10 books like Awakening from Grief

By John E. Welshons,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Awakening from Grief. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Courage to Grieve

By Judy Tatelbaum,

Book cover of The Courage to Grieve: The Classic Guide to Creative Living, Recovery, and Growth Through Grief

Experiencing a loss may feel overwhelming. That is why you need to read this comforting book; it can ease that feeling. Written by a Gestalt therapist, this book feels like the author is in the room with you helping you deal with your sorrow, guilt, loneliness, resentment, confusion, and encouraging you to take part in life again after your loss.

The Courage to Grieve

By Judy Tatelbaum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Courage to Grieve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Profound loss and disappointment are emotions that each of us will experience at some point in our lives. Loss is one of the most difficult experiences to come to terms with. The Courage to Grieve explores how we can deal with every kind of grief, revealing:

- How grief manifests itself in many ways, ranging from anguish, exhaustion, emptiness, resentment, longing, tension, confusion, sleeplessness and sometimes the temporary loss of the will to live.
- How we can help ourselves and others to cope with the immediate experience of death and the grief and mourning period that follows.
- How…


Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying

By Stephen Levine, Ondrea Levine,

Book cover of Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying

I read this book again and again when I want to remember that death is not something to be terrified of. In fact, when I read this book, death feels more like a natural process that can be welcomed. I feel a kind of calmness towards the whole human race as we all seek to live, knowing that we will eventually die. To truly understand death, you also have to understand life.

Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying

By Stephen Levine, Ondrea Levine,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book that explains how to open to the immensity of living with death—and how participating fully in life is the perfect preparation for whatever may come next.

In Who Dies?, the Levines provide calm compassion rather than the frightening melodrama of death.


Living When a Loved One Has Died

By Earl A. Grollman,

Book cover of Living When a Loved One Has Died

This book explores what to expect during your mourning, what pitfalls to avoid, and how to work through feelings of loss. A well-written guide to ease suffering while moving through the many facets of grief.

Living When a Loved One Has Died

By Earl A. Grollman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living When a Loved One Has Died as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Grief is a universal emotion, the pain of loss will affect all of us at some stage of our lives, but grief is also the most personal of emotions, you feel as though the pain will last forever and has never been felt by anyone else in this way.

This is a book that will support you, allow you to grieve in your own time and your own way while reassuring you of the normality of the process. Grief is something that people do not get over but are changed by for the rest of their lives.

Death only ends…


On Death & Dying

By Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,

Book cover of On Death & Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy & Their Own Families

This was published many years ago and profoundly affected how we understand the dying and introduced the five emotional stages of grief. This book helped me understand and support my patients. The five emotional stages occur in other losses in life, not just death. When my life suddenly changed, I mourned the loss of my old life and went through the five stages of grief. Recognizing didn’t prevent the pain, but Kubler-Ross helped me humbly accept my turmoil.

On Death & Dying

By Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On Death & Dying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The five stages of grief, first formulated in this hugely influential work forty years ago, are now part of our common understanding of bereavement. The five stages were first identified by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her work with dying patients at the University of Chicago and were considered phases that all or most people went through, when faced with the prospect of their own death. They are now often accepted as a response to any major life change.

However, in spite of these terms being in general use, the subject of death is still surrounded…


Something Very Sad Happened

By Bonnie Zucker, Kim Fleming (illustrator),

Book cover of Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler's Guide to Understanding Death

About 9 months after my 3-year-old son sat in the room with us as his uncle quietly passed away, he began having panic attacks about dying. When I took him to a therapist, I realized that I’d done just about everything wrong in how I handled this loss with him. The therapist gave me this book.

The text is simple and focuses on what is important to the child, including what they are seeing in the people around them. Grief is scary to experience, and when you don’t quite understand what’s happening, it’s terrifying to watch your caretakers experience it. This book helps process all of that. I recommend inserting the name of the relative that died into all the places where the text mentions “grandma.”

Something Very Sad Happened

By Bonnie Zucker, Kim Fleming (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Something Very Sad Happened as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a loved one dies, it can be hard to know how to explain it to a young child, particularly if you are grieving the loss yourself.

Sensitively written and gently illustrated, Something Very Sad Happened explains death in developmentally appropriate terms for two-and three-year-old childern. It reassures the child that it is okay to feel sad, and that love never dies.

Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information about how to talk about death, answer your child's questions, and maintain your connection throughout the grieving process.

