My Chaos: Searching for My New Normal by Rick C. Benson

Rick C. Benson BA, BEd, MA (Pastoral Studies) is the current Director of Spiritual and Religious Care and is a Grief Recovery Specialist working out of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John, New Brunswick.

I first heard of Mr. Benson’s book in Horizon Health Network’s internal newsletter, the Horizon Star. I quickly got in contact with him and he sent me a copy of the book for the purposes of this review along with this thought:

I really wanted the book to help a broader readership … to bring healing from many approaches and help others like yourself bring healing to those we interact with in healthcare.

Working in healthcare, I often meet up with grieving parents, siblings and friends and I am often at a loss for words, as I’m sure many are in such situations. Even at wakes and funerals, one often has a difficult time trying to say something comforting in the few minutes we have with surviving friends and family. Grief will be a concern for all of us at one time or another.

My Chaos: Searching for My New Normal is fifteen chapters of proven strategies, personal experiences and more, all designed to help you or a loved one cope with grief.

In preliminary counselling sessions, after listening to grievers tell their stories and their heartache, I often share this response: “You have been forever changed by your experience.” After a pause I continue: “But you do not need to be forever sorrowful or without peace. The journey you are on will be challenging, but you can be in a more healing place.”

My Chaos presents many evidence-based methods of coping strategies: mindfulness, meditation, journaling, creative practice and exercise, just to name a few. It is very easy to read and written in a comforting, appealing manner. Mr. Benson stresses that your chaos is yours, it is unique. Not every coping strategy may work for you nor will it be suitable for you. He simply presents the many tried and true options that others have found successful in coping with their grief.

Pull together some interventions and lessons from the examples and stories. Once you have found your peaceful place, share it with others. Grief is meant to be shared, not suffered alone.

A compassionate book written by a man enthusiastic about his work and presented in a very practical, easy to digest format, My Chaos is a book you’ll want to have on your shelf or to give as a gift to those you love who have faced a significant loss or major life transition.

“Our older population experience loss constantly- physical, spiritual and mental health, independence, family and friends. Rick’s book offers many tools to guide us back to feeling inner peace while we live life to the fullest while on this earth.”
– Sherry Gionet, Charge Nurse, Geriatric Unit, St. Joseph’s Hospital

My Chaos: Searching for My New Normal is available from Amazon.ca and at Indigo and independent bookstores.

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