Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter. While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss in our lifetime, all of us will taste it. And we can, if we choose, know the […]
Our peer recommendation category offers a space within our library for community members to recommend books related to grief and widowhood that they've found valuable. These books are not individually vetted, but have helped a widowed person who took the time to recommend the book to others.
O’Hara is a therapist and her son was murdered in 1999. She offers concrete,practical, and compassionate steps for those who are grieving following a violent death such as suicide, drug overdose, death by vehicular homicide, and murder.
Written by a widower after his wife’s death as a way of surviving the “mad midnight moments”.
Designed specifically for the nonbeliever, the author addresses the power of nature, the healing role of pets, setting up memorials, doing volunteer work, re-creating yourself without your loved one, and more.
A Journal for Jordan is a tender introduction, a loving good-bye, a reporter’s inquiry into her soldier’s life, and a heartrending reminder of the human cost of war.
A Widow’s Guide to Healing: Gentle Support and Advice for the First 5 Years An inspiring, accessible, and empowering grief book for widows on how to navigate the unique challenges of widow grief and create a hopeful future.
A compassionate devotional written by a widow to encourage you through your darkest days.
On September 11, 2001, Marian Fontana lost her husband, Dave, a firefighter from the elite Squad 1 in Brooklyn, in the World Trade Center attack. A Widow’s Walk begins that fateful morning, when Marian, a playwright and comedienne, became a widow, a single mother, and an unlikely activist.
A practical guide for coping with suicide, from the first few days through the first year and beyond.
Discusses the important questions about life, love, death and what it means to be human with equal measures of skepticism and a broken-open heart. Drawing on her personal losses and work as a hospice bereavement counselor and grief therapist, the author attempts to show how exploring the afterlife can have a positive impact on the […]
Following a long fight with breast cancer, Tracy’s death ended their 13-year marriage. In the months after his loss, Frederick Marx wrote about their time together (falling in love, their shortcomings, her illness, and how they made each other better).
It was August 7, 2009 ,when the doctor stood at the foot of the hospital bed and with a deliberation that was both efficient and compassionate, looked directly at David Hallman and his partner Bill Conklin and said, Our diagnosis is pancreatic cancer, stage four. In his thoughtful and deeply personal memoir, David Hallman narrates the sixteen […]
Love. Loss. Hope. Repeat. Life for Autumn Toelle-Jackson started out on a happy and ordinary timeline. When she entered her thirties, however, tragedy made up for lost time. Over the span of a few short years, she endured several miscarriages and the loss of her husband, a dear cousin, and child.
The interpretation of the Tao Te Ching.
Vivid description of loss that captures the contradictory, wrenching, and chaotic emotions of grief. Each chapter stands on its own in describing her husband’s sudden death.
Involuntarily single. That’s the true story of where Catherine Tidd found herself just three weeks after turning thirty-one. With three children under six years old, no fix-it skills, no clue how to live life as a widow and coping with grief after the death of her spouse, Catherine couldn’t help but be a little exasperated […]
Grief is often perceived as a dark and lonely journey; as a result, it is a topic we avoid in today’s society.¬ Within a 20-month period, Elizabeth Berrien endured the loss of her stillborn son and the subsequent death of her husband on active duty in Afghanistan. She found herself a 27-year-old widow whose life […]
Nobody addresses the needs of a grieving person like Doug. His warm, conversational style takes the reader through all the emotions and experiences that accompany the death of a loved one.
A seasonal journal, calendar, and guide for personal and spiritual growth.
This memoir is a meditation on sense-making when there’s no sense to be made, on letting go when we can’t hold on, and on being unafraid even when we’re terrified. And it happens to be hilarious. Above all, though, this is a love letter to life, and it’s gorgeous.
Father Richard Rohr – the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation — offers a new paradigm for understanding one of the most profound of life’s mysteries: how our failings can be the foundation for our ongoing spiritual growth.
