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New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer,"" Upper Room Worshipbook

Reprinted by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Wild Things

Poems of Grief and Love, Loss and Gratitude

Roberta C. Bondi • July 2014

BUY Print $13.99

BUY eBook (Available in ePub or Kindle) $7.99

"Grief is such a messy thing," Roberta Bondi writes in the introduction. "It fills us with many ideas and images, memories and fantasies, celebration and bitter regret all at once — all superimposed upon one another. No wonder it wears us out."

In this book of poetry and reflections on her mother's death, Bondi acknowledges her grief in the presence of God over the span of a few months. She expresses many conflicting feelings: love, pain, anger, guilt, emptiness, confusion, exhaustion, relief that her mother was no longer suffering. As she celebrates her mother's life and wrestles with her own sense of loss and longing, she ponders the mystery of life, death, and God's presence every day all around us in nature as well as in relationships.

Even though we may feel isolated in our grief, we do not grieve alone, Bondi reminds us. In this firsthand account of her grief, she offers a gift to all who are grieving — comfort and help with accepting the forward and backward movements of grief and loss.

Wild Things will also be a valuable resource for those seeking to aid and comfort the grieving: pastors, counselors, chaplains, hospice workers, and family and friends of those dealing with loss.


Categories: Grief, Healing & Wholeness
Roberta C. Bondi is Professor Emerita at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. She was the first woman to attain tenured faculty status at Candler. A graduate of Oxford University and Southern Methodist University, Roberta is married with 2 children and 2 grandchildren.

ISBN: 978-0-8358-1363-1

Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8358-1364-8

EPub ISBN: 978-0-8358-1365-5

Imprint: Upper Room

Pub Date: July 2014

Trim Size: 5.5 in (w) x 8.5 in (h) x 0.3752 in (d)

Page Count: 176

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Living / Death, Grief, Bereavement

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"With the spiritual honesty that is her trademark, Roberta Bondi opens to us the hurt and desolation that accompanied the loss of her mother, a loss no less devastating for being neither sudden nor unexpected. In poetry and prose she shows us that we grieve because we love, and that God's grace is grief's sometimes silent, yet never absent, companion. For those who grieve, for those who love, this is a grace-filled book." -Robert A. Ratcliff Belmont University

"When the deepest cries of the heart are unleashed, God's healing can begin. As readers come alongside Roberta Bondi in her intimate journey through grief and loss, they will likely discover their own path to healing." ­Missy Buchanan, older adult advocate and author of Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body

“In this vivid pilgrimage through the decline and death of her mama, Roberta Bondi takes us by the hand and says, ‘Come let me show you what I am discovering of life and love and God.’ A lifelong companion of the desert mothers and fathers of the early church, and an exquisite observer of her own life, she shows us how every moment, memory, and the smallest wild thing is a foretaste and glimpse of eternity. These poems are a journey of healing, hope, and spiritual wholeness.” ―Bishop Elaine J. W. Stanovsky The Mountain Sky Episcopal Area The United Methodist Church

“A few books come into our hands, if we are lucky, that are good and true and beautiful. Wild Things is one of those books. Roberta Bondi risks taking us with her on the long journey of loss and grief, offering no explanations but inviting us to see how even such a way can become the occasion for gratitude. This luminous collection of meditations and poems reminds us—to recall Julian of Norwich—that “love is the reason” and that love will show us the way. Throughout these pages, we discover Bondi’s witness to the truth that grace is ever-present, everlasting, and irresistible to those with eyes to see. Wild Things is not simply a memoir of grief after the loss of her mama. It is, rather, an invitation to learn that everything, including grief and the long and often dark absences of death, is charged with God’s grandeur.“ –Mark S. Burrows Poetry Editor, Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality Historian, theologian, and poet