Grief is one of the most common human experiences, but it can often leave us feeling isolated and heartbroken. During times of loss, books can be an invaluable source of comfort by helping us to feel seen and heard, offering practical advice, and providing us space to reflect on our grief and find solace with others. Below are books that, through the power of words and storytelling, can provide a sense of hope, healing, and community to those who are navigating the difficult journey of grief.
Healing Books for All Who Grieve
When we lose someone we love, we are forever changed. Leanne Friesen thought she knew a lot about bereavement, but only when her own sister died from cancer did she learn what grieving people need. In the pages of Grieving Room, Friesen writes with vulnerability, wisdom, and even wit about stark and sacred lessons learned in the face of death. When we lose someone, what we need most is grieving room.
Surviving cancer—and thriving—isn't just about medicine. It's about managing your needs, emotions, relationships, and more. In Cancer Sucks, but You'll Get Through It, three-time cancer survivor and long-time publishing executive Michelle Rapkin offers an unrivaled guide for anyone who has heard the words "It's cancer." Infused with hope, laughter, and non-medical advice, this book curates personal experience with priceless learning from interviews with cancer survivors around the country.
There is no "right" way to grieve; grief is complex and deeply personal. For more than fifty years, Good Grief has helped millions of readers find comfort and hope after loss. Whether one is mourning the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage, the loss of a job, or other difficult life changes, Good Grief is a proven steady companion in times of loss.
In addition to Good Grief, the Good Grief series offers a devotional and a journal for those searching for more resources to help them heal. The three books can be purchased as a complete set, in bundles of two, or individually.
What if our dead remain with us? What if closure is not the goal? No matter what you believe about the afterlife, what if the hereafter intersects with the here and now? All the Ways Our Dead Still Speak takes readers on a lyrical and tender quest to encounter the hereafter. Entwining these stories with his own as a sixth-generation funeral director, and with the findings of neuroscience and the solace of faith, Caleb Wilde creates a searching, reverent inquiry into all the ways our dead remain with us.
"It is only through awareness of death that we hasten to build the being that we ought to be," writes Dr. Ana Claudia Quintana Arantes. Death Is a Day Worth Living touches a universal nerve, speaking to our most intimate moments and to the vital part of who we are as caregivers and loving family members. With her expertise, Dr. Quintana Arantes courageously takes on a subject that continues to be taboo, offering nothing short of a revolutionary way to reconsider the act of dying. We need to—and can—do more to ensure that everyone has a well-managed and lovingly supported death, and that to do so is a celebration of their life and humanity, and those of their caretakers.
Healing Books for Spiritual Readers
Grieving the loss of a loved one is an experience with many seasons and stages. Winter Grief, Summer Grace helps readers navigate the phases of emotion through the four seasons of the year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. With quotes, poetry, and suggestions, author James E. Miller provides gentle guidance and comfort for those who mourn.
Accidental injury is the leading cause of death for Americans under forty-five. Those who have caused accidents walk among us. They are us. Episcopal priest David W. Peters unintentionally killed someone in a traffic accident as a young man, and in Accidental, he guides readers through the aftermath of these tragedies toward healing and recovery.
Experiencing the death of a beloved pet can be profoundly difficult, and it can be challenging to find real support and comfort during this time. Broken Heart, Shared Heart, Healing Heart acknowledges the deep pain that pet loss causes and offers gentle guidance on how to navigate this difficult time. Grounded in practical advice and research that pet owners can draw on for real help for their broken hearts, this book offers strategies for honoring loss and our own grieving process.
When Molly Phinney Baskette was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer at age thirty-nine and with two small children, her theology of and relationship to God were tested more profoundly than ever. In How to Begin When Your World Is Ending, Baskette shares the questions that confronted her along the way. Weaving together her own story and the stories of those she has encountered in her life of faith, Baskette mines joy from all the hardest parts of being human.
We are living in a world that is sick. Both literally sick, with 60 percent of adults in the US living with a chronic illness, and figuratively sick, facing ever increasing rates of burnout, anxiety, and disconnection. As a writer, activist, and theology student, Lyndsey Medford was used to critiquing unsustainable medical, environmental, economic, and social systems from a theoretical perspective. But when her autoimmune disorder roared out of remission, she discovered that her own body's systems lived at the very real vortex of all those systems' dysfunction. My Body and Other Crumbling Empires points out the beauty and ubiquity of our limitations; the importance of accessibility, broadly construed; the interconnected nature of individual and public health; and the badly needed wisdom we have gained from living with our particular bodies.
Grief is all-consuming. Shattering. The Spirituality of Grief honors the complex nature of grief and offers simple comfort: we are not alone, and there is no one right way to grieve. Author Fran Tilton Shelton walks us through the questions that gather in the wake of a loved one's death and offers spiritual practices, emerging from a variety of religious traditions, for those who remain. All who love will eventually grieve. Universal and particular, shared and solitary, grief rearranges every aspect of life. But by bringing the resources of spirituality to bear on our losses, we can carry our sorrows rather than silence them.
In Chronically Fabulous, Marisa Zeppieri, the founder of LupusChick, provides helpful principles, personal stories, and occasional recipes that support whole-life thriving with the depth, smarts, and helpful spiritual advice that her dedicated blog readers have come to expect. For anyone looking for hope and resources when your body's immune system is compromised, this is the perfect start to a chronically fabulous you.
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