Melissa Grahek Pierce clearly remembers the morning everything changed for her and her family. It was a snowy Saturday when she discovered her husband dead in their mountainside home. As Melissa began to process her deep grief, she knew that she simply couldn’t fall to pieces. She had two sons to take care of, and […]
It has been said that, over the course of a lifetime, a person will use only a fraction of the brain¹s capacity to learn. This would also be true of the heart¹s boundless capacity to love. Inside, is a collection of true stories spoken from the hearts of widowed women. Each was eager to crack […]
A recent gay widower may find that once the shock and initial confusion of losing his partner is overcome, there are still many hard, lonely, and overwhelming stages of grief to be worked through. Often, the bereaved feels isolated, and looking around for comfort, realizes that he doesn’t have many resources to turn to, but […]
Part children’s book, part community art project. Lindsey wrote this after her husband died from suicide. The goal of this book is to help adults talk with children about suicide directly and honestly, without “sweeping it under the rug.” There is space to write a letter to a loved one who died by suicide, and […]
Daily meditations for people who grieve.
There is no quick fix for the soul, and anxiety and depression may be signals of the souls unmet needs. Dr. Frattaroli suggests treating these needs by seeking a deeper understanding of our problems — in other words, treating symptoms rather than people.
Guide offers compassionate tips for those affected by a traumatic death. Each of the 100 suggestions is aimed at reducing the confusion, anxiety, and huge personal void in order to help survivors begin their lives again.
Healthy Healing addresses the physical, mental, and emotional effects of grief in a way that no other book in the category has ever done, offering a 12-week plan that empowers you to work through loss by using the power of exercise and endorphins, and rediscovering happiness by strengthening body, mind and spirit through fitness.
Colton Burpo came back from his trip to heaven with a very important message: Jesus really, really loves children. In an effort to reach even more families with this eternally significant story, this runaway bestseller is now told from Colton—kid to kids! Children will receive the same comfort and assurance that so many adults have […]
The true story of a journey from grief to faith to happiness as the author holds her family together in the wake of her husband’s death and pursues his dream of becoming a minister.
So, there is saying that says, “Whatever flies shall land at some point.” What this means is that, for everything that rises, it eventually comes down. It could land on the water, on the land, or on top of a tree, but what matters is that it lands. What determines your landing place is how […]
Comforting and inspiring book encompasses not only the medical and psychological advances in the treatment of loss, but also the author’s’ own experiences.
A guide for young widows and widowers through the normal grieving process that highlights the special circumstances of an untimely death. Young widows and widowers share thoughts and dilemmas about losing a loved one, what to tell young children experiencing a parent’s death, returning to work and dealing with in-laws.
Journeying through Grief is a set of four short books to send to people at four crucial times during the first year after the loss of a loved one.
The death of a life partner poses unique challenges for lesbians. Lesbian Widows: Invisible Grief reveals the touching and very personal stories of twenty-five women, including the author, who were widowed at a young age and forced to create a new life without their life partners.
A guide through practical and spiritual lessons written by two experts on death and dying.
Life Without Lisa is a “must read” for anyone who has lost someone dear through death. Author Rich Ballo bares his soul in this brutally honest account of being cast adrift in an ocean of emptiness, anger, and guilt. Lisa was the love of his life, and inventor and successful entrepreneur, a beacon of light to […]
The whine of the sirens pierced deeply into my soul. After a tragic one-car accident, a young mother catapults from an idyllic life to one filled with grief and uncertainty. By listening to the guiding whispers within her, Kim Kluxen Meredith’s journey from unfathomable heartache to a life once again filled with love and laughter […]
Daily companion guide for the first year of widowhood
Mix tapes: We all have our favorites. Stick one into a deck, press play, and you’re instantly transported to another time in your life. For Rob Sheffield, that time was one of miraculous love and unbearable grief. A time that spanned seven years, it started when he met the girl of his dreams, and ended […]
An extraordinary new mindful approach to healing after loss that taps into everyone’s ability to continue their relationship with those who have passed.
