The best books on sibling loss, love, and hope

Who am I?

I have been asked for decades to share my story. Who would want to hear my story? When we established the fund in memory of beloved sisters Margie and Jane, the doctor connected to the fund told me to write about my sisters so others would know them. After thirty years of suppressing my grief, writing became a venue to let the walls down and let my feelings out and be compassionate to myself and others in their grief no matter the time. Grief is a difficult subject and I hope in telling my story another individual will not be alone in their grief.


I wrote...

Celebration of Sisters: It Is Never Too Late To Grieve

By Judy Lipson,

Book cover of Celebration of Sisters: It Is Never Too Late To Grieve

What is my book about?

A heartfelt memoir of a woman's journey to grieve the loss of her beloved sisters after thirty by turning tragedy into celebration through an annual ice skating fundraiser

For Judy Lipson, her sisters were her compass, constant, champions, and competitors and for thirty years she suppressed the grief of losing her two beloved sisters. Judy experienced the reality that those who lose siblings are the forgotten mourners and they are left to take care of their parents and children. The impact of their loss takes a back seat. This is a story of love, grief, and moving forward, even years after the loss.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Adult Sibling Loss: Stories, Reflections and Ripples

By Brenda J. Marshall,

Book cover of Adult Sibling Loss: Stories, Reflections and Ripples

Why this book?

When I began my grief journey after thirty years, I googled Sibling Loss and came across Brenda’s dissertation. For the first time I did not feel alone in my grief. I reached out to Brenda and she told me about her writing, Adult Sibling Loss. Brenda’s sensitivity in sharing the emotions of the loss of her brother, and three adult women who lost their sibling validated feelings I kept dormant. Layered into the stories is extensive research done by Brenda.

Brenda termed her experience “invisible griever” following the unexpected death of her brother. Siblings are often the forgotten mourners. The bookshelves have few in this category, and I am grateful to be on the road to discovering the few written are heartfelt, enlightening, and aided me in my grief.

Adult Sibling Loss: Stories, Reflections and Ripples

By Brenda J. Marshall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Adult Sibling Loss as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"He was my best friend." "I feel like I've lost that one person I could always count on." Siblings know each other in ways friends and other blood relatives do not. They have shared bedrooms, bathrooms, holidays, family milestones, meals, and a way of growing up that those outside the family can never fully understand. The bond is intense, complicated, sometimes difficult, often wonderful and absolutely irreplaceable. When death interrupts what might have been a lovely, lifelong connection, the impact is tremendous. And yet, this loss is rarely the focus of research and is not well understood or recognised within…

Skating Forward: Celebrating 10 Years of Figure Skating Stories

By Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz,

Book cover of Skating Forward: Celebrating 10 Years of Figure Skating Stories

Why this book?

2021 was a pivotal year for me. I turned sixty-five, my ice skating fundraiser Celebration of Sisters to honor my beloved sisters marked its tenth year, and my memoir was published. Skating is a sport my sisters and I shared and brought me full circle back to my sisters. Joanne and I met at an Adult Skating Camp in 2011. The Skating Forward series, tells stories of skaters of all levels from novice to Olympic Champions, all disciplines, all ages solidifying the meaning of figure skating in their lives. I am honored to be a participant in this milestone book due to the impact skating had on my life. On the ice I feel joy, peace, and each of my sisters on my shoulder as the breeze flows through my hair.

Skating Forward: Celebrating 10 Years of Figure Skating Stories

By Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skating Forward as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ten Years of Skating Forward. Come Celebrate with us as we reach a milestone. Visit with some old friends, and meet many new friends. All will be inspired by their very special stories as they keep skating forward.

“Just as we are the purveyors of the history of skating through movement, Joanne keeps that history through words. Over the last 10 years, she has compiled a treasure trove of literature detailing unique and incredible stories of skaters from an array of eras. This book is a love letter to the specialty of our sport and to the many years that…

Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief

By Susan E. Casey,

Book cover of Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief

Why this book?

