32 Books About Grief

Coping with Grief / Coping with Grief : Eleanor Haley

For further articles on these topics:

Well, we've gotten a bit carried away... again. Our intention was to provide you with a list of sixty-four memoirs or novels about death and grief... You know, so you could add a little light reading to your summer book list. I quickly realized that 64 books (with links and descriptions) might be a bit much, so instead we're going to start with 32 books about grief and death and save the other half of the list for another day. These are all either books we've read and loved, or books we have on our own reading lists:

books about grief

1.  Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes

"The day after his mother's death in October 1977, Roland Barthes began a diary of mourning.  For nearly two years, the legendary French theorist wrote about a solitude new to him; about the ebb and flow of sadness; about the slow pace of mourning, and life reclaimed through writing."

2. A Widow's Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates

""A Widow's Story" is the universally acclaimed author's poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of Raymond Smith, her husband of forty six years, and its wrenching, surprising aftermath."

3. Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

"In 2004, at a beach resort on the coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala and her family - parents, husband, sons - were swept away by a tsunami.  Only Sonali survived to tell their tale.  This is her account of the nearly incomprehensible event and its aftermath."

4. Her: A Memoir by Christa Parravani

"Christa Parravani and her identical twin, Cara, were linked by a bond that went beyond sibling hood, beyond sisterhood, beyond friendship...But, haunted by childhood experiences with father figures and further damaged by being raped as a young adult, Cara veered off the path to robust work and life and in to depression, drugs and a shocking early death. Beautifully written, mesmerizingly rich and true Christa Parravani's account of being left, one half of a whole, and of her desperate, ultimately triumphant struggle for survival is informative, heart-wrenching and unforgettably beautiful."  

books about grief

5.  Say Her Name: A Novel by Francisco Goldman

"In 2005, celebrated novelist Francisco Goldman married a beautiful young writer names Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda. The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body surfing. Francisco, blamed for Aura's death by her family and blaming himself, wanted to die, too. Instead, he wrote "Say her Name", a novel chronicling his grief love and unspeakable loss, tracking the stages of grief when pure love gives way to bottomless pain."

6. Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield

"In 2007 Rolling Stone’s writer Rob Sheffield wrote his memoir, “Love is a Mixtape: Life and Loss One Song at A Time”. The concept was simple, 22 chapters written around 22 mix tapes. The content was not: grief, love, and a relationship that ended far too soon when his wife, Renee, unexpectedly died of a pulmonary embolism." [Read our thoughts here]

7. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

"At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her." 

8. Death Be Not Proud (P.S.) by John J Gunther

"Johnny Gunther was only seventeen years old when he died of a brain tumor. During the months of his illness, everyone near him was unforgettably impressed by his level-headed courage, his wit and quiet friendliness, and, above all, his unfaltering patience through times of despair. This deeply moving book is a father's memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy."

books about grief

9. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom

"[Mitch Albom] rediscovered Morrie [a college professor from twenty years prior] in the last months of the older mans life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college.  Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live."

10. Poems of Mourning (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) by Peter Washington

"Saluting, lamenting and honoring the dead are the poet's primal tasts in all ages. Whether it be Ben Jonson pining for his son, Keats and Rilke envisaging their own demise, Wilfred Owen commemorating comrades in war, or Homer's Odysseus grieving over his dog—all give expression to the universal need for mourning. But mourning has many forms and moods, and this collection explores them all, from Tennyson's black grief to Whitman's radiant melancholy, from Hardy's despair to Rochester's humor, from Sassoon's anger to Christina Rossetti's tender resignation."

11. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

"The moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. Here is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together."

12. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition) by Jesse Andrews

"It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl. This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life." [For young adult literature lovers]

books about grief

13. Ordinary People by Judith Guest

"Judith Guest’s remarkable first novel, the Jarrets are a typical American family. Calvin is a determined, successful provider and Beth an organized, efficient wife. They had two sons, Conrad and Buck, but now they have one. In this memorable, moving novel, Judith Guest takes the reader into their lives to share their misunderstandings, pain...and ultimate healing."