When grief is the form your love takes, where do you turn? Do you escape, or enter, the loneliness, the emptiness, the pain? How much, how slowly, how fast? It’s a blessing when someone can help you feel your own way through what only your heart can process. That blessing is what Paul Bennett somehow […]
A 1946 book chronicling the experiences of an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.
Men grieve differently than women. We tend to withdraw while women reach out to one another for help. But we can reach out, too. Here are words of encouragement, comfort, hope, and healing for men who have suffered the death of a loved one.
My Father’s Kite, connects two sibling’s experience of profound loss to nature and the logical sequence of the seasons as a way to bridge, explore, and validate their feelings and grief. While maintaining a deep bond with their father through the family tradition of kite flying, their special bond brings acceptance, transformation and affirmation.
My Steve is a biographical account of Terri Irwin’s life with her late husband, the zoo owner and television personality Steve Irwin.
Through Zen parables, guided meditations, and personal stories, Hanh explodes traditional myths of how we live and die. He shows us a way to live a life unfettered by fear.
The author brings suicide survival from the darkness into light, speaking frankly about the feeling of confusion, guilt, shame, anger and loneliness that are shared by many survivors.
At long last, the time has come: the time for African American people to face the scourge that has affected it disproportionately for years, and to break through the cultural inhibitions that have prevented them from dealing with it head on. This landmark collection of personal essays, stories, brief memoirs, and polemics from a broad […]
A collection of four essays based on studies of more than 20,000 people who had near death experiences.
Getting through the hectic holiday season can be especially tough when you’re grieving the loss of someone you love. There may even be more than one cherished person missing from your Thanksgiving table this year. When you and your family are grieving, how do get through the demanding days ahead, filled with social gatherings, gift […]
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.
A breathtakingly honest, gloriously written memoir about the complexities of forgiveness when a young widow discovers her husband’s secret life after his death. Julie Metz seemed to have the perfect life–an adoring if demanding husband, a happy, spirited daughter, a lovely old house in an idyllic town outside New York City–when in an instant, everything […]
Rebuilding a new normal and a new way of living. Life as they knew it was different after the violent loss of their loved one. The most important message of this book is to convey that you are not alone.
Provides reassurance and compassion for those struggling with a loved one’s loss
A book written by a former Navy SEAL and Naval Officer that consists of a series of letters written to a friend struggling with life after military service.
She’s one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she’s no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed […]
A book of meditations for people who grieve.
In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, Becky Aikman—a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role—forms an unlikely group with five other young widows, each seeking a way forward in a strange and disquieting world.
This is a memoir about a gentle soul who gave so much love and joy to others in spite of his own depression. Steve Tarpinian took his own life on March 15, 2015. He was a beloved coach, swimmer, entrepreneur, friend and companion. His vision established the landscape for triathlon on Long Island. Steve’s true […]
Smacked, a brilliant and moving memoir of Eilene’s shocking discovery, one that sets her on a journey to find out how a man she knew for nearly thirty years became a drug addict, hiding it so well that neither she nor anyone else in his life suspected what was happening. Eilene discovers that Peter led […]
Both an academic and personal look at the “who, what, where, when, why” of suicide. For survivors who find themselves asking lots of questions about the subject or who want to be able to speak on the topic outside of personal experience.
To avoid landmines and to heal the family, stepparents need help navigating this complex and unfamiliar territory. Stepparenting the Grieving Child advises and encourages stepparents living with a child whose parent has died. Readers will gain insight and ideas from the author’s own experience, stepparent anecdotes, and expert recommendations.
Suicide Widow is about a young woman who has struggled her whole life with adversities and was forced into widowhood at 28 years old. This book touches on suicide, grief, broken families, addiction, depression and anxiety, abandonment, death, and the awfulness of people during trauma and tragedy.