The loss of a sibling(s) changes us and rocks our world. I read Susan’s book and heard words of love, hope, and resilienciency, a message I needed to hear and wanted to emulate. The parallel themes to my life and the stories shared by other siblings, Susan weaves in amongst the heartfelt love of Rocky warmed my heart. To quote Susan, “Where there is joy, there is grief. One is more predominant than the other at any given time, depending on which one we shine our light on.” I felt this at the birth of my grandson. On the one hand, a hole in my heart missing my beloved sisters, and looking at this beautiful new life, a new beginning.

Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief

By Susan E. Casey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rock On as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief is about love, loss, grief, and the journey toward hope and reclaiming joy. Rock On focuses solely on sibling loss because it’s a tragedy author Susan Casey experienced in her own life. On Valentine’s Day, 2014, she learned of the horrific and unexpected death of her forty-three-year-old brother Rocky (birth name: Brian) who died while in Hong Kong with his wife and three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.Susan shares her journey, capturing the bond between her and her brother, the shock over his sudden death, and the emotional three-week trip to Asia.…

Dear Edward

By Ann Napolitano,

Book cover of Dear Edward

Why this book?

I am recommending this work of fiction selected by The Compassionate Friends Sibling Grief Book Club. Ann, with grace, handles not only the sibling loss of a brother, a boy the sole survivor of a plane crash, but the depth and breadth of grief from the aunt and uncle Edward lives with. Edward’s aunt grieving the loss of an unborn child and her sister, says to Edward, “You’re not okay. We are not okay. This is not okay.” I’m certain other bereaved siblings can relate, “he mourns what his brother has lost.” I related to how in a family we handle grief differently and often are unable to communicate how we are feeling. 

Dear Edward

By Ann Napolitano,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Dear Edward as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A transcendent coming-of-age story about the ways a broken heart learns to love again.

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles: there are 192 people aboard. When the plane suddenly crashes, twelve-year-old Edward Adler is the sole survivor.

In the aftermath, Edward struggles to make sense of his grief, sudden fame and find his place in a world without his family. But then Edward and his neighbour Shay make a startling discovery; hidden in his uncle's garage are letters from the relatives of other passengers - all addressed him.…


Welcome to the Grief Club: Because You Don't Have to Go Through It Alone

By Janine Kwoh,

Book cover of Welcome to the Grief Club: Because You Don't Have to Go Through It Alone

Why this book?

I wish this lovely book was written years ago when I lost my sisters. As the title states, “Because you don’t have to go through it alone.” Written with love, first-hand experience, and not your typical grief book filled with anecdotes, helpful shortlists, and more than a how-to but one that you can decipher any or all pieces at any time. Janine writes with raw honesty and expresses on the page what we experienced in our head and unable to verbalize. The graphics of the cover are brilliant and the size of the book allows for mobility to keep with you as a reference and surround you with a grief partner.

Welcome to the Grief Club: Because You Don't Have to Go Through It Alone

By Janine Kwoh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Welcome to the Grief Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Welcome to the Grief Club--a place where one human who experienced a terrible loss, Janine Kwoh, is at the door to welcome other humans who are grieving. It is not an instruction manual, or a step-by-step playbook, or a memoir. It is, rather, a fresh, empathetic approach to all of the surprising, confusing, brutal, funny, and downright bizarre parts of grief. Combining her own experiences with grief--the author's partner died when both were in their late 20s--with what she learned from others in her "grief club," Kwoh uses brief writings and observations, hand-drawn illustrations, and diagrams to explore all the…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in grief, sibling, and figure skating?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about grief, sibling, and figure skating.

Grief Explore 57 books about grief
Sibling Explore 157 books about sibling
Figure Skating Explore 12 books about figure skating

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Operating Instructions, Year of Wonders, and Extinctions if you like this list.