A Sharpness of Grief

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Author, Pastor Guides Readers through Troubled Times with New Book

“What a tragedy to experience this grief and not learn from it, to have so many people touch my life and not be changed,” writes James Hugh Drury.

His new book, A Sharpness of Grief: poems and stories of a journey to healing (now available through AuthorHouse), is his attempt to help others overcome dark times and find joy in the simple pleasures of daily life.

In 1998, Drury and his wife of 28 years filed for divorce. When they went their separate ways, Drury’s path took him through a spiritual and emotional desert where he tried to avoid admitting how deeply the pain went. An ordained minister, Drury found that his congregation stuck by his side. Along with them, he credits his therapist and others who stayed close with aiding in his recovery. In the end, their words rang true: Healing just takes time.

He also found writing to be great therapy. With three exceptions, all the material in A Sharpness of Grief was written within one year of Drury’s divorce. As the manuscript grew, he asked friends to read it. Eventually, after reading at the 1998 Sitka Symposium, the co-director of the Island Institute asked to publish the story, Looking East, in Connotations, the institute's journal. It appeared in the summer 1998 edition. From there were sown the seeds of what Drury now presents as a heartfelt guide to help others find the oasis in the midst of life’s desert.

“My prayer is that someone experiencing a sharpness of grief will know I understand,” he says. “I pray that God gives them courage to walk through their wilderness into renewal. It is not fun. It is hard work. It is worth every ounce of sweat, each drop of blood, each emotion admitted, and every honest word spoken or written. Now, today, looking east into another sunrise, I see a blessed journey. Joy comes in the mourning and in the morning.”

An Air Force brat, Drury has led a much-traveled life, including three years spent in Japan during high school. He graduated from Lompoc (Calif.) High School in 1966 and received a bachelor’s degree from California Baptist College in 1970. Drury then earned his Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa., and a master’s degree in communication arts from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Ordained in 1977, he has served congregations in California, Texas and Alaska.

The publisher, AuthorHouse, is the premier publishing house for emerging authors and new voices in literature. For more information, please visit http://www.authorhouse.com.

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