14.  The Long Goodbye: A Memoir by Meghan O'Rourke

"What is it like to mourn today, in a culture that has largely set aside rituals that acknowledge grief? After her mother died of cancer at the age of fifty-five, Meghan O’Rourke found that nothing had prepared her for the intensity of her sorrow. She began to create a record of her interior life as a mourner, trying to capture the paradox of grief—its monumental agony and microscopic intimacies—an endeavor that ultimately bloomed into a profound look at how caring for her mother during her illness changed and strengthened their bond. With lyricism and unswerving candor, The Long Goodbye captures the fleeting moments of joy that make up a life and the way memory can lead us out of the jagged darkness of loss. Effortlessly blending research and reflection, the personal and the universal, it is a love letter from a daughter to a mother that will touch any reader who has felt the powerful ties of familial love." [Read our thoughts on the book here]

15. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

If you like Shakespeare, Hamlet is your man.

16. Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son's Memoir by David Rieff

"David Rieff's loving tribute to his mother, the writer Susan Sontag, and her final battle with cancer. Rieff's brave, passionate, and unsparing witness of the last nine months of her life, from her initial diagnosis to her death, is both an intensely personal portrait of the relationship between a mother and a son, and a reflection on what it is like to try to help someone gravely ill in her fight to go on living and, when the time comes, to die with dignity."

books about grief

17. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

"Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey."

18. Bough Down by Karen Green

"In this profoundly beautiful and intensely moving lament, artist and writer Karen Green conjures the inscrutable space of love and loss, clarity and contradiction, sense and madness. She summons memory and the machination of the interior mind with the emotional acuity of music as she charts her passage through the devastation of her husband's suicide. In crystalline fragments of text, Green's voice is paradoxically confessional and non-confessional: moments in her journey are devastating but also luminous, exacting in sensation but also ambiguous and layered in meaning."

19. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

"From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage--and a life, in good times and bad--that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child."

20. Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Anna Whiston-Donaldson

"On an ordinary September day, twelve-year-old Jack is swept away in a freak neighborhood flood. His parents and younger sister are left to wrestle with the awful questions: How could God let this happen? And, Can we ever be happy again? They each fall into the abyss of grief in different ways. And in the days and months to come, they each find their faltering way toward peace."

books about grief

21. Giving Up the Ghost : A Memoir  by Hilary Mantel

"In postwar rural England, Hilary Mantel grew up convinced that the most improbable of accomplishments, including "chivalry, horsemanship, and swordplay," were within her grasp. Once married, however, she acquired a persistent pain that led to destructive drugs and patronizing psychiatry, ending in an ineffective but irrevocable surgery. There would be no children; in herself she found instead one novel, and then another."

22. Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman

"Building on interviews with hundreds of mother- loss survivors, this life-affirming book is now newly expanded to reflect the author's personal experience with the continued legacy of mother loss; now married and a mother of young children herself, Edelman better understands how the effects of mother loss change over time and in light of new relationships."

23.  H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

"When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of "The Once and Future King" author T.H. White's chronicle "The Goshawk" to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life."

24. The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp

"What does it mean to be a success? To be a good parent? To live a meaningful life? Emily Rapp thought she knew the answers when she was pregnant with her first child. But everything changed when nine-month-old Ronan was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder. He was not expected to live beyond the age of three. Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about parenting and to learn to parent without a future."

books about grief

25.  The Beginner's Goodbye: A Novel by Anne Tyler

"Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron grew up fending off a sister who constantly wanted to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, an outspoken, independent young woman, she’s like a breath of fresh air. He marries her without hesitation, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. Aaron works at his family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead—in their house, on the roadway, in the market—help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually, Aaron discovers that maybe for this beginner there is indeed a way to say goodbye."

26. A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd by Patrick Ness

"At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting-- he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined." [For young adult literature lovers]

27. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

"Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moment," A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: "Nothing will shake a man -- or at any rate a man like me -- out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself." This is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings."

