The best books on coping with grief and loss through suicide

The Books I Picked & Why

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

By Max Porter

Book cover of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Why this book?

This fiction story touched my heart and while it isn’t about suicide, it is about grief and loss from a sudden death and tells the story of two young boys and their father and the crow that refuses to leave until they no longer need him. This book had moments of raw emotion as well as unexpected humour that I found a tonic. It’s sad and funny and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It is a story that stayed with me for a long time. 


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Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief

By David Kessler

Book cover of Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief

Why this book?

I went through a stage of reading books on grief from experts and this is one that stood out for me because it looks at the sixth stage of grief which is meaning. In this book, the author discusses his own grief with the tragic and sudden loss of his son. I found it to be very sensitively written and practical and it helped me to understand grief in a different way and let me know that what I’d experienced was okay. I found his words very comforting.


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The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss

By Richard Coles

Book cover of The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss

Why this book?

For me, this book gave me an insight into loss as an adult and more perspective into how my mother must have felt on having to live life as a single parent and the loneliness she must have felt. This book is a deeply emotional and personal account of this man’s grief, but it really resonated with me and gave me a lot of understanding.


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Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving

By Julia Samuel

Book cover of Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving

Why this book?

This book is a collection of stories that offers clear advice for anyone seeking comfort after loss. It talks about building new habits that can help you as you try to rebuild your life and contains personal stories of loss told with great compassion and sensitivity and I learned something from each and every one of them. I guess it helped me to not feel so alone and realise that there were others going through the same thing.


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No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One

By Carla Fine

Book cover of No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One

Why this book?

This book although released back in 1999 it is still relevant today. The author speaks openly and honestly about the different emotions including guilt and loneliness which really resonated with me. The book is full of stories of pain and heartache that I could relate to as well as courage and inspiration. This book is honest and felt like a group therapy session that I didn’t want to leave at times. This book doesn’t hide the brutality of suicide, the stigma, the tragedy, and most of all the suffering and pain of those left behind. 


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