21 Comforting Books About Grief And Death

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Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash
This article showcases our top picks for the Books About Grief And Death. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Doing This ONE Thing Will Change Your Life Forever! by Jacqui Olliver

This product was recommended by Jacqui Olliver from End the Problem

Emotional and intimacy issues which contaminate relationships are solved in this book along with a proven strategy for enhancing all aspects of personal connection. These insightful answers can transform an adult or teen from feeling frustrated, insecure and isolated into a happy, radiant and confident person.

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

This product was recommended by Jar Kuznecov from Water Softeners Hub

Why choose this book: * Perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss and grief. * Offers a very simple approach to overcoming loneliness with an imaginative twist that children easily understand and embrace. * Includes Vibrant new illustrations.

Crying in H-Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner

This product was recommended by Ristina H. Chong from helloristinaaa

Crying in H-Mart is a beautiful memoir by Michelle Zauner. It’s a book that combines self-discovery and coping with loss. With a dash of humor and heart, Michelle writes about her experience with her late mother before she lost her to cancer. It is a story that all Asian children can relate to; the strict-and-high-expectations-yet-full-of-love parenting style that most Asian parents practice. When Michelle discovered her mother’s illness, she was forced to confront and rediscover her own identity as a half-Korean, an identity that she had become distant with. The beautiful story is told through her experience of Korean food, language, and tight family bond that her mother had given her.

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye by Brook Noel

This product was recommended by William Cohen from My GRE Exam Prep

It’s a beautiful book that explains the several instances of grief, death, separation experienced by the authors themselves. As you progress chapter by chapter, you relate with something. There are stories about the death of a pet, losing someone loved, and more. And every chapter, & incident has been elucidated wholeheartedly.

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

This product was recommended by Shiv Gupta from Incrementors

Harold Kushner was a young rabbi when he discovered his 3-year-old son had a terminal disease. This bleak prognosis sent Harold on a lifetime quest to discover how God could allow decent people to suffer. In this famous book, he reveals how he reconciled his religious faith with his fears, concerns, and doubts, and it has become a resource for those suffering similar catastrophes. It covers Harold’s own experience as well as anecdotes from folks he’s assisted throughout his career.

The Afterlife Frequency by Mark Anthony

This product was recommended by Mark Anthony from Afterlife Frequency

The Afterlife Frequency is about death and grief and understanding death. This book provides hope for victims of grief, homicide, suicide, PTSD and survivor’s guilt. This revolutionary book illuminates how contact with spirits is a powerful instrument of healing and love. World-renowned psychic medium and Oxford educated attorney Mark Anthony bridges the divide between faith and science in this fascinating afterlife exploration taking you around the globe, from the cosmic to the subatomic, into the human soul itself. Combining physics, neuroscience and riveting true stories this book: – Reveals how our “electromagnetic soul” is pure eternal energy which never dies. – Takes spirit communication, near-death experiences, and deathbed visions out of the shadows of superstition and into the light of 21st Century science. – Teaches you Anthony’s RAFT Technique to Recognize contact with spirits, Accept it as real, Feel it without fear, and Trust in the experience. – Provides hope for victims of grief, homicide, suicide, PTSD and survivor’s guilt. – Illuminates how contact with spirits is a powerful instrument of healing and love.

On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

This product was recommended by Alina Clark from CocoDoc

A wonderful resource for those dealing with loss. This book has gotten some grief due to the public misunderstanding of the five stages of grief. The author originally developed these stages to be what terminally ill patients may go through after their diagnosis becomes certain, NOT to deal with the grieving of those left behind after death. She did however adapt the idea of the five stages in this excellent book on grieving the loss of loved ones.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

This product was recommended by Sally Stevens from FastPeopleSearch

Read this if you’re dealing with the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one. Or buy it for someone who is. Trust me. I read this book after my healthy 67-years-old mother died unexpectedly from a massive brain bleed. She was visiting me, we were talking and sitting on my couch, and she just fell over. It still feels like a nightmare, and it’s been almost three months. Anyway, there are a lot of books out there to help with grief. You can find all kinds of self-help types of books on this topic, some written for adult children, some for surviving spouses. Mostly I didn’t find them very helpful — neither did my dad. In addition to grief counseling, I would recommend this book highly to anyone dealing with the sudden death of a loved one.

