everything he had taught about grief recovery through the decades.

In sharing his story, Mike also shares research and material that he found helpful and reliable in the process of recovery. While Mike’s experience may differ widely from yours—everyone’s grief journey is different—there are inevitable similarities. And it is in the areas of similarity that you will find the greatest help in dealing with your loss. It is the author’s hope that in the midst of sorrow, Tears to Joy will bring you courage as you navigate through life’s most difficult journey.


Publisher: Pacific Press

ISBN: 9780816363636

Format: Paperback

Qty on Hand: 4 In Stock

Pages: 128

Customer Reviews

[ Bookshelf Review ]
As well as his role as presenter and director of the “Faith for Today” ministry, Mike Tucker has worked for many years as a pastor and chaplain, often counselling people and teaching classes on grief recovery. But everything he had taught and recommended was put to the most extreme test when Gayle— his ministry partner and wife of 40 years—died in April, 2016, just three months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Tears to Joy is partly the story of his experience of loss, including excerpts from his journal over the course of the year following Gayle’s death. But the book is also a confirmation of his previous understandings of coping with grief: “The things I had taught are true, the methods of dealing with the loss are useful, the philosophies are reliable, and recovery is indeed a possibility.”
While acknowledging that each of our experiences and circumstances of grief are unique, Tears to Joy sets out these road-tested principles and methods in short chapters.
Following his own recommendations, Pastor Tucker describes how he practised deep and early grieving as the most effective way of absorbing and healing the worst of the pain.
But Tears to Joy is not only for those in the midst of grief.
Most of us carry the lingering burdens of past griefs—and future losses are among life’s inevitabilities. Death and grief also come with serious questions of faith, which we all face.
And the book includes a section on helping others who are struggling with grief, making this a book to read and to share.
Honest grief writing explores some of the most difficult experiences of our lives, but Pastor Tucker’s experience and reflections in Tears to Joy also point us to the possibilities of faith and hope, healing and even joy amid the realities of grief.
—Nathan Brown, book editor, Signs Publishing

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