100 books like Awakening from Grief

By John E. Welshons,

Here are 100 books that Awakening from Grief fans have personally recommended if you like Awakening from Grief. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Allen Klein Author Of Embracing Life After Loss: A Gentle Guide for Growing Through Grief

From my list on grief and loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

Allen Klein is a former hospice volunteer and the former director of The Life-Death Transitions Institute in San Francisco. He has also spoken at over 100 hospice events around the world. In addition, several of his books have dealt with death, dying, and grief. Among them are, The Healing Power of Humor, The Courage to Laugh, and Embracing Life after Loss. Klein’s interest in the connection between humor and death and dying came out of the death of his wife, who had a wonderful sense of humor. He saw how humor helped her, and those around her, cope with this challenging circumstance.

Allen's book list on grief and loss

Allen Klein Why did Allen love this book?

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.

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…


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

Ashley Davis Bush Author Of Transcending Loss: Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make It Meaningful

From my list on a higher, broader perspective on loss and grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been working with grieving individuals for over 30 years. Early in my career, I realized that my purpose in life was to help people who were grieving the loss of a loved one. I wrote my first book about grief over 25 years ago. It has been my mission to help people find light in the darkness. One way to do this is to have a broader perspective, to realize that there is more going on than we can see or understand. When you have a higher, broader perspective on your grief, you’re able to make meaning out of loss and find beauty in the brokenness.  

Ashley's book list on a higher, broader perspective on loss and grief

Ashley Davis Bush Why did Ashley love this book?

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.

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.


Book cover of Living When a Loved One Has Died

Allen Klein Author Of Embracing Life After Loss: A Gentle Guide for Growing Through Grief

From my list on grief and loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

Allen Klein is a former hospice volunteer and the former director of The Life-Death Transitions Institute in San Francisco. He has also spoken at over 100 hospice events around the world. In addition, several of his books have dealt with death, dying, and grief. Among them are, The Healing Power of Humor, The Courage to Laugh, and Embracing Life after Loss. Klein’s interest in the connection between humor and death and dying came out of the death of his wife, who had a wonderful sense of humor. He saw how humor helped her, and those around her, cope with this challenging circumstance.

Allen's book list on grief and loss

Allen Klein Why did Allen love this book?

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.

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…


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

Hari Ziyad Author Of Black Boy Out of Time

From my list on loss and grief from a certified death doula.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist, author and screenwriter, my work has always pondered loss and grief. I think this has something to do with the fact that of my mother’s religion; she was a convert to Hinduism and started conversations about the inevitability of death and how the soul and the body aren’t the same when us children were at a very young age. It probably also has something to do with the constant presence of death within my family and communities as a Black and queer person in a violently anti-Black and queerantagonistic world. I currently volunteer at a hospice, and provide community-building programming to death workers from diverse communities.

Hari's book list on loss and grief from a certified death doula

Hari Ziyad Why did Hari love this book?

A quintessential text of death and dying research, this incredibly insightful and compassionate exploration shines a blaring light on all of the hidden contours of a topic we often shy away from.

You’ll almost certainly come away from these pages with a new understanding of the stages of grief (they probably don’t refer to what you were taught they refer) and the importance of honesty and connection when facing mortality. It's an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to better comprehend the human experience.

By Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,

Why should I read it?

3 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…


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

Amanda Rawson Hill Author Of You'll Find Me

From my list on for guiding your child through grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.

Amanda's book list on for guiding your child through grief

Amanda Rawson Hill Why did Amanda love this book?

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.”

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


Book cover of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Amber A. Logan Author Of The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn

From my list on unusual manifestations of grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been fascinated by how personal and singular the experience of grief is. There is something soothing and relatable about reading others’ experiences—the more strange, nonsensical, or even supernatural the better. My own novel, The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn, is a retelling of The Secret Garden, but with an adult protagonist moving through grief over the death of her complicated mother, striving to see a bright ray of hope on the other side. Each of the books on my list about unusual manifestations of grief tackles this same concept in new and surprising ways, and I hope they touch you as they have touched me.  

Amber's book list on unusual manifestations of grief

Amber A. Logan Why did Amber love this book?

Of all the book recommendations on my list, this book fits the theme the best.

Grief is the Thing with Feathers is a novella about grief and loss, and tells the story of a father and his two sons who unexpectedly lose their wife/mother and are visited by a crow who is the literal manifestation of their grief.

Gorgeous and strange (part of the book is seen through the crow’s eyes!), this was the book that made me realize how blurred the line between prose and poetry can be, and why I love books that are surreal and challenging. It is also a book I will likely revisit when I am experiencing my own grief again someday.

By Max Porter,

Why should I read it?

6 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…


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

Daniel P. Aldrich Author Of Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery

From my list on the importance of community during disasters.

Why am I passionate about this?

We moved to New Orleans in July 2005. We had six weeks in our first home, filling it with furniture, buying a new car, and taking advantage of my first job. When Hurricane Katrina collapsed the levees holding back the nearby lakes, our home – and those of 80% of the city – filled with water. As I waited for FEMA and insurance to help us, I saw instead it was our friends, friends of friends, and faith-based organizations that helped us get back on our feet. Using our own experiences as a start, I traveled to India and Japan to study how communities around the world survived and thrived during shocks. 

Daniel's book list on the importance of community during disasters

Daniel P. Aldrich Why did Daniel love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Death Is Stupid

Amanda Rawson Hill Author Of You'll Find Me

From my list on for guiding your child through grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the past ten years, I have had to guide my young children through two unexpected and tragic deaths of loved ones. Both times, I was struggling with my own grief and wasn’t sure what my kids understood or didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (as my son’s therapist can attest) but through it all, I learned a great deal about how much children notice, how deeply they feel a loss, and how to tend to our own grief and our children’s. From that pain, I wrote You’ll Find Me, and since then, have been able to use that book as a jumping-off point to discuss grief with others.

Amanda's book list on for guiding your child through grief

Amanda Rawson Hill Why did Amanda love this book?

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.

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…


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

Anthony Lloyd Jones Author Of The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression

From my list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had depression when I was young, but I didn’t know what that meant or what to do about it. So much of mental health is invisible and nobody knew. I didn’t have the language to explain how I felt, or to ask for help, and I didn’t know how to find out. Any book that could have helped me jump those hurdles would have been incredibly valuable. Children relate to stories, characters, metaphors and pictures more than words. Giving children the tools to explore how they feel in ways they can relate to is really important. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as alone as I did. 

Anthony's book list on understanding depression, loss, grief, and anxiety

Anthony Lloyd Jones Why did Anthony love this book?

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.

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…


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

Autumn Toelle-Jackson Author Of Boldly Into the Darkness: Living with Loss, Growing with Grief & Holding on to Happiness

From my list on to read when grieving.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I had multiple miscarriages in my late 20’s, I found I had no idea how to handle my grief. I didn’t even recognize I was grieving. A few years later when my husband died I was thrust into grief and a life I had never wanted. It took me months to learn how to survive, and a lot longer to find the resources I needed to live a happy life despite my loss. Finding resources that would help became important to me, and a handful of books have stayed with me long after I read them. I hope these books help you as much as they helped me.

Autumn's book list on to read when grieving

Autumn Toelle-Jackson Why did Autumn love this book?

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.

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.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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