Death; An Inside Story by Sadhguru

This product was recommended by Rohan Kadam from BikingKnowHow

I read this book after I had lost someone very close to me. I loved reading this book because it addresses the most fundamental aspect of our existence: Death. I never thought that Death needs preparation, just like other activities. This book uncovers what preparation is required for the final act of our life. Moreover, this book also covers how the near-and-dear ones can assist someone who is dying. The title of this book rightly says that this book is for all those who shall die.

But i don’t want to say GOODBYE! by Ta’Shay Mason

This product was recommended by Ta’Shay Mason from Ta’Shay Mason and Eternal Reefs

But i don’t want to say GOODBYE! is a perfect book to help any family experiencing grief and also for those young readers who might need help in understanding someone else who is going through a loss. The death of a loved one is never easy to understand, let alone speak about. But for a little girl whose father has just died, the hardest thing is figuring out how to say goodbye. As Mommy makes funeral arrangements and tries to figure out the best way to say goodbye to a man who was loved by many, the little girl must find her own way to come to peace with her father’s death and does so through a unique kind of memorial service using an Eternal Reefs reefball. Illustrated by Tanya Colton-Cauley with images from Eternal Reefs.

The Eve in Us All by Serene Seas

This product was recommended by Serene Seas from N/A

This is my personal story, written about the most challenging time in my life. I had no idea a global pandemic would follow the death of my daughter, but I am thankful to be in a position to share my strategy and my experience. Because I have a history of CPTSD, I knew I needed to consciously do all I could to keep from drowning in despair. My CPTSD stemmed from not only being adopted as a newborn, but as I would learn after meeting my birth mother at age 45, was a direct result of the trauma I endured in utero as a botched abortion survivor. I could have been so many things, a life long mental patient, an addict, a victim of suicide and homicide (more than once) but I am proof that Victor Frankel’s quote is true: those who have a why to live. can bear with almost any how.

Me for You by Lolly Winston

This product was recommended by Bridgette Witte from Culinary Debates

Rudy’s beloved wife died abruptly a few months ago, and Rudy has just begun a new career playing piano at a Nordstrom. He meets Sasha, a colleague who is in the process of divorcing her bad-boy husband. Rudy is approached by the police, who are probing his wife’s death as a murder, just as their fragile relationship begins to take shape. Meanwhile, Sasha’s ex continues to pop up. ME FOR YOU is a funny and touching look at new beginnings, as well as a look at loss.

The Salt House by Lisa Duffy

This product was recommended by Bridgette Witte from Culinary Debates

Hope, Jack, and their three daughters live a beautiful life on the seaside, building their lobster business–that is, until their youngest daughter dies in her sleep. A year later, each family member is still grieving in their own manner. However, once an old competitor pushes Jack to his limits professionally, the family members must work together to overcome new difficulties and past traumas in order to go forward. THE SALT HOUSE is a moving depiction of a family trying to move on from a tragic loss.

Refined by Fire by Mary Potter Kenyon

This product was recommended by MaryPotter Kenyon from MaryPotterKenyon

Where is the handbook for widows? Mary Kenyon lamented as she planned a funeral for the beloved husband whose triumph over cancer she chronicled in Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage. During the ensuing weeks, as she attempted to make sense of his untimely death, she filled two journals, blogged, and read the inspirational writings of others who had gone down the road of grief before her–authors like C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle. She eventually found herself studying grief and bereavement in her quest to unearth answers to alleviating the pain associated with profound loss. In the process, she discovered a strength and emotional reserve she didn’t know she had, along with an evolving faith that helped her face the impending loss of an eight-year-old grandson.

