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The Quiet House: Reflections on the Loss of a Spouse
The Quiet House calls on the image of a home silenced by the loss of a spouse – a time alone in the quiet and the stillness.  The death of a spouse is a unique loss because the marriage relationship is unlike any other.  Two lives so intertwined day-in and day-out.  The two are as one.  The fabric of their lives so interwoven – and then to be torn apart by death.  

Through a series of personal reflections, Ron writes out of his own experience from the loss of his wife.  As a seasoned pastoral counselor, he shares the importance of mourning the death as the path to eventual healing and wholeness.  He writes, “Grief is the painful, emotional reaction to loss.  It is not an option.  Mourning, giving a voice to that pain, is optional – and it is wise to opt for it.” 

As the mourning is engaged, the journey to healing begins.  The path it takes will be distinctive for each mourner, but it likely will weave its way through deep grief, extended sorrow, a transition toward healing – then eventually move into a new chapter of a purposeful and meaningful life.

We feel the grief so deeply because we loved so dearly.  The journey cannot be hurried.  It will take patience and courage.  But the healing will come… and it will be real.


You turn these pages with courage.  As you open the windows to your soul, you acknowledge the reality of our shared darkness.  You are here to be real.  It is a vulnerable thing to do, to open yourself to how you feel – the emptiness, the loss, the heartache, the grief, even the despair.

We know heartache.  Too well.  We have lost those who were as dear to us as life itself.  We have looked straight into the face of grief.  We have seen the darkening clouds gather over us.

Perhaps it was as the oncologist, with his gaze to the floor, said, “It doesn’t look good.”  Or perhaps when we walked with our spouse out of the neurologist’s office haunted by the prognosis we had heard.  Or when we agreed it was time to call hospice.  Or, later, as we visited the cemetery.

Or maybe it was when, out of the blue, a new acquaintance asked the innocent question, “And are you married?” and we struggled not to sob.

We know darkness.

But we do not sit passively in the dark.  We look for at least flickers of light – the light that gives us hope.  We look for ways to navigate through – and, hopefully, one day beyond – this darkened landscape.

We look for hope.  But it must be real hope.  Not those silly cliches.  It is the truth that sets us free.  We long for light in our darkness, hope in our despair, direction in our mourning, and support in our loneliness.

And you have sought a Sherpa as your guide.  A fellow pilgrim.  You have invited me, each of us with lantern in hand, to be that Sherpa with you on this leg of your journey.  As it has been said, I am not the “sage on the stage” but the “guide by your side.”  We walk together.

Ron Greer
From The Quiet House: Reflections on the Loss of a Spouse

“After a lifetime of faithful, compassionate pastoral counseling, Ron Greer now guides us through one of life’s greatest challenges: the loss of someone we love.  I predict that this will become the book that we pastors will give to those who walk through the valley.”
Will Willimon, United Methodist Bishop, retired, Professor of the Practice of Ministry, Duke Divinity School

“The Quiet House is a must-read for widows and widowers and all of us who know them, work with them, or love them.  As a seasoned counselor, Ron Greer combines that expertise with his own painful journey through the loss of his beloved wife.  As a grief counselor, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.”

Judy Wolfe

“In The Quiet House, Ron Greer describes the awful life of grief and its painful grasp.  He offers his readers the sure knowledge of the grace and peace that is possible.”

Bill Curry
retired NFL player and motivational speaker

“As a pastor I often hear from grieving spouses that the house is so quiet. Ron Greer writes honestly about his own experience of a house that is strangely quiet with grief.  He bears witness to his own story of loss while opening a space for our stories to be heard.  His pastoral counselor hat is shifted slightly to reveal the shape and contours of grief and loss incarnate in his own journey.  He then offers practices that can help us discover that our different life is still full and good.”

Karen Kagiyama
O. Wayne Rollins Director of Pastoral Care, Wesley Woods Senior Living

“The Quiet House offers us something incredibly helpful – reflections by a married partner who lost his spouse of almost fifty years.  In these pages, we remember what it means to be fully alive, to love, and to be loved.  The Quiet House will shine a ray of God’s light upon your soul.”

Bill Britt
Senior Minister, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia

“Ron Greer writes like not only the wise therapist he is but also like a poet, choosing words carefully, making you want to read many sentences one more time.  His journey may be unique, but the heart of it is universal, helping you see that you are not alone.  In sharing about his own loss, he encourages us to surrender to a healthy grieving process which can lead to wholeness, if we let God and others in.”

Claire O. Bowen
HR Specialist