28. Sweet Hereafter: A Novel by Russell Banks

"Russell Banks tells a story that begins with a school bus accident. Using four different narrators, Banks creates a small-town morality play that addresses one of life's most agonizing questions: when the worst thing happens, who do you blame?"

books about grief

29.  The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon by Donald Hall

"In an intimate record of his twenty-three-year marriage to poet Jane Kenyon, Donald Hall recounts the rich pleasures and the unforeseen trials of their shared life. The couple made a home at their New England farmhouse, where they rejoiced in rituals of writing, gardening, caring for pets, and connecting with their rural community through friends and church. "The Best Day the Worst Day" presents a portrait of the inner moods of "the best marriage I know about," as Hall has written, against the stark medical emergency of Jane's leukemia, which ended her life in fifteen months. Between recollections of better times, Hall shares with readers the daily ordeal of Jane's dying through heartbreaking but ultimately inspiring storytelling."

30.  The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

"During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time—and an informal book club of two was born. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne—and we, their fellow readers—are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us."

31. Wit: A Play by Margaret Edson

"Margaret Edson's powerfully imagined Pulitzer Prize-winning play examines what makes life worth living through her exploration of one of existence's unifying experiences--mortality--while she also probes the vital importance of human relationships. What we as her audience take away from this remarkable drama is a keener sense that, while death is real and unavoidable, our lives are ours to cherish or throw away--a lesson that can be both uplifting and redemptive."

32. Half a Life: A Memoir by Darin Strauss

"In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his dad's Oldsmobile, driving with friends, heading off to play mini-golf. Then: a classmate swerved in front of his car. The collision resulted in her death. With piercing insight and stark prose, Darin Strauss leads us on a deeply personal, immediate, and emotional journey—graduating high school, going away to college, starting his writing career, falling in love with his future wife, becoming a father. Along the way, he takes a hard look at loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and, at last, acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force."

What grief books would you recommend?  Let us know in the comments below.  

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After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

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54 Comments on "32 Books About Grief"

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  1. Jaye O'Connell  June 24, 2020 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Levels of Life by Julian Barnes. I have used it many times in grief support groups as it is not your usual book. Not many pages but packed with discussion raising themes. Great feedback from men. 🙂

  2. Margaret Kramar  March 23, 2020 at 12:50 pm Reply

    SEARCHING FOR SPENSER by Margaret Kramar, winner of the 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards. When her son Spenser dies unexpectedly, she searches for him through the memories of teachers, family and friends. Who was this child? Did she ever truly know him or was she too damn busy with other things? Through her exploration she discovers many lessons about what really matters.

  3. Aniceto Salmerón  March 4, 2019 at 3:47 am Reply

    I would like to recommend the reading of “Finding Aaron: a spiritual practice beyond belief”. What follows is part of a review that, in my opinion, accurately describes the content: “… I was blown away by this book and by the author’s passion and intellect; her argument makes so much sense, and she provides a wealth of supporting documentation and evidence of her thesis: Life is a continuum of consciousness, that includes our birth and our death, but that does not limit us to the time frame in-between. Read it and discover, not something new to believe in, but something as old as time that you can know and recognize as truth: Death is not the end.”

  4. Gwenn Silva  August 15, 2018 at 4:20 pm Reply

    A new book just published by Donor Network West “An Extraordinary Gift”
    This title was imagined and created to help children whose loved one has become an organ and or tissue donor. Many adults find it difficult to explain the concept of organ donation to children. This book of seven short stories along with the amazing artwork help to explain the beauty of donation to children in a way they can more easily understand. Can be purchased at http://www.donornetworkwest.org Hope you find it helpful!

  5. Barb  June 24, 2018 at 3:45 pm Reply

    Anything written by Gary Roe or Linda Knappett.