Ages 2-3


Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

By Max Porter,

Book cover of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Difficult to categorize into a specific genre, Max Porter’s novel uses a tragi-comic approach to deal with how the grief of a husband and father of two sons is experienced using the metaphor of a crow. “Crow” is an anthropomorphic figure who represents grief in this short book. He talks to the husband, telling him that he will take him through the vestiges of grief until, as Crow finally states, “You don’t need me anymore.” The book ends with Crow bidding the bereaved husband/father goodbye. This book helped my understanding—along with several essays on the sad, dark, and comical aspects of grief.

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

By Max Porter,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Grief Is the Thing with Feathers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 NOVEL OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize.

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.

In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family…


Option B

By Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant,

Book cover of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Sheryl Sandberg movingly tells the story of losing her husband suddenly and having to continue with her family on her own. Grief seems a solitary process that we have to work through by ourselves. But she describes how her process of recovery required connections with friends, with family, and with institutions in her neighborhood. All of us have to deal with personal tragedies like the deaths of loved ones, and I appreciated how this book combined her sharing her personal experience with broader expertise from psychology and social science.

Option B

By Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Option B as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Facebook's COO and Wharton's top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life's inevitable setbacks.

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. "I was in 'the void,'" she writes, "a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe." Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to…


Death Is Stupid

By Anastasia Higginbotham,

Book cover of Death Is Stupid

One of the most frustrating parts of losing someone involves all the well-meaning but ultimately terrible things people say to you. It’s even harder for children who often have to grapple with euphemisms like “passed away” or “in a better place.” This book provides space to feel anger about these phrases and talk about why they don’t make sense. It also broaches feelings of missing, the scary feeling of seeing grownups grieve loudly, and gives little ideas for remembering your loved one, including providing a place in the back to write their name and paste in a picture.

Death Is Stupid

By Anastasia Higginbotham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death Is Stupid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Part of the Ordinary Terrible Things series, the new and expanded edition of Death Is Stupid is an invaluable tool for discussing death, exploring grief, and honoring the life of our loved ones.

When someone we love dies, adults often say things like, "She's in a better place now," or "I know how you feel." You do not, one little boy thinks after his grandma passes away. Caught in the swirl of anger, confusion, and fear that accompanies grief and mourning, he doesn't just think death is unfair-he thinks death is stupid. It takes…


Luna's Red Hat

By Emmi Smid,

Book cover of Luna's Red Hat: An Illustrated Storybook to Help Children Cope with Loss and Suicide

Luna’s Red Hat does a fantastic job of explaining suicide to its readers in a way that is blameless and sensitive, delicate but not sugar-coated. It’s a hard topic to talk about, especially with children or people who haven’t ever felt suicidal themselves. You can tell in the way that Luna and her father talk to each other and about Luna’s mother that this was and is a very close and loving family, and that nobody is to blame for Luna’s mother taking her own life. This book has been a big inspiration for me. I hope I am able to write about mental health and other difficult topics with as much grace as Emmi does in this book.

Luna's Red Hat

By Emmi Smid,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Luna's Red Hat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is a beautiful spring day, and Luna is having a picnic in the park with her family, wearing her Mum's red hat. Luna's Mum died one year ago and she still finds it difficult to understand why. She feels that it may have been her fault and worries that her Dad might leave her in the same way. Her Dad talks to her to explain what happened and together they think about all the happy memories they have of Mum.

This beautifully-illustrated storybook is designed as a tool to be read with children aged 6+ who have experienced the…


The Sun Still Rises

By Shawn Doyle,

Book cover of The Sun Still Rises: Surviving and Thriving After Grief and Loss

This book is the first one I read after losing my husband. I was 31-years old, with a toddler and a newborn, and I had no idea how I was going to survive the rest of my life, better yet make it a life worth living. In The Sun Still Rises: Surviving and Thriving After Grief and Loss, author Shawn Doyle shares his story of loss, but more than that he shares hope with his reader. Hope that there is still light in the darkness of grief. At that point in my loss, hope was what I needed most. However, he didn't stop there, he also provided practical tips and suggestions about dealing with both the logistical matters that come with loss, as well as providing emotional support. This book helped me live my best life, in spite of my loss.

The Sun Still Rises

By Shawn Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sun Still Rises as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Coping with the loss of a loved one is perhaps the most difficult and devastating challenge any of us face in our lifetime.

The grief you feel hurts more than physical pain.

And yet, somehow, life is still going on around you.

Is it even possible to survive, let alone thrive, after such grief and loss?

In this book, Shawn Doyle shares his heart-wrenching personal story of bereavement to supply you with the tools, tips, and techniques for dealing with loss and grief on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis.

This is not a predictable five stages of grief book.…


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