Need book reco: Atheist friend w/dying wife

I have a colleague whose wife is suffering terribly, probably going to die sooner rather than later from metastasized breast cancer. SHe is undergoing chemo and not doing well. He was raised culturally jewish, but never had a faith, or lost it along the way and is a pretty hardened aetheist (and a very generous, loving man - who does believe hold the jewish belief that you “live on” in the memory of your loved ones). He adores his wife, who was raised, I believe, a protestant, but has become seriously new-agey, a little of this, a little of that.

I want to send him something to read and comfort- I don’t think anything TOO overtly Christian would be appropriate (but if it nudges him gently and gets him thinking, that’s okay with me! :thumbsup:) I was thinking perhaps a book of poetry or a novel would be better than some dogmatic book on “suffering”, but am at a loss (as I read such “CATHOLIC” stuff these days).

Does anyone have any ideas? My mother suggested RILKE (a German poet), but he’s constantly talking about God (at least the book of selected poems I checked out on Amazon).



A SEVERE MERCY by Sheldon Vanauken

It may be too overtly Christian. But it is a conversion story of an atheist who (along with his wife) are surprised to find themselves drawn to Christianity. Then his wife gets sick and dies, and he struggles tremendously to understand it.

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