  6. Philip Carlile  June 11, 2018 at 9:14 pm Reply

    The Death Talker published by New Holland, written by Molly Carlile AM
    Sometimes Life Sucks published by Allen and Unwin, written by Molly Carlile AM

    The first is for adults, with engaging stories, information and resources covering everything from a terminal diagnosis to funerals, digital legacy, and grief, the second for adolescents and also contains stories and resources for young people in plain language they can easily understand.

  7. Judy Coffin  March 29, 2018 at 1:08 pm Reply

    I have just been doing some reading and book reviews for our church’s new grief outreach initiative (ORA Loss & Living Program) in Montreal, Canada) and thought that these three books were moving and insightful:
    The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Reading and Grieving by Anne Gisleson
    Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart: An Emotional and Spiritual Handbook by Daphne Rose Kingsma

  8. Judy Coffin  March 29, 2018 at 1:08 pm Reply

    I have just been doing some reading and book reviews for our church’s new grief outreach initiative (ORA Loss & Living Program) in Montreal, Canada) and thought that these three books were moving and insightful:
    The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Reading and Grieving by Anne Gisleson
    Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart: An Emotional and Spiritual Handbook by Daphne Rose Kingsma

  9. Sarah M Bernier  March 10, 2018 at 11:23 am Reply

    Has anyone here read “And Still She Laughs” by Kate Merrick ? Was thinking about ordering it. She lost her 5 year old daughter to cancer.

  10. Sarah M Bernier  March 10, 2018 at 11:23 am Reply

    Has anyone here read “And Still She Laughs” by Kate Merrick ? Was thinking about ordering it. She lost her 5 year old daughter to cancer.

  11. Jan Hernandez  June 26, 2017 at 5:15 pm Reply

    A Grace Disguised, by Gerald Sittser. He lost his mother, wife, and 4 year old daughter all in one vehicular accident in which he was driving and hit head-on by a drunk driver. Saved my sanity after we lost our daughter Lora Beth in a car wreck. I’d read two or three pages at a time, and knew I wasn’t crazy, just grieving.

  12. Jenny  October 11, 2016 at 8:21 am Reply

    Great list! Here are some beautifully written memoirs that I enjoyed on death and grief:
    The Truth About Butterflies by Nancy Stephan
    Singing Beyond Sorrow: A Year of Grief, Gratitude & Grace by Carole Marie Downing
    It Rains In February: A Wife’s Memoir of Love and Loss by Leila Summers
    Again in a Heartbeat: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Dating Again by Susan Weidener
    Dancing in Heaven — a sister’s memoir by Christine M. Grote

  13. Cindy  August 20, 2016 at 3:20 pm Reply

    I escaped into my journal five years ago after losing my daughter. I wrote voraciously to work out the contents of my heart and to find a way to emerge from the deep darkness. I wrote for myself in an uncensored manner. I died my own death. I cried, I yelled, I collapsed and I was miraculously surrounded with the most incredible light. This week that journal became a book- Losing My Breath: From Loss to Transformation. The most moving part of publishing this book is the honest conversations that are surrounding it. The vulnerability and authenticity as people begin to share their own stories. I am deeply touched. https://amzn.to/2b83VEx

  14. Rebecca Williams  June 14, 2016 at 4:22 pm Reply

    I’d like to recommend my workbook on addiction and loss called: The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress, and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors (New Harbinger Press). This is a user friendly workbook that helps folks who have experienced a loss learn new behaviors rather than returning to addictions. Thank you! Rebecca Williams, PhD, Clinical Psychologist

  15. Rabbi Mel Glazer  April 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm Reply

    Waiting for the next list, hoping my book A GPS for Grief and Healing is on it.
    Wonderful list which I have bookmarked and use when folks in my Congregation ask for resources.

