Recommended books

You may find these and other excellent grief resources at your local library or bookstore.

General recommendations for adults

Most of the links from the book titles below will lead you to, where you can learn more about the book, read reviews about it, and order it if you'd like. Most of these books can be purchased through other book sellers, as well, or found at your local library.

Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief
by Claire Bidwell Smith

Bearing the Unbearable
by Joanne Cacciatore

Broken Open
by Elizabeth Lesser

Grieving: A Beginner's Guide
by Jeshura Hull McCormack

Grieving: How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies
by Therese Rando; Lexington Books, 1995  
Includes sudden and unexpected death. Encourages readers to grieve in their own way.

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working through Grief
by Martha Whitman Hickman; Avon Books, 1994

Healing Through the Dark Emotions
by Miriam Greenspan

How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies
by Therese Rando

How to Survive the Loss of a Love
by Melba Colgrove, Harold H. Bloomfield, MD, and Peter McWilliams; Prelude Press, 1976   
This easy-to-read classic addresses spouse or partner death.

I Remember You: A Grief Journal
by Laynee Gilbert

In the Midst of Winter
edited by Mary Jane Moffat (poetry)

It’s Ok That You’re Not Ok
by Megan Devine

The Journey through Grief
by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD; Companion Books, 2003  
Explores the physical, emotional and spiritual journey of grief.

Living When a Loved One Has Died
by Earl Grollman

Loss of Dreams
by Ted Bowman

No Time for Goodbyes
by Janice Lord Harris; Pathfinder Publishing of California, 1991
This volume explores coping with injustice, anger and sorrow after a tragic death.

Nourishing the Grieving Heart
by Jane Thompson and Holly Cashin

The Other Side of Sadness
by George Bonanno

This Thing Called Grief
by Thomas Ellis

by Mary Oliver (poetry)

Unattended Sorrow
by Stephen Levine

How Can I Help? and What Will Help Me?
by Jim Miller; Willowgreen Press, 1994  
This guide offers 12 suggestions for the griever.

Writing as a Way of Healing
by Louise DeSalvo

The Year of Magical Thinking
by Joan Dideon 

Male grief

Being a Gentle Man
by Glen Pickering; Whole Person Associates, 1993
The writer reflects on control, letting go, compromise, acceptance, forgiveness, vulnerability, relationships, perfectionism, workaholism, spiritual growth and religion.

A Grief Observed
by C. S. Lewis; Harper San Francisco, 2001
First published in 1961 under the name N. W. Clerk, it is the author's journal of doubts, rage and faith journey following the death of his wife.

Grief Therapy for Men
by Linus Mundy; Abbey Press, 1998
This little book has 46 pages of practical suggestions (e.g. when to act boldly, when to just be).

Griefquest: Men Coping with Loss
by Robert Miller, Stephen J. Hrycyniak; Saint Mary's Press, 1999
This book of spiritual meditations is written for men and the women who care about them.

Men and Grief: A Guide for Men Surviving the Death of a Loved One
by Carol Staudacher; New Harbinger Publications Inc., 1991
This is a resource for caregivers and mental health professionals.

Our Mothers' Spirits: Great Writers on the Death of Mothers and the Grief of Men
edited by Bob Blauner; Regan Books, 1999
This anthology is organized in these categories: before death; when a mother dies young; good deaths, bad deaths; suicide and euthanasia; regret; alienation; re-conceiving the mother; her spirit lives on.

Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing
by Thomas Golden; Golden Healing Publishing, 1997
Assists both men and women heal with the masculine side of loss.

Triumph Over Tragedy
by Bobby Petrocelli, Chris Frederick; WRS Group, Incorporated, 1994
Bobby Petrocelli shares an inspiring story of grief and recovery after his wife was killed by a drunk driver.

When a Man Faces Grief/A Man You Know is Grieving
by Thomas Golden; Willowgreen Publishing, 1998
One half of this small book speaks to male grievers. The other half speaks to people who care about them.

When Men Grieve: Why Men Grieve Differently and How You Can Help
by Elizabeth Levang; Fairview Press, 1998
Through many personal stories and commentary, a psychologist explains the unique ways men grieve and advises women in supporting men who are grieving.

Why Her? Why Now? A Man's Journey Through Love and Grief
by Lon Elmer; Bantam Dell Publishing Group, 1994
A man gives an honest and hopeful account of losing his wife to cancer.

Books to help others who are grieving

Healing a Friend's Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Helping Someone You Love through Loss
by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD; Companion Press, 2001

Helping People through Grief
by Delores Kuenning; Bethany House Publishers, 1987
This sensitive guide addresses grief due to abortion, rape, adoption, loss of health, loss of body parts, as well as death.

The Art of Condolence: What to Write, What to Say, What to Do at a Time of Loss
by Leonard and Hilary Zunin; Harpers Collins, 1991

Don't Ask for the Dead Man's Golf Clubs: What to Do and Say (and What Not to) When a Friend Loses a Loved One
by Lynn Kelly; Workman Publishing, 2000
Drawing on her experience as a young widow, Lynn Kelly shares how grand gestures are not needed, but small gestures and simple words are.

Finding the Right Words: Offering Care and Comfort When You Don't Know What to Say
by Wilfred Bockelman; Augsburg Books, 1990

Books to help those with developmental disabilities grieve

Guidebook on Helping Persons with Mental Retardation Mourn (Death, Value, and Meaning)
by Jeffrey Kauffman
Baywood Publishing Company, Inc; Reprint edition (July 1, 2008)
The grief language of persons with mental retardation discloses intellectual capacities that are no less powerful, complex, subtle, disturbing, deep, and spiritual than those revealed in the more discursive and dialectical grief language of persons without mental retardation. This book will assist readers in recognizing and understanding the behavioral language of grief among persons with mental retardation and in developing intervention plans to support them through their grief, in both the short and long term.

Helping Adults with Mental Retardation Grieve a Death Loss
by Luchterband, C. and Murphy, N.
1998, New York and London. Brunner-Routledge
The book first covers background information on the universal grief process, then addresses grief issues specific to the mentally retarded adult population. Next, it provides practical guidelines for interacting and providing support. Also, a unique feature of the book is the original artwork of adults with mental retardation working through the grief process.

Helping People with Developmental Disabilities Mourn: Practical Rituals For Caregivers
by Wolfelt, A. and Markell, M.
2004, Companion Press
Frequently, people with developmental disabilities are excluded from bereavement ceremonies when a loved one or friend dies, therefore not receiving the special care needed for comprehending their own feelings of loss. Focusing on creating mourning rituals for special needs people, this guide offers specific rituals and techniques for caregivers to use while helping explain death and dying.

Lessons in Grief & Death: Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities in the Healing Process
by Van Dyke, L., Anderson, O.H., and Wagner, G.
2003, High Tide Press
Grieving is not a process to be avoided, rushed or silenced. Lessons in Grief and Death tells poignant stories from the lives of real people. And, it offers valuable lessons about the cycle of life and the power of people with developmental disabilities to master this deep emotional challenge.

Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities (Society and Aging Series)
By Lavin, C. and Doka, K.
1999, Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.
This book provides an overview of the elderly population who have developmental disabilities. It attempts to assess their needs and their lives as they age.

First Published: 11/02/1998
Last Reviewed: 08/01/2018