I didn’t expect to love or need this book, but I did both.
My copy is dog-eared!
I read the entire book in one sitting…
This book is a treasure.
Trust me, you will cry…
A must read book!

From the Author

My own true story of loss and disappointment inspired me to write this book and share my message of hope and healing

I am first time author Gail Norwood and pleased to present my new book entitled, “Escape from Grief Prison – A Story of Love, Loss and Healing”. This book is my story and I wrote it for you.

Read about my life as a former flight attendant, wife and mother and how I met with devastating personal loss at age sixty-four.  It was just life happening – but the kind of life happening we wish would just pass us by.  Opening with a tender love story, the text evolves into a gripping account of how quickly life can turn. Uplifting chapters provide a practical guide on how to survive and bring the book to a triumphant finish.

Yes, I did my time in Grief Prison but I escaped and learned to embrace life and joy once again. The treasure trove of truths I discovered in those few years are detailed within these pages. The truths were keys that released me to find an open path toward healing. Make them yours, and feel the freedom!  

Gail Norwood

Life Enthusiast, Passionate Gardener and now… Author!


Somewhere between the vastness of yesterday and each elusive tomorrow, we find ourselves wobbling on the tightrope of today. How we struggle to keep our balance! We glance down for a safety net below and discover our brothers and sisters waiting with open arms to catch us if we fall. And we recognize the Almighty within them who calls our name. Each careful step forward brings us closer to a new beginning. And each lesson learned along the way strengthens us to move ahead, as we keep our eyes peeled to the future, and never look back.

In the prison of your soul
Fear and grief may take control.
Oppressive as they both may be
Allow the truth to set you free.

Gail Norwood

Featured on the Duck Pond Wall Podcast.

Interview by Alumni Director Monica Hoel at my Alma mater, Emory and Henry College in southwest Virginia.


What People are Saying

Here is a book about grief that echoes with authenticity, in part because its author has had intimate experience with devastating loss. Nonetheless, Gail Norwood writes confessionally, compassionately, and convincingly of a pathway through and out of the depths of such grief.

The Rev. Dr. Robert Dunham, Retired Presbyterian pastor


Bravo - it is brilliant! Once I started to read, I couldn’t stop. The tension of the story kept me riveted to the pages. I am going to buy several copies to give as presents to people I know, because it uplifts the reader and gives hope. Finally - the prose is so beautiful. It is not the story alone, but the words of the story that touch and warm the heart.

Madhu Beriwal, IEM Founder, President and CEO


I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. It is inspiring and full of so many moments that every individual can connect with. Not only was this a treasure to read but the open dialogue with family and friends which came after truly is beautiful! Don’t pass this one up. To grieve is to love and we all love!



Trust me, you will cry. This is a gripping story of beautiful love, ending too soon, but Gail bares her heart and resolutely leads you through her very different periods of mourning and of celebrating the life she had. Her spiritual and emotional journeys, so eloquently shared, will help us all to assess how we go forward after cruel and untimely losses. Gail will inspire you to reach for the kind of help that is healthy for you and to develop the resilience and the persistence you need to uncover more and new gifts in your life.

Kathy Romans Hall


My copy is dog-eared! True Story Café - I didn’t really want to read a book on grief, but I found soooo many parts of this book that resonated. And the writing is really captivating and creative. I considered giving away my copy of the book after I finished reading it, but there are too many thoughts I want to revisit. So I’ll just have to buy extras as gifts!

Monica Hoel


What ideal timing — my copy of Escape from Grief Prison arrived on the morning of Good Friday, as I was heading out to run errands. While waiting for a curbside grocery delivery, I opened it and began to read. Ten minutes later, captivated, I relocated to a far corner of the parking lot, and continued, straight through the first four chapters. On Saturday, day of vigil, I was drawn again to the author’s compelling narrative, reluctantly stopping at Chapter 11 to save the conclusion for Easter Sunday. Gail Norwood’s account of “love, loss, and healing” is an inspirational story, filled with encouraging words of support for fellow travelers crossing deep, dark valleys and proclaiming the message that, ultimately, light does and will prevail.

Dr. Betty Trotter Bouldin


I read the entire book in one sitting! I could not put this book down. I could hear the voice of the author reading to me. As I am grieving at this time, I was amazed that I was finding my way in "good grief". It gave me strength to continue my journey. Escape from Grief Prison is a wonderful book. It is beautifully written from the author's heart.