  16. Lorraine Mangione  April 26, 2016 at 7:10 pm Reply

    I wanted to mention a psychology book for a general audience I have written with a colleague called “Daughters, Dads, and the Path through Grief: Tales from Italian America,” published by Impact/New Harbinger out of California and based on interviews we did with women who had lost their fathers. And while the grief and loss, and how it continues and morphs over time, are a major part of the women’s stories and our writing, we bring it all the way back to the father-daughter relationship that began in childhood and how it has grown and changed. We have also been told that it speaks to non-Italian Americans and offers ways for readers to think about how their own culture affects their relationships and their grieving. I think I wept a bit with each and every interview.

  17. Stephanie  September 22, 2015 at 12:34 pm Reply

    “Final Gifts” was life-changing for me. Especially if you are still in the stages of anticipating the death of someone you love – it helped prepare me and give me new perspective on the process and cycle of life and death.

  18. Michelle Pawkett  August 20, 2015 at 10:10 pm Reply

    How To Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies by Therese A. Rando. This is one of my favorites. It is very practical, supportive, down to earth and normalizes a lot of thoughts, feelings and behaviors related to the grieving process. Self-care is emphasized as well. Plus, there are lots of helpful resources re: all kinds of losses: death of a child, a partner, by suicide, murder etc. I love all of Rando’s work. 🙂

  19. Kate  August 9, 2015 at 9:53 pm Reply

    Paula, by Isabel Allende; and An Exact Replica of a Figure of my Imagination, by Elizabeth McCracken.

    • Litsa  August 10, 2015 at 7:50 am Reply

      You are the second or third person to mention the Exact Replica book! I need to read it. Thanks for your additions!

  20. Debra Coddington  July 12, 2015 at 1:33 pm Reply

    After my son drowned and went missing I couldn’t read for months. Once I could again, I read many of your recommendations trying to find solace. I will certainly add many on this list. Thank you for compiling it. One book I would add to any list of books about surviving grief and tragedy would have to be Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search for Meaning. A practicing psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, Frankl’s gem of a book is filled with observations about why some individuals are able to transcend the worst – whereas others cannot. Simply written, rather than being shocking or depressing (which one might expect, considering the subject) I found Frankl’s short little book inspiring; and his reflections remarkable and impossible to ignore. It helped me when little else could.

    • Litsa  July 12, 2015 at 7:09 pm Reply

      Ah, great recommendation Debra! That is an absolutely amazing book. I read it in high school in the first philosophy class I ever took and it had such a deep impact on me.

  21. Tricia E. Bratton  June 18, 2015 at 1:39 am Reply

    Leaning In to Love by Elaine Mansfield. Honest, direct and beautiful. A memoir of a widow’s love for her husband as she accompanies him through his illness and death.

  22. D  June 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm Reply

    An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken. I read it 6 weeks after my son was stillborn. It saved my life.

  23. Tracy Russell  June 12, 2015 at 10:06 am Reply

    The Five People You Meet In Heaven is another great Mitch Albom book. It is fiction but a lovely read.

  24. Anna  June 8, 2015 at 8:17 am Reply

    Thank you for all these book titles. Are there any others that deal with grief due to losses that are not due to dying? The unmet dream of a second child was a difficult loss for me, and I know that grief can occur from many losses. Do you have any titiles to recommend? Thanks, Anna

    • Eleanor  June 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm Reply

      Hmmm Anna, thanks for your question. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I know there have to be some out there. Are you looking for memoirs (most on this list are memoirs) or practical support??

  25. Joan. Harris  June 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm Reply

    Tears and Tequila
    A must read

    • Eleanor  June 14, 2015 at 12:25 pm Reply

      Oh thanks Joan. I forgot about Tears and Tequila. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but we did do an interview with the authors. I’m glad to hear you liked it.

  26. Dianna Hamilton  June 5, 2015 at 6:11 pm Reply

    Heartbroken and Saying Goodbye by Gary Roe.