Expressive Writing for Healing by Mary Potter Kenyon

This product was recommended by MaryPotter Kenyon from MaryPotterKenyon

Writing is one of the oldest and most effective means of self-exploration, self-expression, and self-discovery. In this new guided journal, Mary Potter Kenyon offers readers an opportunity to reflect on the meaning and significance of loss and allows the griever to sort through all the conflicting emotions that arise after a death. By interweaving her own experiences of loss, the proven research behind writing as a method for healing, and blank pages with carefully chosen quotes, Kenyon gives readers space to express the feelings that are sometimes too painful to speak aloud.

It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine

This product was recommended by Terri A. Corcoran from Well Spouse Association

Written by someone who truly understands the devastation of losing a partner, this book delineates all the aspects of grief; that any way we grieve is okay and personal; and to not pay attention to the useless and sometimes hurtful things that people who haven’t sustained such a loss may tell the grieving. The author’s style is direct, forceful, and extremely comforting. She makes useful suggestions on getting through the grieving, while emphasizing that one size does NOT fit all.

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

This product was recommended by Tara Orcutt from Veggieslicious

Colm Toibin’s award-winning, highly acclaimed novel NORA WEBSTER is an insightful, fascinating examination at one woman’s mourning process and its consequences on those around her. Nora had just lost her husband, the love of her life, who saved her from her suffocating homeland in Wexford, Ireland. That same community threatens to devour her whole again now that she has four children and no money. Nora withdraws, causing harm to those around her and her children with her cool, but she also develops a greater capacity for moments of profound sensitivity.

How Can I Help? by Sherrie Dunlevy

This product was recommended by Sherrie Dunlevy from SherrieDunlevy

This is the book every person NEEDS to read and every grieving person wishes their friends and family had already read. All of us know someone who is grieving the loss of someone they love. Not all of us know what to do or say to help them in their grieving. This easy to read book was written by a bereaved mother who not only lost her son, but some of her closest friends after his death. Sherrie Dunlevy says she wrote the book so that NO ONE can ever have the excuse, I don’t know what to do” when opting to not do or say anything to a friend at a time when their support is most needed. “How Can I Help?” Is that book that will tell you exactly what you can do and say that will best support a loved one who is grieving so you can step out in LOVE.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This product was recommended by Claire Corey from Kavalan Health LLC

Paul Kalanithi’s book When Breath Becomes Air is also a memoir. It was written after Kalanithi had been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at age 36. He was well on his way to becoming a top neurosurgeon at Stanford when he began the rapid decline. This book is deeply honest and full of poignant prose.

And No One Saw It Coming by Marci Glidden Savage

This product was recommended by Olivia McCoy from MarciSavage

On August 13, 2014, Marci found Paul, her beloved husband of thirty-four years, dead by suicide. No warning. No explanation. No final good-bye. Less than five years later, on March 15, 2019, the unthinkable happened again. Michael, Marci’s second husband of only eight months, was found dead by suicide as well. And No One Saw It Coming is full of grit and candid insights as it opens the door into a personal story of lost love, betrayal, abandonment, shattered dreams, unanswered questions, judgements, and harmful social stigma. Vividly, Marci reveals the catastrophic impact of a suicide death on loved ones left behind. From the first page, her riveting, original, and profoundly moving open letter exposes the insidious way mental illness torments and holds captive its victims under the guise of silence. And why no one could see the end coming for her family. Twice.

Embracing Life After Loss by Allen Klein

This product was recommended by Allen Klein from Humor and Health

Losing a loved one is never easy. Yet at some point in the process we must get on with, and enjoy, life again…otherwise two lives are lost. Embracing Life After Loss: A Gentle Guide for Growing Though Grief is written in an easy-to-read, open-anywhere, format. It provides five encouraging steps to help readers move from loss to laughter…losing, learning, letting go, living, and finally, laughing. The author knows about loss; his wife died when she was 34. The books he read after his loss told him how terrible he would feel. He didn’t need that. What he needed was a book that inspired him, held his hand, and encouraged him to enjoy life again. That is what Embracing Life After Loss can do for you.

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