Books About Grief: Six Worthy ChoicesCamila Archuleta
Our Top Reading Materials for the Grieving Process
Grief is something that affects us all at some point. No matter how prepared we are for it, it can come as a crushing blow. While the death of a loved one will always be difficult, there are ways that we can come to terms with our loss.
Keep reading to better understand the grieving process and have a selection of supportive reading choices from our experts on trauma and grieving at Icarus Behavioral Health.
6 of the Best Books About Grief for Practical Advice
If you have been affected by the death of a loved one, try reading these books about grief. It is likely to provide you with some relief. Often, though, seeing a mental health professional is the best route as grief is a particularly painful form of emotion.
Icarus Behavioral Health can help you deal with your loss and life transition with our dedicated program of grief rehab as part of our overall mental health rehab and recovery services.
1) It’s OK That You’re Not OK
The book “It’s Okay That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand” by Megan Devine is the first of our grief books and a must-read for anyone grieving death or loss in their life. In her book, Devine takes readers on an emotional journey as she explores the grieving process and helps them find ways to cope with their grief.
Devine begins by introducing readers to the concept of grief and how it can affect people differently, depending on their individual circumstances. She then examines different grieving techniques such as writing in a journal, talking about one’s feelings, self-care, taking time for oneself, and more. Throughout the book, Devine emphasizes that grieving is a necessary part of life and encourages readers to take time for self-reflection and healing.
Help With Viewing Grief from a Cultural Standpoint
The book also explores how different cultures and religions view death and grieving, allowing readers to understand their own grief better in relation to these cultural perspectives. This is an especially useful tool for those grieving the death of someone from a different culture or religion than their own. Devine looks at how we can help grieving individuals find comfort in difficult times and provides useful tips for avoiding burnout.
You can view this book as a grief recovery handbook that is key in explaining death. This is one of the best books on grief that has been written and can help you towards understanding grief.
2) Bearing The Unbearable
“Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief” is a book by Joanne Cacciatore, a grief expert and professor of clinical psychology at Arizona State University. The book is a heartfelt exploration of the grieving process and helps readers understand their own pain in times of loss. It provides insight into how to move through grief with greater ease and grace.
This book looks at death from an entirely different perspective than other books on the topic. Instead of focusing on what we lose when someone dies, this book focuses on what life still holds for us even after death. It examines how grief can be seen as part of our evolution and growth as humans. Cacciatore encourages readers to honor their grief and recognize its importance in helping us move on with our lives.
Throughout the book, Cacciatore provides a myriad of exercises to help readers process their grief. She shares stories from her own experience as well as others, providing a safe space for readers to explore their own situations in an honest and compassionate way. Cacciatore also examines how different cultures view death and how these cultural differences affect the way we grieve. The book offers practical tips for managing one’s feelings during this difficult journey such as journaling, mindful walking, and more.
3) How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies
The grief journey is a long and difficult road, but it can be navigated with the help of books like “How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies” by Therese Rando. Written in an easy-to-understand style, this book helps readers understand grief and how to cope with it when a loved one has died. The author draws from her own experience as well as interviews with bereavement specialists and counselors to provide advice for those who are going through grief.
Rando speaks about the grief observed. She discusses how grief manifests itself in people differently, noting that there is no “right” way to grieve or mourn. While some individuals may take a more active path to grief, others may withdraw into themselves as they try to cope with their grief. Rando acknowledges that grief is an individual process and that it’s important to find one’s own way through grief.
Rando also looks at how people can help themselves through grief. Rando talks about the need for self-care, especially during a time of grief. She advises readers to focus on taking care of themselves by eating well, getting enough rest, and avoiding drugs and alcohol that could worsen the experience of grief. She also suggests different types of activities such as journaling or talking with friends that may be helpful in managing grief.
4) The Other Side of Sadness
The Other Side of Sadness is a powerful and inspiring book by psychotherapist and professor, George A. Bonanno. The book explores the many facets of sadness in an effort to help readers better understand and accept their own emotions. It provides both insights into the nature of sadness and practical methods for addressing it.