  27. Kay Windsor  June 5, 2015 at 9:21 am Reply

    For the thirteen of us bereaved mothers whose stories and grief journeys are included in Carol Henderson’s The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers( 2012), reflective writing has been a lifeline in our individual grief journeys and our journey as a group. We have been writing together since 2002 after an all-day writing toward healing workshop for bereaved mothers sponsored by a local hospice, church and college. The book includes writing promots from our first five years, stories of our children, writings we have done. Carol Henderson, also a bereaved mother and the author, also wrote Losing Malcolm: A Mother’s Journey Through Grief( 2001, 2014). We continue to write at https://fartheralongbook.com.

  28. Kim Farley  June 5, 2015 at 4:17 am Reply

    Four beautiful books in my collection I can totally recommend –
    Inthe Springtime of the Year by Susan Hill, a remarkable novel about sudden loss
    Swimmer in the Secret Sea by William Kotzwinkle and An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken (these are both about stllbirth, the former an exquisite novella, the latter a stunning memoir) and
    If You Sit Very Still, which is a luminous memoir of loss, violent death and forgiveness by Marian Partington.
    Oh and a fifth! The Iceberg by Marion Coutts, her memoir of her husband’s cancer and dying, which practically reinvents language. They have each made a profound impact on me.

    Love your posts. Thank you for whatsyourgrief.

    • Eleanor  June 14, 2015 at 12:26 pm Reply

      Thanks Kim!!!

      We will have to add those to our next list.

  29. Victoria  June 5, 2015 at 4:06 am Reply

    I’ve written this review of “Walking Taylor Home” by Brian Schrauger, a beautifully written book.
    To be honest, it’s about what happens before his child dies, but that in itself can be a part of our grief story. The grief story that begins when you know that your child, whom you love more than life itself, has a life limiting condition and you must prepare both yourself and them for a crushing parting.

    I also have walked this road.


  30. Mary Hatcher-Richards  June 5, 2015 at 12:01 am Reply

    I highly recommend “Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief” by Martha Whitmore Hickman. I was given a copy by my cousin who had suffered the loss of her husband 6 years before my husband died. It helped me more than any other book I read. Because there are daily pieces to read, I could read one, two or twenty-two depending on my need at the moment.

    • SL Keith  April 27, 2016 at 5:57 am Reply

      When my husband of 53 years unexpectedly dropped dead before my eyes, I was in shock for many days. A neighbor gave me this same book and of all the many books I read over the next year, it was the only one that really helped me.

  31. Michael Whitman  June 4, 2015 at 9:15 pm Reply

    “A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies,” by Anne McCracken and Mary Semel — your sort-of neighbors, being in Towson and Roland Park.

  32. Laura Lynn Peck  June 4, 2015 at 9:09 pm Reply

    “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory” by Caitlin Doughty

    “Signs of Life: A Memoir” by Natalie Taylor

  33. Linda Rubano  June 4, 2015 at 7:43 pm Reply

    I read Death Be Not Proud many years ago. Tragically sad but beautifully written by war correspondent, John Gunther. There was a TV movie with Robbie Benson as the terminally ill son who towered above his illness until the bitter end. It will make you cry but worth reading.

    • Eleanor  June 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm Reply


      My Dad told me to read this when I was in high school. At the time it was kind of distressing, but now that I have a little perspective I recognize how beautiful the story is. It’s definitely a tear-jerker.


      • Rabbi Mel Glazer  June 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        When a loved one dies, or a beloved pet, or a relationship, or any of the other 75 losses which can affect our lives, we are literally clueless. We do not know the right direction to take, to get to healing. My book A GPS FOR GRIE AND HEALING shows you the right path. Just like the GPS in your car, follow these non-complicated three stages and healing will come. Check the Kindle testimonials, they say it better than I do. May God envelop us all with blessings and peace.

  34. Marvin Petsel, CT  June 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm Reply

    I’d like to submit my book for your consideration for the next list. It’s titled “Grief: The Lonely Road, A Widower’s Journey Toward Hope.” It is a book regarding men’s grief, a topic that is not written about as much as women’s grief. Here’s a link where you can learn more – http://www.embers4growth.com or you can find it on Amazon.com.
    I appreciate the opportunity to tell you about the book – and for providing such a list.