The death of a spouse or close loved one is one of the most devastating experiences an individual suffers. Whether it is sudden or after a prolonged illness, the death and subsequent grief are life-changing. One day you’re together, and the next day you’re not. You feel like life will never be “normal” again. Author […]
A validating new approach to the long-term grieving process that explains why we feel “stuck,” why that’s normal, and how shifting our perception of grief can help us grow. Aren’t you over it yet? Anyone who has experienced a major loss in their past knows this question. We’ve spent years fielding versions of it, both explicit and implied, from family, colleagues, acquaintances, and friends. […]
In The Art of Being YAY! I tell juicy and scandalous anecdotes from my life that out drama a Lifetime TV movie. Through these stories I apply empowering thought tools and principles for emotional wellness. Foreword by Margaret Cho.
Nurtures your inner artist and shares hundred of exercises, activities and prompts to help readers thoroughly explore each chapter.
A candid memoir of love, art, and grief from a celebrated man of letters, United States poet laureate Donald Hall
This book offers us a rare opportunity to experience the astonishing and unprecedented week together of Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from the first embrace to the final good-bye. Reading the book will bring you joy!
Miguel Barron was living what he thought was the perfect life–married to the love of his life, with two healthy young boys, until his life took an unexpected turn.The Boxer’s Corner is an intensely raw account of one man’s struggle to save his wife from metastatic breast cancer. His account reveals with crushing sincerity the emotional […]
The mid forties are that time in a gay man’s life when his major paradigm shifts from sexy to sensible. But when Barry Grooms’s partner of twenty years is killed on Barry’s forty-fifth birthday, his world doesn’t so much evolve as it does explode.
The author’s wife died of cancer. This book weaves a scientist’s understanding of the mind — its logic, its nuance, how we think about what makes a person — with a poet’s approach to humanity.
A nationally revered minister and certified grief specialist shares words of comfort for Africans Americans in mourning.
About our struggle to forgive, Karen uses movies, people in the news, and sessions from his practice to illuminate the conflict between our wish to repair our relationships on one side and our tendency to see ourselves as victims who want revenge on the other.
Everyone facing death–their own or a loved one’s–benefits from this love story and practical guide in one.
Presents a trauma-healing model that is the foundation for initiatives around the globe.
Emotions expert Bonanno argues that our inborn emotions–anger and denial, but also relief and joy–help us deal effectively with loss. To expect or require only grief-stricken behavior from the bereaved does them harm. In fact, grieving goes beyond mere sadness, and it can actually deepen interpersonal connections and even lead to a new sense of […]
In this luminous memoir, an MIT astrophysicist must reinvent herself in the wake of tragedy and discovers the power of connection on this planet, even as she searches our galaxy for another Earth. Sara Seager has always been in love with the stars: so many lights in the sky, so much possibility. Now a pioneering […]
Sara Seager has always been in love with the stars: so many lights in the sky, so much possibility. Now a pioneering planetary scientist, she searches for exoplanets—especially that distant, elusive world that sustains life. But with the unexpected death of Seager’s husband, the purpose of her own life becomes hard for her to see. […]
The Sudden Loss Survival Guide is a distinctive grief recovery handbook. In this book, discover, Seven practices for healing, including creative memorialization and maintaining an ongoing spiritual connection Skimmable, stand-alone passages with immediate, usable information for the trauma you’re facing A transformative method for living a meaningful, fulfilling life in remembrance of your loved one
As the aftermath of her father’s suicide unfolds, the author struggles to accept her father’s suicide- trying to find a reason or explanation- and comes to realize that there will never be a “simple” explanation.
Takes the reader on a path of emotional and spiritual healing, with particular attention to the complex and frequently overwhelming circumstances of our lives right now.
Knoll’s The Widower’s Journey tackles tough questions and provides advice on many topics and breaks down barriers that block men in their journeys to recovery. He encourages men to seek out the fellowship of other widowers, and he provides resources that men need to move forward.