Sadness has been described as “the coldest emotion” because it can be so overwhelming that often people don’t know what to do with it. In this book, Bonanno helps readers find a way forward by understanding that sadness is not only natural but also necessary. He examines how biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual factors all contribute to our experience of grief- and how these different aspects of our lives can work together to create a more balanced approach to emotion regulation.
The Other Side of Sadness starts by introducing readers to the idea that there is an adaptive purpose to emotions such as sadness, which may be a mechanism for survival or adaptation in difficult situations. The book then moves on to examine how various factors influence our experience of sadness, including our biology, life experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and values. Bonanno also looks at how we can learn from grief, using it as a tool for growth and self-discovery.
5) The Invisible String
The book “Invisible String” by Patrice Karst is a powerful resource for grieving children. Through the story of two siblings and their invisible string that symbolizes their connection, even after one’s sudden death. It offers comfort, guidance and hope to those who are suffering from grief and sorrow.
The story follows the two siblings, Jessica and her brother Michael as they cope with the grief of losing their mother. Throughout the book, readers will be encouraged to face grief head-on in order to process it better. The author emphasizes that grief is not something that should be ignored or avoided; rather, we must allow ourselves to feel our sorrow so that we can eventually move forward in life. She also shares her own experiences of grief and how she was able to eventually heal, offering readers valuable insight into the healing process.
The story is told from both Jessica’s and Michael’s perspectives, allowing readers to gain a better understanding of grief from different angles. While Jessica initially tries to deny her grief and pushes it away, Michael acknowledges and embraces his grief from the start. This helps readers see that there is no one right way to grieve; rather, each person will have their own unique experience.
6) Modern Loss: Candid Conversations About Grief
Modern Loss: Candid Conversation about Grief is a book of personal essays written by various people and edited by Rebecca Soffer and her peers that provides an honest, thoughtful look at the landscape of grief in today’s society. Through deeply personal narratives, both authors explore their own experiences with loss and share stories from others who have experienced grief in different ways. The book strives to provide a space for readers to not only read candid accounts of how people cope with loss but also examine the societal expectations around mourning and what it means to grieve openly.
Soffer and Birkner take an expansive view on the topic of grief, exploring various perspectives such as those coming from faith-based communities or those who are in interfaith relationships, or from a queer or nonbinary perspective. They also discuss the power of storytelling and how that can create connections between people who are grieving.
An Array of Powerful Perspectives on the Grieving Process
The essays in Modern Loss come from various contributors, including authors such as Jodi Picoult, Meghan O’Rourke, and novelist/essayist Rivka Galchen. Many of these pieces are deeply moving and personal accounts of grief, discussing topics such as miscarriage, suicide, terminal illness, stillbirths, and more. The stories don’t shy away from difficult conversations; instead, they open up the dialogue around grief to be had in a safe space.
Throughout the book, Soffer and Birkner provide readers with practical advice on how to cope with grief. They provide specific tips on how to talk to children about death, and how to offer support to those who are grieving. They also include resources for readers and advice on dealing with loss both in the short term and over a longer period of time.
The Grief Journey: A Natural and Sane Response to Loss
Whether you are a grieving mother, a grieving teenager, a grief-stricken child, or anyone else overcoming grief, it can be challenging.
Know that your grief is a normal response to death, and acknowledge that it is not magical thinking to understand that you will feel better over time.
We hope our list of reading and support materials can help you overcome this difficult time, and that you and your loved ones are aware that the support of inpatient treatment for grief is also available at Icarus Behavioral Health.
Your Source for Grief Counseling and Recovery
It is possible to speed up the healing process. Receiving grief counseling can help you to make sense of the way that you feel. For more information on seeing a grief counselor and our dedicated grief rehabilitation programs, speak with the compassionate team at Icarus Behavioral Health today.
All calls are completely confidential, so please reach out to discuss your situation and get options for a life less burdened by grief now!