  35. Clif Martin  June 4, 2015 at 5:47 pm Reply

    When my wife of 60 years died, my adult daughter gave me a magazine excerpt of the Joyce Carol Oates story of her husband’s death. The daughter said it helped her to understand my feelings. I still have not figured out how to tell her that the death of my wife and her mother was nothing like that writer’s experience and I had hardly any of the feelings that Oates wrote about. If there’s a point that I would make over and over again it would be that you simply cannot truly know how another person feels about death. My blog is “Death Happens.” http://www.tadrn.blogspot.com

  36. DL  June 4, 2015 at 5:12 pm Reply

    DIE WISE: A Manifest For Sanity And Soul by Stephen Jenkinson.
    this is a must read. It just came out this spring. Stephen Jenkinson is a visionary writer and teacher who worked for over 20 years in the death industry, mostly in palliative care. This beautifully written book delves into how and why our society is so death phobic, and the myriad harms that this phobia does to our lives. He goes into things that you will not ever have thought of, and you will start thinking a different way when you read it. He also lays out what can be done to make this better for all of us. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Check his website (orphanwisdom.com) for his writings and talks, and to learn more about him. If everyone read this book I believe that there would be massive healing changes in our world.

  37. Shelley Ramsey  June 4, 2015 at 5:08 pm Reply

    Grief: A Mama’s Unwanted Journey by Shelley Ramsey

  38. Susan MacKenzie  June 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Since losing my adult son almost a year ago, I’ve found several books helpful: 7 Choices: Finding Daylight After Shatters Your World by Elizabeth Harper Neeld – gave me an idea of what to expect and activities that might help work through grief; I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One Paperback – May 1, 2008
    by Pamela Blair PhD (Author), Brook Noel (Author)
    and Michael Rosin’s Sad Book – those have been the most helpful…along with a generic coloring book and crayons which is an interesting diversion. Thanks for your helpful list…

  39. Deborah Vidmar  June 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz Chast was incredibly humorous and surprisingly on-point. When you’ve had a few months to recover from the initial shock of a parent’s death… pick up this book & allow yourself a few laughs (if not a lot). 🙂

    • Eleanor  June 14, 2015 at 12:30 pm Reply

      Was this good??? I’ve seen it in the book store and wondered. Now that you’ve recommended it I’m definitely going to add it to my list.

  40. Rabbi Mel Glazer  June 4, 2015 at 2:37 pm Reply

    At the risk of sounding arrogant, which I am not, i humbly suggest you take a look at my book “A GPS FOR GRIEF AND HEALING,” which was #1 in a Kindle category I never heard of…
    Still, I think it it is a helpful book, and all my testimonials on Google would agree.
    you’ll find it in Amazon at “GPS FOR GRIEF.”

  41. Judy Brizendine  June 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm Reply

    I’d like to submit my book for your consideration for the next list. It’s titled Stunned By Grief: Remapping Your Life When Loss Changes Everything. Here’s a link where you can learn more – https://stunnedbygrief.com/books/
    Thanks for the opportunity to tell you about the book – and for providing such a list.

  42. Deborah Gawthrop  June 4, 2015 at 2:32 pm Reply

    Great list! I would like to add to books for younger widowed spouses: Companion through the Darkness by Stephanie Ericcsson and I’m Grieving as Fast as I can by Linda Feinberg.

  43. Doug Ebbert  June 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm Reply

    Life After the Death of My Son: What I’m Learning, by Dennis Apple. This book helped me a bit, as he lost his son as unexpectedly and as suddenly as I did. I’ve read it twice, and I’m sure I’ll read it again.

  44. Rea  June 4, 2015 at 1:01 pm Reply

    IT’S OK TO DIE, Monica Williams-Murphy, MD
    FINAL GIFTS, Callanan & Kelley

  45. Angelo Ortiz  June 4, 2015 at 1:01 pm Reply

    Have you read “A year in the Life of Joseph Farmer” ? Amazon Ebooks

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