An intimate insight into the Dalai Lama’s practice and mastery of forgiveness through Victor Chan’s down-to-earth discussions with and observations of Tibet’s spiritual leader.
Didion attempts to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea she had about death, illness, and marriage following the sudden death of her husband.
Illustrated guide to help you increase your emotional intelligence and learn how to offer comfort and support when someone you know is in pain.
Ron Gries chronicles his journey through the suffering and death of his wife, and his healing, sharing the test of faith, the sadness of loss, and the triumph of spirit. This elegant memoir reminds us that peace and love and joy persist – even in the darkness of unthinkable sorrow.
A Memoir of Success, Suicide, and Survival
Matt and Liz Logelin were high-school sweethearts. The pair settled together in Los Angeles and they had it all: the perfect marriage, a beautiful new home, and a baby girl on the way. But just 27 hours after they welcomed Madeline into the world, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and instantly died, without ever holding […]
Two children feeling sad and alone from the loss of their mom who went to heaven find themselves on a journey with their new mom on earth. This is a sweet story of comfort, healing, faith, hope, love, and a future given to them all by the grace and goodness of God.
Describes touchstones that are essential: physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual actions for you to help yourself heal.
Until It Wasn’t is a memoir of great love, loss, and strength. Sharon Neff documents the journey through her husband’s cancer battle while demonstrating the emotional fortitude that carries us all through painful times.
When Harold Kushner’s three-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that meant the boy would only live until his early teens, he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God? Years later, Rabbi Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. In these […]
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his […]
K.J.’s best friend, his father Nicholas Reider, died when K.J. was only seven years old. K.J. captures the memories he cherished with his dad and hopes that other children will cherish them too.
A treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties, for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
Deals with a variety of topics including stages of grief for adults and children, the expressions of mourning, loneliness and sexuality, networks of support people, and financial priorities and planning.
The authors are both neurologists, who focus on the inherent need for rituals by many species (for community), and the fact that humans have a unique added element – brains that light up (in MRI analysis) during meditation. Brain function discussion includes humans who have a higher proclivity towards addictive behavior.
It is important to note that each widower’s experience is unique. There will be common threads and shared experiences, but each must find their own path. We must learn from each other, to realize that we are not going crazy, and to know that we can survive this experience.
Melissa Gould’s hopeful memoir of grieving outside the box and the surprising nature of love. When Melissa Gould’s husband, Joel, was unexpectedly hospitalized, she could not imagine how her life was about to change. Overwhelmed with uncertainty as Joel’s condition tragically worsened, she offered him the only thing she could: her love and devotion. Her […]
“Some days I think that if I didn’t have “Grayson” tattooed on my wrist, I’d never believe that it happened. When I think back on the girl who went through everything in this book…I cannot believe she faced and tackled so many fires and wars and still came out on the other side.” When Rachel […]
Two months pregnant with their third child, Matt’s wife, Lisa, discovers her cancer had returned. A few months later, Lisa’s mother finds out her cancer resurfaced as well. Wife, mother-in-law, and baby are all in danger. “Yes, and…” is a true story based on a journal Matt kept during a nine-month period to help understand […]
When FOX11’s weather anchor Maria Quiban Whitesell’s husband Sean was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (GBM), a deadly form of brain cancer, she was completely unprepared. How would she possibly explain what was happening to their young son, Gus? How should she respond when people ask inappropriate questions? What about just dealing with the details of the […]
Everyone experiences grief differently after the loss of a loved one. Some people find solace in comforting quotes and warm words, while others feel a need to take action–to do something to memorialize their loss. And some benefit from both approaches. Here’s a path forward for you, no matter how you process your grief.
This workbook is designed to help you through the process of grief through recovery. The workbook consists of sixty pages of education about the impact of grief, coping skills, self-care tips, and guidance to help your work through grief toward a goal of recovery and the future after a loss. This workbook is your steady […]