The best books about death and dying, grief, and loss

Julie Saeger Nierenberg Author Of Daddy, This Is It: Being-with My Dying Dad
By Julie Saeger Nierenberg

The Books I Picked & Why

Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life

By Victoria Brewster, Julie Saeger Nierenberg

Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life

Why this book?

This book is an anthology of over 50 perspectives on death and dying, grief, and bereavement shared by professionals who work in supporting the dying and bereaved and by those who have lived their own unique experiences of loss. It is a comprehensive cross-section of this topic and one which can be a valuable resource to anyone going through their own such experience or those who are preparing to support others in grief.


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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

By Atul Gawande

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Why this book?

Gawande takes a compelling look at the medical profession, making the case that quality of life can take precedence over merely extending life by any medical means or invasive procedures that are available. He shares examples of ways our society can more responsibly care for its elderly, preserving dignity and a good life until death.


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Leaning Into Love: A Spiritual Journey Through Grief

By Elaine Mansfield

Leaning Into Love: A Spiritual Journey Through Grief

Why this book?

Mansfield’s poignant story of her beloved husband’s journey through cancer and his eventual death is a heartfelt telling of the intimate story of how she becomes a widow and how she meets that event with courage and spiritual exploration. She rises from the ashes of her grief and soars like a phoenix to give back to others, a brilliantly told tale.


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With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial

By Kathryn Mannix

With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial

Why this book?

Dr. Mannix studied and practiced in palliative care for over thirty years. In her book she shares insightful stories, highlighting the value of approaching death with an open, clear understanding. She makes the case for forethought and preparation to meet death gently. Each unique story nudges the reader toward a greater appreciation for the depths of meaning of each special life.


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Gifted By Grief: A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth

By Jane Duncan Rogers

Gifted By Grief: A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth

Why this book?

Rogers has an unexpected message to share. It’s possible to be grateful amidst a loved one’s death. In her case, it was the loss of her husband, and the story is told through blog posts he composed during his final year of life along with her own journal entries. By seeing her way through her own depths of grief, Rogers points the way for readers to seek and find their own gifts embedded in the grief of loss.


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