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Markings on the Windowsill: A Book About Grief That's Really About Hope
“Grief permeates most of the waking moments of those who are mourning. This book is a message about the healing and hope that can be known on the journey.”
—Ronald J. Greer

Ron Greer and his wife Karen lost their two-year old son Eric in a tragic automobile accident many years ago.  As the author of Markings on the Windowsill: A Book About Grief That’s Really About Hope, Ron draws on a unique combination of experience – as a bereaved parent, a licensed counselor, and an ordained minister – to offer direction, help, and avenues to healing for those who are suffering from a personal loss.

In Markings on the Windowsill Ron writes of the life that is ahead for those who courageously engage their grief and give it a voice, as he has learned from personal experience.  Over twenty years had passed since his son’s death, giving him time to reflect and gain perspective so that could do more than “bleed on every page.”  He wanted his experience and his words to be truly useful to others.  Ron has learned that one never totally heals from grief, but instead learns how best to live with the loss in ways enabling them to regain meaning, purpose, and, eventually, joy.

Markings on the Windowsill is a source of comfort, hope, and direction for those who have suffered a personal loss.  It is also a resource for those wanting to comfort someone who is mourning.

Grieving is an act of enormous courage.
To grieve well requires a willingness to open yourself to the depth of your pain. It can be a frightening experience. There are many who simply choose not to go there. I have heard some speak of their anxiety of “letting go” and giving into their grief out of a fear of being swept away in it. It seems like a bottomless pit into which they could fall forever.
That has not been my experience. I remember a comment made when several persons were consoling a friend who had been through a difficult time. She said she simply had hit rock bottom. There was a pause, and one person in the group said, “But isn’t it good to know when you hit rock bottom, that at the bottom there’s a rock?”
My experience is that there is a rock at the bottom. At the depth of our grief and pain we arrive at a place within us that feels grounded. Ironically, the way to find that substantial footing is to be willing to sink into experiencing the pain – to be willing to have the courage to take on your grief as it comes and to hold nothing back.

Ron Greer
From Markings on the Windowsill

“For many years Ron Greer has skillfully counseled folks whose turn it was to ‘walk through the valley of the shadow of death.’ Then it was Ron’s turn. By transforming a terrible tragedy into a time of deepening faith, Ron shows the rest of us the way, when it’s our time to walk through the desert of grief. All of us are either preparing for grief, or dealing with past grief, and we need all the help we can get. Ron can show you how to do grief with faith, hope – and love too.”

William H. Willimon
Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry
Duke University Divinity School
Retired United Methodist Bishop

“Markings on the Windowsill is sacred ground. When a person of Ron Greer’s depth and compassion bares his soul, and that of his amazing wife Karen, one treads with reverence and rapt attention…. Be careful with this book… When you pick it up, go to a very quiet place, and plan to be there awhile…. God will speak to you. You life will be changed. I promise.

Bill Curry
NFL player, coach, and author

“This book contains a wealth of information for anyone struggling with grief…. He encourages those left behind to grieve in their own way and not give in to those who want to rush the grief process. This book encourages genuine feelings…. As a mother that has lost a son and a chaplain who has sat with many others who have encountered grief, I highly recommend this book…this book speaks directly to the grieving person. This book is not clinical or preachy; rather it is an intimate sharing of the author’s sorrow…. While this book is helpful for anyone that grieves, this book would be an excellent resource for hospitals to purchase to hand out to a parent whose child has died.”

Rev. Pat Spelling, Chaplain, Oklahoma City VA Medical Center
Plain Views: A Publication of the HealthCare Chaplaincy

“I teach a continuing course around the country for the American Academy of Bereavement called Red Letter Grief. I will be using quotes from your book and highly recommending it to the social workers, nurses, and psychologists I teach…. Thank you for this important contribution to the grief literature.”

Harold Ivan Smith

“This is a book that should be read by everyone who grieves a loved one’s loss, or anyone who wants to know how best to walk with a friend who is experiencing such a loss. Our bereavement counselors at Hospice of South Central Indiana have read this book and it is part of the resources they now use and recommend to persons they counsel.”

William H. Griffith
Hospice Chaplain

“…this is not a book that “preaches”; rather it is most profound in the way one senses having been given the right to feel as he or she does. You will come away from reading this book feeling that you have just shared some important time with a very wise old friend who has helped you in an equally profound way to survive this tragedy.”

Mary Cleckley
A Journey Together
National Newsletter of the Bereaved Parents of the U.S.A.

“Ron Greer touches our hearts and gives us some great insights into healing and hope with this book. Ron writes from the depths of his own grief and his journey to healing as he and his wife dealt with the death of their two year old son. I have known Ron for thirty-five years, and he is made of the “real stuff.” He enables the reader to deal with “real stuff” with this book. The reader will be amazed at the hope the book produces on each page.”

Don Harp

Pastor Emeritus
Peachtree Road United Methodist Church
Atlanta, Georgia

“The loss of a child is the most devastating life-changing event a parent would shudder to even envision. But as I have learned through the years, Ron Greer has an uncanny ability to dig deep into our dark, unexplored emotional mines – turn on some lights – and then find those precious veins of hope…. There are no good answers to why bad things happen to good people. But there are good people who are able to use bad things as a lever to learn something profound about themselves – and in rare cases – to help others find the same emotional tools. Ron Greer has that tremendous gift. Thank God he is willing to share it with us.”

Miles O’Brien
Former CNN Co-anchor of “American Morning”

“…tightly written and designed to communicate hope to people mired in the painful depths of loss. He does not avoid the hard questions of the meaninglessness of tragedy nor offer anodynes by citing pious clichés.”

George R. Merrill, M.Div.
General Editor of Journeys; American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Diplomate/Retired; Episcopal Priest