Books about grief & bereavement

Hello everyone,
I’ve seen a few posts recently where people have talked about books they’ve read that have been helpful, so I thought it would be good to start a new thread to keep all those recommendations in one place.

To get started, here’s a recommendation from me:

I recently read ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ by Joan Didion, which is a very moving and personal exploration of grief following the sudden loss of her husband. Didion talks about what she calls the vortex effect, where events/places/objects trigger powerful memories and an intense emotional response. I think that’s a very apt name for an experience many of you have described.

Is there a book (or books) about grief and bereavement that you would recommend?

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Hi

I would recommend The Grief Recovery Handbook by Russell Friedman & John James . It contains a series of excercises to help you work through your grief.

Yvonne

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Thanks for the recommendation, Yvonne. I’ve not come across that one, but it sounds like a really useful and practical book.

Best wishes,
Eleanor

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Life After You ,Lucie Brownlee is worth a read

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My first recommendation is for “The courage to grieve” by Judy Tatelbaum. I have decided to recommend this because the author talks about Gestalt Therapy from some of her cases and its quite possible other members have benefitted from this.

This turned out to be a very personal and beneficial choice for me because i had never hear of this type of therapy and at the back of the book she recommends some guided fantasy exercises for those who can welcome the insights they can offer and feel up to it.

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I read Healing a Spouses grieving heart by Alan D Wolfelt,100 practical ideas,it is aimed at losing husbands,wives and partners,I found it helpful and easy to read,has some good advice to help.

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Hi Robina

Thanks for your suggestion. I have just downloaded it from Amazon.

Yvonne

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Thank you all for your recommendations. I saw mention in a different conversation of another book called ‘The Orphaned Adult’ by Alexander Levy. Thought it might be worth sharing here as it looks at grief and change after the death of parents.

Eleanor

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My current and 2nd book is Overcoming Grief: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques (Overcoming Books) by Sue Morris.

I came across this book when two of my previous ones failed to fully hit the spot. As the title says it uses Self Help CBT techniques in the form of exercises which i have found easy to pick up and put down whenever I feel.

I think it is part of a range of self-help books.

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Of all the books about grief I’ve read the one that helped me the most was CONFESSIONS OF A MEDIOCRE WIDOW by Catherine Tidd. It is both moving and humorous and in those early days after my husband died I think it kept me sane. She also has a Facebook page if you want to follow her story.

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Hi I’ve been reading experiencing grief by H Norman WRIGHT

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I love Megan Devine’s book, “It’s Okay that you’re not okay”. That’s been a really good read for me - it’s very validating.

Also, if you’re spiritually inclined - not necessarily religious but you believe in an afterlife, Raymond Moody and Dianne Arcangel’s book, “Life After Loss” is a good read.

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Hi. Books are an excellent source of comfort and understanding. Proof of Heaven by Eban Alexander is one of the first books given to me by a dear friend. The author is a neurosurgeon. It helped towards some kind of understanding about the brain (my husband suffered catastrophic brain damage caused by cardiac arrest) and also that death is not the end.

I’ve also read some ‘not so good’ books therefore recommendation is really helpful so thanks for this conversation.

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hi
for widowers there is not so many books but here are some that have helped me.
CS Lewis A grief observed.
Being Adam Golightly
Julian Barnes Levels of life
RIO Ferdinand thinking out loud
Chicken soup for the soul Grieving and Recovery
William

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Hi Eleanor

I have been fascinated to watch the recommendations flood in. With such a peoples choice, what do you think is the best way for someone to choose a book that will help them on their journey?

That’s a good question. Personally I download samples onto my Kindle before buying. Also recommendation is a good way too. Xx

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Hi Greyone,

That’s a good question - when there are so many recommendations it can be tricky to know which one will be best for you.

Kate mentioned downloading samples of the books if you use a Kindle, which is a great idea. Otherwise I find reading reviews of books can be helpful. Amazon always has lots of book reviews or googling the book can bring up reviews from across the web.

I think a lot of the time, though, it’s a case of trial and error to find the book that speaks to you and helps you on your journey.

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I think you’re absolutely right Eleanor. Trial and error. I have read so many books which I have thought ok but there are only a few which really spoke to me. One of these books is the one I’m reading right now and has already been mentioned in this conversation - It’s ok that you’re not ok - by Megan Devine. Another such book is the one you mentioned yourself Eleanor and that is - The year of magical thinking. Xx

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Hi Eleanor - I think ones with plenty of reviews are probably the best. I’m half kicking myself as I write because my first book was one of those that you are supposed to read during or before and was very unsatisfactory because the author was one of the "when they’re gone they’re gone "group which almost upset me. I’m going to try an track it down if I can.

two things that fascinate me are true self-help books and one about CBT techniques. I’m wondering if they are any better than those that just talk you through the process. One I read recommended a near-death fantasy exercise. I’m not quite sure how good or bad that is in a book. What do you think? But for my latest book on my Kindle, the description is helpful. Mind you, I wish I’d had a list a few years ago, would have made the choice easier…

Hi Eleanor and everyone I recently started reading ,When everything changes change everything by Neale Donald Walsch, it refers to In a time of turmoil,a pathway to peace,i know this may not be for everyone ,it takes a different approach to some of the grief books I have read,as it is concerned with the bigger picture of life changes so to speak,not solely about grief,but I know my life has changed since losing my lovely husband,so there are changes in our lives that are out of our control,anyway I hope this may help or appeal to some of you x

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