My best books on a biblical view of death and grief

Kaitlyn Odom Fiedler Author Of What Now? Finding Renewed Life in Christ After Loss
By Kaitlyn Odom Fiedler

Who am I?

Navigating life with grief has been a lifelong journey for me ever since I was a young child. At 8 years old, I was in a car accident which took the lives of my parents and four of my siblings. Since then, I’ve faced a huge mountain in front of me – How do you move forward in life when you have lost everything? This journey led me to now share my story of childhood loss and healing in hopes of helping others. As a counselor, I’m a huge mental health advocate and love books which tackle hard emotions that help readers of all ages feel more understood and equipped for their journey ahead.

I wrote...

What Now? Finding Renewed Life in Christ After Loss

By Kaitlyn Odom Fiedler,

Book cover of What Now? Finding Renewed Life in Christ After Loss

What is my book about?

Kaitlyn Odom Fiedler was eight years old when she woke up alone in a hospital room, the victim of a horrible car accident that claimed the lives of six of her family members as they traveled on their way to vacation at the beach. Left with only one living brother, young Kaitlyn was left with the question, "What now?" How do you find hope after loss? Twenty years later, Kaitlyn has found her hope and wants to encourage others as they struggle with their own trials.

What Now? Finding Renewed Life in Christ After Loss brings a refreshing perspective of hope and will help answer the questions of how to move forward, not just move on, when it seems there is nothing left on which to cling.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief: A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Healing the Impact of Loss

Why did I love this book?

Reading this book was like a lightbulb going off!

There are many stages of grief that people observe (denial, anger, shock, etc.). But anxiety is a key component of grief as well. I’ve experienced anxiety in my life but had no idea it was connected to my grief.

Seeing and understanding this connection through Claire’s book is like attending counseling and is so important for anyone going through the grieving process.

By Claire Bidwell Smith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Anxiety as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anxiety disorders are on the rise; many people are looking for resources to help them cope with anxiety, yet most people aren't aware that unresolved grief is a primary underpinning--or that the two are related at all. In her therapy practice and in her own life, Claire Bidwell Smith discovered the connections between anxiety and grief. Now, backed by research, case studies, and interviews, Bidwell Smith breaks down the physiology of anxiety, giving readers a concrete foundation of understanding in order to help them heal the anxiety caused by loss. Taking a big step beyond Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' widely accepted five…

Someone I Love Died

By Christine Harder Tangvald,

Book cover of Someone I Love Died

Why did I love this book?

This is a children’s book for primarily ages 4-8. It describes what it’s like for a child to be experiencing grief through a biblical lens.

I can’t recommend this book enough because as someone who experienced loss as a child, I needed this book then. It has beautiful words and imagery to guide the child and hold their emotions. It would be a fantastic book to read through in a counseling session with a child experiencing loss. 

By Christine Harder Tangvald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Someone I Love Died as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Ten Beautiful Things

By Molly Griffin, Maribel Lechuga (illustrator),

Book cover of Ten Beautiful Things

Why did I love this book?

Griffin does a wonderful job in this beautiful children’s book.

She guides the reader through a heartfelt tale of a little girl moving to live with her grandmother. On the car ride, they both search for 10 beautiful things. This book will pull at the heartstrings as, together, they find beauty in little things around them on their car ride, and it ends with the pair naming the sweetest, most beautiful thing of all.

As someone who has experienced childhood loss (loss as a child), I highly recommend this beautiful story for any child going through a loss or big change in their life that might have them feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or closed off.

By Molly Griffin, Maribel Lechuga (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ten Beautiful Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A heartfelt story of changing perspectives, set in the Midwest. Ten Beautiful Things gently explores loss, a new home, and finding beauty wherever you are.

Lily and her grandmother search for ten beautiful things as they take a long car ride to Iowa and Lily's new home with Gran. At first, Lily sees nothing beautiful in the April slush and cloudy sky. Soon though, Lily can see beauty in unexpected places, from the smell of spring mud to a cloud shaped like a swan to a dilapidated barn. A furious rainstorm mirrors Lily's anxiety, but as it clears Lily discovers…

Book cover of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Why did I love this book?

I love this book for so many reasons.

First, the author uses the most beautiful language that reads like poetry. Second, though the story of what the author experienced is heart wrenching, she does such a great job of offering so much hope and joy in her words. As I’ve learned from my own hard experiences, gratitude is the key to living a full and abundant life.

Voskamp describes in every page how her choosing joy over despair is what keeps her going in life. Her joy and gratitude are contagious and leaves the reader wanting to know more about how they too can find this same gratitude in life and come to know her God.

By Ann Voskamp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Thousand Gifts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than 1.5 million copies sold! In this beautiful tenth anniversary edition of her bestselling book, New York Times bestselling author Ann Voskamp invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative journey of chronicling God's gifts.

How can you find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and even the death of loved ones? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long, and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?

"It is in the dark that God is passing by . . . our lives shake not because God has…

Book cover of What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)

Why did I love this book?

This book is a must read for anyone who has either experienced loss and grief or knows someone who is experiencing grief.

It equips all readers with everything they need to know to come alongside their grieving friend or loved one. I appreciated this book so much because in my story of loss, I’ve experienced exactly what Guthrie says that really helps and also all the things she mentions that really hurt.

Can’t recommend this “grief guide” enough. It’s not only practical, but it also comes from a rich biblical lens.

By Nancy Guthrie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Practical and down-to-earth, this short guide will equip you to come alongside a loved one who is hurting and offer comfort in ways that really help.

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