Barbara Leopard Miller


A Gift! This is a beautifully written book dealing with the most difficult of circumstances. I cannot imagine a more authentic voice than Gail Norwood who tells her story with grace and power. With frequent poetry in her chosen words, she writes to tell us about heartbreaking loss but, more importantly, to reach another person who desperately needs to hear how she navigated and survived. The author possesses amazing recall and clarity so that the reader understands paralyzing grief and its toll on every aspect of a person’s existence. But the miracle is the story of survival - the utter courage and perseverance that the author found inside herself to escape the "prison" where all was dark and lost. She shares the lessons she learned, as well as her innate wisdom, her truth, and her faith. This book is meaningful not only for those who are dealing with grief in this moment but for all who will face what life may bring.

Linda K. Smith


I read this book as soon as it arrived in one sitting. Thank you for sharing your story. I have reordered several copies to give as gifts to my friends.

Robyn Fry


Norwood manages to create a narrative that is intensely personal yet universally applicable. Her honest revelations of her story and her feelings are sprinkled with phrases of breathtaking accuracy. Anyone who has lost a loved one, especially those who have ushered someone into eternity, will be struck by her account of the experience of witnessing death. Her capturing of that moment as one of "mystery and majesty" is a beautiful bit of wordsmithing. A surprising amount of erudition is seamlessly woven into the content through the inclusion of poems and quotes both classic and ancient. I was particularly drawn to the ancient Celtic Christian belief in "thin spaces," where the veil separating heaven and earth can be temporarily lifted, and people are afforded a glimpse of the glory of God. I highly recommend this very readable and instructive journey.

Gayle P. Wade


A must read! I didn't expect to love or need this book, but I did both. Gail's story was unique to her situation, but the way she processed the loss of two loved ones in quick succession was so relatable for anyone who has experienced the loss of something or someone important. I highly recommend this book!

Laura Christine Kayser


Very compelling personal story! I was not sure what to expect other than a story of loss, most likely of a husband. And that part was there. But the life she led was intensely interesting and made us engage with her experiences even more. Also, the second half of her story was really unexpected and moving. A valuable read for people dealing with life and grief and a good story for those who care about and can learn from others' experiences.



A gift with great life lessons! Gail's book is a treasure about her journey dealing with grief and has tremendous life lessons. Soon after reading, I was already buying copies to give to friends that I knew would benefit from Gail's wisdom. Yet it is a story for all of us, not just those who are grieving, that life with joy is something we all deserve and must embrace.

Anna Berry


An amazing story of believing that life can be ordinary, and life can be extraordinary! This book is about so much more than recovering from grief. This is a real story- about a real person- who openly shares her journey with you, basically to give you permission to travel your own path in a way that makes sense to you. There are no rules- there is just what is right for you. This is a story of survival, a tale of hope, a belief in love, but most of all it is honest and so filled with the desire to help, to pass along to you what she discovered as she navigated her grief and her future. Filled with faith and filled with love- if you are suffering loss or just looking for a story to fuel your soul with hope- this is the book for you!! Thank you Gail for sharing your story and for giving us all permission to go on!!

Meg Grober


A must read book! Gail Norwood has written a powerful account of her two incredible love stories, of the over whelming loss of not one but two husbands from sudden, unexpected diseases, and of her faith, courage, and determination to break free of the chains of grief. She eloquently and inspirationally shares how she "survived, endured, and fully lives again" by " in faith choosing to accept and embrace many mysteries of life: of the past and of the future, of love and fear, and the great mystery of death and rebirth, loss and renewal." Her Biblically based mnemonic, the GIFT: G-Gratitude, I-I am with you, F-Fear not, T-Trust Me is one of the best gifts of the book!!! I've read and reread the book!! Its so full of beauty, wisdom, insight and faith and will surely be a blessing to anyone experiencing the death of a loved one.

Sarah H. Ramey


Gail Norwood has written a deeply personal and moving story of her own journey from happiness to the depths of grief and back. This engaging book is a page-turner with many lessons for anyone grieving. It will bring tears of empathy as she describes the loss of two husbands and her return to happiness. Those of us with a deep faith and a willingness to tap into it will find whence her strength has come.

Marion G. Watlington


From great loss to joy! Gail Norwood's personal story of deep grief is a GIFT for anyone trying to move from great loss to renewed life and joy. Her rich prose and poetry reflect the classics, scripture, modern culture, and her own wise and tender soul. Each reflection points to sources of understanding and rebirth for travelers on this often-lonely road. Gail's experiences and hard-earned wisdom lend applicable practical, grace-filled notes to accompany this journey. "You are not alone."

Daphne Little


Great inspiration and resource! Being a part of Stephen Ministry at our church, we are always looking for positive, helpful materials to recommend to our care receivers as they deal with grief. Escape from Grief Prison will certainly be on our list! Gail shares from her heart in this beautifully written book. She truly experienced grief prison but found her escape. What hope and inspiration for others!!

Norma Beck


I enjoyed your book. No, “enjoyed" is not the right word - your book enriched me!

The Rev. Jack L. Taylor, retired Presbyterian pastor


Contact Us

follow us on: