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Helpful Bereavement Books – Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying
By Joyce C Mills
Recommended Ages:  4+
Amanda the squirrel is upset that she is going to lose her friend, Gentle Willow.  The tree wizards give advice that help both her and Gentle Will accept the change that comes with death.

I Know I Made It Happen:  Children and Guilt
By Lynn Blackburn
Recommended Ages:
This book gives kids support and understanding during a crisis.  It’s nice to know that my wishes, thoughts and words do not make bad things happen.

What About Me?:  When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick
By Allan Peterkin
Recommended Ages:  4-8
This book is beautifully written and illustrated by a young girl who attempts to cope with her sibling being ill.

Forever in My Heart
By Jennifer Levine
Recommended Ages:  All ages
This is a story and workbook that focuses on parent illness.

When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness:  Children Can Learn to Cope With Loss and Change
By Marge Heegaard
Recommended Ages:
This activity book is excellent for helping children learn the basic concepts of illness and age-appropriate ways of coping with it.

Big Tree Is Sick
By Natalie Slosse
Recommended Ages:  4+
A sweet book to help children understand and cope with long-term and life-threatening illness of a loved one.  This story is particularly relevant to cancer treatments.  There is a happy ending in this book.

The Copper Tree
By Hilary Robinson
Recommended Ages:  4+
A class of young children is told their beloved teacher is ill.  She visits them and looks increasingly ill.  One sad day they are told she has died.  The children are helped to talk about their feelings, happy times and to do a memorial project.

By Jessica Shepherd
Recommended Ages:  2+
A little boy loves his Grandma and spending time together.  As she becomes less able to look after herself, she has to go into a care home.  This book is especially helpful to children with a loved one about dementia as there is a factual page about the disease and helps children to talk about their feelings and find new ways to enjoy the changing relationship.

Visiting Grandad’s New Home
By Virginia Ironside
Recommended Ages:  2+
A gentle story that uses animals to tell about a child’s experience as she adapts to her granddad going to live in a care home.  Grandad has dementia and needs the special care the home provides. This is a free e-book from Barchester Healthcare.

Visiting Gran’s New Home
By Virginia Ironside
Recommended Ages:  2+
A gentle story that uses animals to tell about a child’s experience as he adapts to his grandma going to live in a care home.  Grandma has dementia and needs the special care the home provides. This is a free e-book from Barchester Healthcare.

My Gran Has Parkinson’s
By Virginia Ironside
Recommended Ages:  3+
The gran in the story explains to her grandson what Parkinson’s is, how it affects her brain and body and her ability to carry out everyday tasks.This book can be downloaded or ordered free of charge on the Parkinson’s UK website.

By Rebecca Elliott
Recommended Ages:  3+
Toby’s sister is very brave when she goes into the hospital.  Toby has to learn to be very brave as well.  The brother and sister support each other.

Hi, My Name is Jack
By Christina Beall-Sullivan
Recommended Ages:
Jack has a little sister who is in and out of the hospital.  It never identifies the type of illness. But does identify all of the feelings a health sibling can have, from jealousy to fear to anger to loneliness—and it addresses them in a way that parents are able to have a conversation with their kids.

My Little Grandmother Often Forgets
By Reeve Lindbergh
Recommended Ages:  3+
Sometimes Tom’s grandmother forgets the way home from the store or that Tom’s name is Tom and not Roy.  Tom doesn’t mind.  He loves to help his grandmother and just spend time with her.  The special bond between a beloved grandmother affected by memory loss and her devoted grandson is the focus of the book.

Let My Colors Out
By Courtney Filigenzi
Recommended Ages:  3+
When his mother is diagnosed with cancer, a little boy uses colors to express his emotions.  He comes to realize that each day is different and it is alright to feel different emotions at different times. This book is published by the American Cancer Society.

My Grandpa
By Marta Altes
Recommended Ages: 2+
A moving and memorable book about the very special relationship between an elderly grandfather and his adoring grandson.  This book uniquely looks at old age through the eyes of a young bear.

Youth & Funerals
By Funeral Service Foundation
This ebook features content about understanding the important role funerals and memorialization play in the lives of youth. The book talks about common myths, discussing death and funerals and preparing youth for funeral attendance.  Click here to read the the ebook.

How Do We Tell The Children?  A Step-by-Step Guide for Helping Children and Teens Cope When Someone Dies
By Daniel Schaefer & Christine Lyons
This book was written as practical guide for anyone who lives with or loves a child/teen who has had a loved one die.  It helps the adult respond to the child’s/teen’s inevitable questions about loss and change, life and death.  He provides strategies to assist children with grief and trauma and offers time-tested advice and language that children can understand.

Healing a Teen’s Grieving Heart:  100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends and Caregivers
By Alan Wolfelt
If you want to help a grieving teen, but aren’t sure how, this book offers 100 practical, realistic ideas and suggestions.  The simple, easy-to-use format makes it an ideal resource for adult who want to help a grieving teen.

Healing a Child’s Grieving Heart:  100 Practical Ideas for Families, Friends and Caregivers
By Alan Wolfelt
If you want to help a grieving child and want practical, kid-friendly ideas to help children mourn well—this is a great book.  A compassionate, easy-to-read resource for caring adults.

I Know It in My Heart:  Walking Through Grief With a Child
By Mary E. Plouffe
This is a personal story of the author’s experience with the death of her sister and the process of her own grief journey and the journey of her young niece as she deals with the death of her mother as she grows up.  This story is more than just a memoir, it is an exploration of childhood and adult grief, and how family relationships can weave them into healing.

10 Steps for Parenting Your Grieving Children
By Anne Hatcher Berenberg, Vicki Scalzitti and Jack Cain
This book is a sensitive, to-the-point guidebook that uses a combination of empathetic descriptions, clear explanations, illustrative stories and practical suggestions to aid you on your journey.  It includes special sections for parenting children grieving a sibling, loss from suicide, multiple losses and loss due to murder and a short section on trauma.  With your help, the children you love can continue their growth, telling a story of their lives that includes nourishing memories and a sense of themselves as strong, resilient, caring people.

Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child
By Earl A. Grollman
This book is a guide for parents helping their children through the death of a loved one.  With a helpful list of dos and don’ts, an illustrated read-along dialogue, and a guide to explaining death, this book provides sensitive and timely advice for families coping with loss.  It explains what children at different developmental stages can and can’t understand about death and discusses why it’s crucial to be honest about death.

Parenting While Grieving: A Survival Guide (booklet)
By What’s Your Grief
This 20 page booklet is designed to help parents who are trying to balance their own grief needs with the needs of the children in their care. This booklet may be purchased at the What’s Your Grief website.

Parenting Through Crisis:  Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief and Change
By Barbara Coloroso
This book shows parents how to help children find a way through grief and sorrow during difficult times (not solely focused on death).  She offers concrete, compassionate ideas for supporting children as they navigate the emotional ups and downs that accompany loss, assisting them in developing their own constructive ways of responding to what life hands them.  At the heart of her approach is what she calls the T.A.O. of Family—Time, Affection and Optimism—coupled with her deep understanding of how people move through grief.

Teen Grief: Caring for the Grieving Teenage Heart
By Gary Roe
This informative, practical handbook is filled with guidance, insight and ideas for helping teens navigate the turbulent waters of loss (mostly focused on death loss).  The focus is on helping teens turn losses into gains and transform hardship into something productive, positive and good,  the ripple effects could be extraordinary.

After a Parent’s Suicide:  Helping Children Heal
By Margo Requarth
The premature death of a parent can be devastating for children—with consequences far more profound when the parent dies of suicide.  Amidst the resulting grief, turmoil and confusion, the surviving parent is faced with the monumental task of tending to the emotional lives of the children left behind.  In this instructive and impassioned book, the author charts the complex emotional waters every family must navigate in the wake of a suicide death.  This is a “how-to” guide for parent survivors:  how to manage both long-term implications of the suicide, how to talk to your children, how to see them through the heart-rending anguish to a place of acceptance, healing and finally, a renewed and deepened capacity for joy.

Helping Children Cope With the Death of a Parent:  A Guide for the First Year
By Paddy Greenwall Lewis and Jessical C. Lippman
The mourning of a parent’s death can take many years—for some a lifetime.  The first year of separation, however, is often the most difficult and heart wrenching.  The first birthday, holiday, spring, summer, autumn and winter spent without the loved one often revives and increases the pain.  This unique guide is organized according to a timeline of a child’s first year of mourning the loss of a parent.  It is a warm, insightful, yet practical guide to help families anticipate and cope with the many difficulties that arise.  Practical suggestions for providing comfort, information and advice are provided.  A range of difficult situations that bereaved children may encounter are identified, helping prepare adults for a child’s potential reactions and providing them with realistic coping strategies.

What About the Kids?  Understanding Their Needs in Funeral Planning and Services
By The Dougy Center
This book addresses the best practices for funeral and memorial services with children and teens.  Learn how to include children in these rituals and creative ways to involve them in the process.  You will find suggestions from children and teens about what was helpful and unhelpful about the funeral or memorial service they attended. This book may be ordered from The Dougy Center website or from Amazon.

By Bryan Mellonie & Robert Ingpen
Recommended Ages:  5+
This book explains life and death in a sensitive, caring way.  It tells about beginnings, endings and about living in between.

The Invisible String
By Patrice Karst
Recommended Ages:  3+
A story that teaches of the tie that really binds-from one heart to another.  Even when someone dies you are still connected by the invisible string by love.

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
By Norman Simon
Recommended Ages:  4+
The book follows Freddy the Leaf as he explains the life and death cycle in a clear and simple way.

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney
By Judith Viorst & Erik Blegvad
Recommended Ages:  6-9
A story about a boy whose cat, Barney, dies.  His family has a funeral and he can only think of nine good things about Barney.  Later, he discovers the 10th thing and he begins to understand.

The Spirit of Tio Fernando (Spanish/English in same book)
By Janice Levy
Recommended Ages:  5-9
The rich tradition of Day of the Dead is brought to life when a young boy, Nando, prepares and participates in the ceremony for his uncle.

Water Bugs and Dragonflies:  Explaining Death to Young Children
By Doris Stickney
Recommended Ages:  4+
This book is a unique fable that explains death to young children.  It leaves the reader with a feeling of hope.

I Will Always Love You
By Melissa Lyons
Recommended Ages:  4-7
A thought provoking and deeply moving story.  The intention of the book is to bring peace and comfort to those who have lost a loved one by offering hope and a sense of knowing that our loved ones could be somewhere happy and free.

A Terrible Thing Happened
By Margaret Holmes
Recommended Ages:  4+
After Sherman sees something terrible happen, he becomes anxious and then angry.  After a counselor helps him talk about these emotions—he feels better.

Badger’s Parting Gifts
By Susan Varley
Recommended Ages:  4-8
Told simply, directly and honestly, this uplifting story helps foster communication, care and understanding.  All of the woodland creatures love old Badger, who is their confidante, advisor and friend.  When he dies, they are overwhelmed by their loss.  Then they begin to remember and treasure the memories he left them.

I’ll Always Love You
By Hanks Wilhelm
Recommended Ages:  3-7
This is a gentle and moving story.  Elfie, a dachshund, and her special boy move happily through life together until Elfie dies.  The family grieves and buries her.  Beautifully illustrated.

I Miss You:  A First Look At Death
By Pat Thomas
Recommended Ages:  4+
This book helps children understand that death is a natural component of life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings following a loved one’s death.  This book is written by a psychotherapist and counselor.

A Taste of Blackberries
By Doris Buchanan
Recommended Ages:  8-12
This is a book about a boy’s first experience with death when his best friend dies.  There are so many questions that seem impossible to answer.

Tear Soup:  A Recipe for Healing After Loss
By Pat Schwiebert & Chuck DeKlyen
Recommended Ages:  8+
Everyone grieves differently and grieving is ok—these are messages children get from this book.  It assures you that there is no wrong or right way to grieve.  It is written as a children’s book, but really brings comfort to all ages.

Bridge to Terabithia
By Katherine Paterson
Recommended Ages:  8-12
This is a book about a boy’s experience with the death of his good friend.  It takes the love of his family and the strength that his friend has given him—for him to be able to deal with his grief.

Always and Forever
By Alan Durant
Recommended Ages:  4+
When Fox dies, the rest of his family are distraught.  How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend.  Over time they realize that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.

I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand
By Dr. Pat Palmer
Recommended Ages:  9+
This warm and comforting book gently helps the grieving child identify his/her feelings in a variety of loss situations and learn how to accept and deal with them.

Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope:  A Read Aloud Story for All Ages About Loving and Losing, Friendship and Hope
By Donna O’Toole
Recommended Ages:  All Ages
Aarvy has lost his family and is filled with despair and hopelessness until a true friend helps him learn about the strengths within himself.

When Someone Very Special Dies:  Children Can Learn to Cope With Grief
By Marge Heegaard
Recommended Ages:
An activity book that allows children to understand the concept of death and develop coping skills as they work through the book.

When Something Terrible Happens:  Children Can Learn to Cope With Grief
By Marge Heegaard
Recommended Ages:
An activity book that creatively allows children to explore the fright, confusion and insecurity caused by traumatic events in their lives.

After a Death:  An Activity Book for Children
By The Dougy Center
Recommended Ages:  5-12
An easy to use workbook for children who have experienced the death of a family member or friend.  With a mixture of creative activities and tips for dealing with changes at school, home and with friends, this is a great tool for all grieving children. This workbook is available from The Dougy Center website.

The Copper Tree
By Hilary Robinson
Recommended Ages:  4+
A class of young children is told their beloved teacher is ill.  She visits them and looks increasingly ill.  One sad day they are told she has died.  The children are helped to talk about their feelings, happy times and to do a memorial project.

Books about Funerals/Memorial Services:

Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories
By Audrey Penn
Recommended Ages:  3-8
Chester Raccoon’s friend has an accident and dies.  His mother suggests they create some good memories of his friend.  Chester and his friends hold a memorial service/funeral for their friend.  Helps children understand funerals/memorial services and the positive purpose of remembering our loved ones.

The Saddest Time
By Norma Simon
Recommended Ages:  6-9
Explains death as an inevitable end of life in three stories.  It addresses helping others in your grief, memorials, funerals and new beginnings.

Kids Learn About Death and Celebrating Life/Los Niños Aprenden Sobre Le Muerte y La Celebracion de La Vida (English/Spanish version in same book)
By Billie Staton Humphrey
Recommended Ages:  All Ages
Created to help all ages support and assist each other through the tough time with animals telling the story.  Friendship, healing rituals/funeral service/cremation options and celebrating the life of a beloved grandfather are covered.  A unique worksheet follows the story.

Books About What Happens After Death:

The Next Place
By Warren Hanson
Recommended Ages:  All Ages
This is an inspirational journey of awe and wonder to a place where earthly hurts are left behind and where there are no barriers.  It celebrates life and the afterlife—ending in hope.

Sibling Loss:

Where’s Jess
By Marvin Johnson
Recommended Ages:  3-6
This is an easy to understand book for children who have a younger sibling die, who has lived for a time at home.

Stacy Had a Little Sister
By Wendie C. Old
Recommended Ages:  4+
Stacy sometimes feels jealous of her new baby sister, wishing she would go away, but when her sister dies, Stacy must find a way to cope with her guilt and loss.

Lost and Found:  Remembering a Sister
By Ellen Yeomans
Recommended Ages:  6+
The story explores a child’s search for understanding after the death of her sister.  If someone could be “lost” could they also be “found”?  Dealing with her own grief and accepting the emotions of those around her this child finds her way toward healing.

My Baby Big sister:  A book for Children Born Subsequent to a Pregnancy Loss
By Cathy Blanford
Recommended Ages:  4-8
This is a book written for children who were born subsequent to a perinatal loss.  This book will help with the confusion these children often experience when they learn about this important event that happened before they were even born.

We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead
By Pat Schwiebert
Recommended Ages: 2-5
A book told from a child’s perspective about the excitement and dreams of a coming baby, and the disappointment and sadness of a miscarriage.

Someone Came Before You
By Pat Schwiebert
Recommended Ages: 4+
A book for the child who comes after the one who died.  It explains in a gentle way the parents’ desire for a child and the sadness that comes over them when that baby dies.  It then shares how the parents, with the help of the baby, get to the point of wanting another child to come into their lives.

The Empty Place: A Child’s Guide Through Grief
By Roberta Temes
Recommended Ages:  5-10
A boy’s beloved big sister dies and he is confused, angry and fearful.  He faces the finality of death and the pain of loss.  His parents who are also grieving, seem distant, until a counselor teaches them all how to cope and heal.

Parent Loss:

Daddy, Up and Down: Sisters Grieve the Loss of Their Daddy
By Lila Stenson and Anna Stenson
Recommended Ages:  4-8
Young sisters share their feelings following the death of their father in an effort to help others.

Saying Goodbye to Daddy
By Judith Vigna
Recommended Ages:  4+
Frightened, lonely and angry after her father is killed in a car accident, Claire is helped through the grieving process by her mother and grandfather.

Everett Anderson’s Goodbye
By Lucille Clifton
Recommended Ages:  5-8
This book is a touching story of a boy who is trying to come to grips with his father’s death.  The story follows him through his struggles with the many stages of grief—finally coming to acceptance.

Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile:  A Story about Coping with the Loss of a Parent
By Julie Kaplow & Donna Pincus
Recommended Ages:  5+
Since Samantha Jane’s dad died, she has been sad, quiet and keeping to herself.  One day her neighbor gently asks about her missing smile.  Samantha Jane begins to open up about her grief, worries and confusion.  Her mother joins her and help her further with accepting and responding to her profound loss.

Her Mother’s Face
By Roddy Doyle
Recommended Ages:  4-8
A Heartwarming story of loss, love and what it means to be a family.  When Siobhan was three years old, her mother died, leaving her and her father alone.  They never talk about her and at 10, she no longer remembers her mother’s face.  She meets a woman who tells her that to remember her mother, she just needs to look in the mirror.  With time she and her father are able to remember her mother with joy and laughter instead of tears.

Missing Mommy:  A Book About Bereavement
By Rebecca Cobb
Recommended Ages:  3-8
Honest and straightforward, this touching story explores the many emotions a bereaved child may experience.  Ultimately the book focuses on the position—the recognition that the child is not alone but still part of family that loves and supports him.

Remembering Mama
By Dara Dokas
Recommended Ages:  4+
This story is about the different emotional reactions a child may experience with the death of a parent.  There are suggested activities for helping to express grief.

Grandparent Loss:

Finding Grandpa Everywhere:  A Young Child Discovers Memories of a Grandparent
By John Hodge
Recommended Ages:  7+
After Grandpa dies, a young boy finds that the memories of him and his love live on everywhere he looks.  Includes a discussion of the importance of allowing children to understand death and undergo the grieving process.

When Your Grandparent Dies:  A Child’s Guide to Good Grief
By Victoria Ryan
Recommended Ages:  5+
Explaining what happens from a child’s point of you, the elves show the difficult days before, after and beyond a grandparent’s death.  They explore the meaning of death and heaven as well as how to stay close in spirit.

Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs
By Tomie dePaola
Recommended Ages:  4-8
Tommy loves visiting the home of his grandmother, Nana Downstairs, and great-grandmother, Nana Upstairs.  One day he is told that his Nana Upstairs won’t be there anymore.  Tommy struggles with saying good-bye to someone he loves.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Garden
By Neil Griffiths
Recommended Ages:  3+
A granddaughter loves to garden with her grandparents.  Her grandmother dies and her grandfather no longer gardens.  The girl persuades him to return to the garden.  When she is an adult she assures her grandfather that the garden will always remind her of him, too.

Traumatic Loss Books:

After a Suicide Death:  An Activity Book for Grieving Kids
By:  The Dougy Center
Recommended Ages:  5-12
This workbook is specifically designed for children who have been exposed to a suicide death.  The activity book includes many activities to help navigate the grief process after a suicide death. This book can be ordered from The Dougy Center website

Books with Religious Concepts:

Someone I Love Died
By Christine Harder Tangvald
Recommended Ages:  4-8
This book gently leads children through grief with age-appropriate words and biblical references that understands a child’s hurting heart.   Once complete, children create a memory book of the loved one’s life.  There are also tools for grown-ups to use with children to assist with their healing.

Where Do People Go When They Die?
By Mindy Avra Portnoy
Recommended Ages:  3-8
In this touching narrative, young children ask a trusted adult “Where do people go when they die?”  Each answer leads back to same place—they go back to God.  The book contains helpful suggestions for adults on how to explain death to children.

What Happened When Grandma Died
By Peggy Barker
Recommended Ages:  4+
In this book life and death are presented in terms a child can easily understand.  She addresses the contradictions children experience after the death of a loved one.  Scripture verses help the child understand the experience and reinforce the joyful hope of heaven.

When Dinosaurs Die:  A Guide to Understanding Death
By Laurie Krasny Brown
Recommended Ages:  4-8
This book helps dispel the mystery and negative connotations associated with death.  It does mention prayer as a means of coping.

Books About Feelings:

Everybody Feels Sad!
By Moira Butterfield
Recommended Ages:  4+
This book focuses on why children may feel a certain way, specifically feelings of sadness, and how they can deal with those feelings.

Everybody Feels Angry!
By Moira Butterfield
Recommended Ages:  4+
This book focuses on why children feel angry and how they can deal with those feelings.

The Hurt
By Teddi Doleski
Recommended Ages:  6-8
A classic book that speaks about how we allow hurts to grow until they take over our lives.  It is a simple story with a moral/behavioral message that shows how to heal the hurt.

Little Feelings
By Judy Spain Barton
Recommended Ages:  3-8
Designed to be read by children on their own or with an adult.  The book provides a nonthreatening means to address the importance of emotion in a child’s voyage of self-discovery.

In My Heart:  A Book of Feelings
By Jo Witek
Recommended Ages:  2-4
It explains how there are feelings inside each of us.  It helps children to name and identify their feelings so they are able to express themselves and be given the tools to regulate those emotions.

Grief Books & Journals for Teens

Deconstruction/Reconstruction:  A Grief Journal for Teens
It starts with a quick 2 page intro where they cover the bases about what a teen should know about grief.  Each page has a guided activity some are structured and some are very flexible.  This journal is a balance of grief material and material that focuses on other parts of a teen’s life—which keeps the journal from feeling “too heavy.”  It encourages writing, drawing, painting and collaging—all aimed at keeping the teen engaged in the activities. This journal is available from The Dougy Center website.

Help for the Hard Times
By Earl Hipp
This book addresses loss and discusses teens’ experiences with loss.  It provides tools for the grief journey.  It is a great book for helping teens find a balance in their lives so that the loss doesn’t become too overwhelming.

Straight Talk About Death for Teenagers:  How to Cope With Losing Someone You Love
By Earl Grollman
This book is for teens who have had a loved one die.  It talks honestly about feelings and attitudes and has space for writing notes and introspection.  The sections are short so the book does not feel overwhelming.

Fire In My Heart, Ice in My Veins
By Enid Samuel Traisman
This book is a grief journal in the truest sense.  The pages are blank to encourage plenty of creativity for how to respond.  Each page has prompts for remembering the person who died, identifying strengths and support systems, addressing unfinished business with the person who died and helping to guide the teen into the future without their loved one.

The Healing Your Grieving Heart Journal for Teens
By Alan Wolfelt
This is a journal for teens who really like to write rather than other creative responses/outlets.  This journal affirms the grieving teen’s journey and offers gentle, healing guidance.  In order to sort through their confusing feelings and thoughts, teens are prompted to explore simple, open-ended questions.

I Will Remember
By Laura Dower
An inspirational and accessible guide to coping with loss which includes personal stories of death and life from real teens, as well as advice from a renowned grief counselor.  It contains dozens of hands-on, creative exercises to help teens move through their pain.

Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens:  100 Practical Ideas
By Alan D. Wolfelt
With sensitivity and insight, this book offers suggestions for healing activities specifically for teens to help them learn to express their grief and mourn naturally.  Acknowledging that death is a painful, ongoing part of life, it explains how people need to slow down, turn inward, embrace their feelings of loss and seek as well as accept support when a loved one dies.

Chill & Spill:  A Place to Put it Down & Work it Out
By Steffanie Lorig and Jeanean Jacobs
Though not specifically a grief journal, it was designed to help teens with the emotional fall out of life.  It is an appealing journal that helps teens express and move forward with issues they are dealing with through creative writing and expressive art activities.  This book is a balance of full-colored pages with guided activities and blank sheets which allows for personal exploration.

General Grief Related to a Death

Searching for Spenser
By Margaret Kramar
Parenting can be a struggle; especially parenting a disabled child. In this flawlessly written memoir, Kramar describes championing her son, diagnosed with Sotos syndrome, through his short life. She examines the experience of loving and losing a child and reminds us that there is a way forward through the grief. Kramar’s memoir offers guidance, wisdom and inspiration. An amazing story of redemption and hope.

Living When a Loved One Has Died
By Earl A. Grollman
Grief is universal though each person’s reactions are different. This book explains what emotions to expect when mourning, what pitfalls to avoid and how to work through the feelings. It is a good companion for those that are lonely and suffering, helping them to begin healing and slowly building a new life.

Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart
By Alan Wolfelt, Ph. D.
A comprehensive book covering the essential lessons mourners have taught him. The 10 touchstones are the essential physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual signs for mourners to look for on their grief journey. There is a companion journal The Understanding Your Grief Journal that may be purchased as a set.

How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies
By Therese A. Rando, Ph.D.
Few people are prepared for what grief brings. This book focuses on there being no right or wrong way to grieve. It leads one gently through the painful but necessary process of grieving and helps one to find the best path for one’s self. It includes a comprehensive resource listing.

The Beginner’s Goodbye
By Anne Tyler
This is a story about a man whose wife unexpectedly dies. He feels as though he has been erased forever. Unexpectedly his wife begins to appear to him and helps him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually he discovers there really may be a way for him to say goodbye.

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss (available in Spanish)
By Pat Schwiebert, Chuck DeKlyen and Taylor Bills
This book is written for grievers of all ages. It validates one’s grief experience. It is packed with wisdom and concrete recommendations. It affirms the bereaved and educates the un-bereaved.

Healing Your Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas
By Alan Wolfelt, Ph. D.
This book contains 100 practical ideas for surviving one’s grief journey. With sensitivity and insight, survivors are helped to express their grief and mourn naturally.

What Helped Me When My Loved One Died
By Earl A. Grollman
A collection of personal stories by many who have mourned the death of a loved one.

Wishes for the Grieving and Healing Heart: Why the Dragonfly Cries
By Tricia LaVoice
This book is based on the metaphor about the dragonfly standing a symbol of transformation and the different stages of life. The author expands on the metaphor using her own insights into the emotion of loss. Her original prose, poetry, reflections and pragmatic suggestions address the pain and suffering experienced by those who are grieving.

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One
By Brook Noel
An exploration of unexpected death and its role in the cycle of life. It provides survivors with a rock-steady anchor from which to weather the storm of pain and begin to rebuild their lives.

Traumatic Grief / Suicide

Healing Your Traumatized Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Someone You Love Dies a Sudden, Violent Death
By Alan Wolfelt, Ph. D.
This book contains 100 practical ideas for families and friends who are affected by a sudden, violent or traumatic death. Some of the tips include understanding the special characteristics of trauma grief and how to cope with that grief.

Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief
By Joanne Cacciatore
When a loved one dies, the pain of loss can feel unbearable—especially in the case of a traumatizing death that leaves us shouting, “NO!” with every fiber of our body. Organized into fifty-two short chapters, Bearing the Unbearable is a companion for life’s most difficult times, revealing how grief can open our hearts to connection, compassion, and the very essence of our shared humanity. Through moving stories of the author’s encounters with grief over decades of supporting individuals, families, and communities—as well as her own experience with loss—she opens a space to process, integrate, and deeply honor our grief.

Grief After Sudden Death/Suicide: I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One
By Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair
This book is written for those who face the challenges of grieving after a sudden death. It covers difficult topics, such as the first few weeks, suicide, funerals and rituals, physical affects and depression.

Understanding Your Suicide Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing in Your Heart
By Alan Wolfelt
The author introduces 10 touchstones to assist survivors of a loved one’s suicide in what is often a complicated grief journey. Learning to identify and rely on the touchstones helps survivors find their way to hope and healing. There is also a companion journal, The Understanding Your Suicide Grief Journey, available as a set.

The Wilderness of Suicide Grief: Finding Your Way
By Alan Wolfelt, Ph. D.
This book is a compassionate guide to finding your way after the suicide death of someone you love. This book helps you find continued meaning in your own life after being confronted with the profound grief as a result of a loved one taking their own life.

Spirituality in Grief

The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully
By Frank Ostaseki
This book is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an everpresent consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. These Five Invitations show us how to wake up fully to our lives. They can be understood as best practices for anyone coping with loss or navigating any sort of transition or crisis; they guide us toward appreciating life’s preciousness. Awareness of death can be a valuable companion on the road to living well, forging a rich and meaningful life, and letting go of regret.

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss
By Jerry L Sittser
This book is about how grief allows each person the choice to know the grace that can transform their experience. The circumstances of the loss are not important, but what each person decides to do with those circumstances is. In coming to the end of oneself, it is possible to come to the beginning of a new life—one marked by spiritual death, joy, compassion and a deeper appreciation of simple blessings.

The Journey Through Grief: Reflections on Healing
By Alan Wolfelt
This book is organized around the six needs all mourners must yield do and indeed embrace if they are to go on to find continued meaning in life and living. There are spiritual passages that assist with the healing process and space for guided journaling.

A Grief Observed
By C. S. Lewis
This book is an honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death and faith in the midst of loss. It chronicles how a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe after a loss, and an inspirational tale of how it is possible to regain one’s bearings.

Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss
By Sameet M. Kumar
Although loss is an inevitable part of life, how a person approaches this fact can make the difference between meaningless pain and the manifestation of understanding and wisdom. This book focuses on having a mindful approach to grief and by walking this path, one discovers the capacity of transformation and healing and finding the spiritual and emotional resilience to move though grief.

Healing Your Grieving Soul: 100 Spiritual Practices for Mourners
By Alan Wolfelt
Following a helpful introduction about the role of spirituality in grief, this practical guide offeres 100 tips and activities on meditation, yoga, solitude and many more.

Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping you Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss
By Sarah Philpott
This book walks beside women as they experience the misguided shame, isolation and crushing despair that accompany the turmoil of loss. The author shares her own and others stories of loss, offering Christ-filled hope and support to women navigating grief.

Grief Meditations
A Time to Grieve, Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One
By Carol Staudacher
A collection of truly comforting, down-to-earth thoughts and meditations for those grieving the loss of a loved one.

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief
By Martha Whitmore Hickman
This book contains daily meditations that provide strength and thoughtful words to inspire and comfort those who are grieving.

Grief One Day at a Time: 365 Meditations to Help You Heal After Loss
By Alan Wolfelt
Each day there is a brief entry for a whole calendar year which brings comfort and understanding to those who are struggling with grief.

Parents’ Grief: Daily Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Child
By Clifford E. Denay, Jr.
This book is for every parent who has ever lost a child. Each meditation addresses concerns helpful to the healing process and our relationship with our partners. May these meditations install hope in your heart and ease your suffering.

Grieving the Death of a Spouse
Getting to the Other Side of Grief: Overcoming the Loss of a Spouse
By Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge and Robert C. DeVries
This book has a sensitive and biblically oriented roadmap for bereaved spouses on their journey through grief.

Widow to Widow: Thoughtful, Practical Ideas for Rebuilding Your Life
By Genevieve Davis Ginsburg
This book offers advice for coping with the loss of a spouse. From learning to travel and eat alone to creating new routines to survive the holidays and anniversaries, it encourages individuals on their path to building a new life.

Healing a Spouse’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Husband or Wife Dies
By Alan Wolfelt
This book contains 100 practical ideas for surviving the death of a spouse. Grief Workbook/Journal

When Your Soulmate Dies
By Alan Wolfelt
In this compassionate guide, you’ll find empathetic affirmation and advice intermingled with real-life stories from other halved soulmates. Learn to honor your loved one and your grief even as you find a path to a renewed life of purpose and joy.

Books on Using Creative Methods During Grieving

Yoga for Grief and Loss
By Karla Helbert
This book demonstrates how the principles and practices of yoga can help relieve symptoms of grief allowing those who have experienced loss to move toward wholeness, peace, and feelings of connection with loved ones who have died. We are shown how to begin and sustain a personal practice, both on and off the yoga mat, which helps us to cope with and move through grief on multiple levels. Expressive and experiential exercises are included to help explore each of the branches of yoga and find ways to put the tenets of each branch into real life practice.

Colors of Loss and Healing: An Adult Coloring Book for Getting Through Tough Times
By Deborah Derman
This adult coloring book that combines beautiful drawings with inspirational words to help you quiet your mind and contemplate your journey toward healing.

Writing to Heal the Soul: Transforming Grief and Loss Through Writing
By Susan Zimmerman
Writing to Heal the Soul is not just for writers. It is for anyone who is suffering any kind of grief or loss, whether the injury, disability, or death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or the end of a relationship. Lyrically illustrated with true stories from the author and others, the book offers simple yet inspiring writing exercises to help you resolve your pain as you transform your grief into words of hope and healing.

Loss of a Parent

How to Survive the Loss of a Parent: A Guide for Adults
By Lois F. Akner
Many people who usually function well are thrown for a loop when a parent dies. They’re surprised at the complex feelings of love, loss, anger, and guilt and the unresolved issues that emerge. The book explains why the loss of a parent is different from other losses and how it is possible to work through the grief.

Recovering from the Loss of a Parent
By Katherine Donnelly
It is a compassionate guide for individuals coping with the death of his/her parent. It provides practical ways grieving individuals can take steps toward recovery.

The Orphaned Adult
By Alexander Levy
Losing our parents when we ourselves are adults is the natural order of things, a rite of passage into true adulthood. This passage proves inevitably more difficult than we thought it would be. From the recognition of our own mortality and sudden child-like sorrow to a sometimes-subtle change in identity or shift of roles in the surviving family, this book guides readers through the storm of change and anchors them with its compassionate and reassuring wisdom.

Healing The Adult Child’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Parent Dies
By Alan Wolfelt
This book contains 100 practical ideas to help adults when their parent dies.

Loss of a Child
Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child
By Ellen Mitchell
Meant to comfort and provide direction to bereaved parents is written by 9 mothers who have each lost a child. They candidly share with other bereaved parents what to expect in the first year and beyond.

Recovering from the Loss of a Child
By Katherine Donnelly
The pain and shock when a child dies can seem unbearable. This book provides wisdom and strategies for emotional recovery. It provides practical ways grieving individuals can take steps toward recovery.

Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child
By Gary Roe
The loss of a child affects everything. We will never be the same, but we can survive. And to some degree heal. This book provides assistance with negotiating the changes in your life following your child’s death.

Healing Your Grieving Heart After Miscarriage: 100 Practical Ideas for Parents and Families
By Alan Wolfelt
This book contains 100 practical ideas to help those affected by the tragedy of miscarriage.

Healing a Parent’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Child Dies
By Alan Wolfelt
This book contains 100 practical ideas to help parents when the unthinkable has happened and their child has died.

Healing a Grandparent’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Grandchild Dies
By Alan Wolfelt
This book contains 100 practical ideas to help grandparents when their grandchild has died.

A Loss Misunderstood: Healing Your Grieving Heart After Miscarriage
By Jaclyn Pieris
The purpose of this book is to support the women and their partners who can be left feeling devastatingly alone with their pain following the loss of a pregnancy. Questions are posed at the end of each chapter to provide couples with an opportunity to put their story and emotions down on paper.

Masculine Grief

Mourning Men: A Journey Through Grief
By Clifford E. Denay
Men grieve differently than woman. Here are words of encouragement, comfort, hope and healing for men who have suffered the death of a loved one.

Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing
By Thomas R. Golden
This book talks about how the genders differ in their healing. It is a book for both men and women about the masculine side of healing from a loss. It is meant to be a map and a guide through the experience of loss.

When a Man Faces Grief/A Man You Know is Grieving
By Thomas Golden
One part of the book is focused on the 12 practical ideas to help the masculine griever. The other part is focused on the 12 practical ideas for others who want to support the masculine griever.


All in the End is Harvest: An Anthology for Those Who Grieve
By Anges Whitaker
A collection of prose and poetry for grieving adults.

Giving Sorrow Words: Poems of Strength and Solace
By Karen van Meenen, Charles Rossiter, and Kathleen Adams
A collection of poems that bring strength and solace to those who are grieving.

Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief
By Tom Zuba
This book is a collection of poetry written after the devastating loss of several family members. It offers those living with the death of a loved one the tools, knowledge, and wisdom to create a full, joyfilled life.

Grief During the Holidays
Surviving the Holidays Without You: Navigating Grief During Special Seasons
By Gary Roe
Learn how to prepare for the upcoming holiday(s). This book gives you a holiday grief survival kit.

Healing Your Holiday Grief: 100 Practical Ideas for Blending Mourning and Celebration During the Holiday Season
By Alan Wolfelt
This book contains 100 ideas on how to survive the holidays by giving yourself permission to mourn and creating new traditions to incorporate healing rituals into your holidays.

Hope and Healing During the Holidays After the Loss of a Loved One
By Jayne Flaagan
The grieving process can be harder during the holidays. This book focuses on giving you many thoughtful insights and helpful strategies on dealing with bereavement before, during and after the holidays.

Funeral/Memorial Service Planning:

How to Plan a Funeral: A Simple and Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Difficult Time Easier When Coping with Loss
By Anthea Peries
Simple, straightforward advice on how to plan a funeral and make appropriate decisions. Appropriate planning helps you to make balanced, informed decisions and avoid unnecessary conflicts. It will be helpful for you to keep records and make notes along the way—blank lined pages are contained in the book.

Last Wishes: A Funeral Planning Manual and Survivors Guide
By Victoria Lynn and Malcolm James
This is a complete guide for pre-planning your own funeral and helps with every step of the way related to funeral services, caskets, cemetery, cremation and/or burial choices. The different types of funeral services are explained. The rights of a consumer related to dealing with the funeral industry are clarified. There is a frequently asked questions section. There are many lists to help make choices including flowers, hymns/music, and scriptures/readings. In the back there is a complete set of forms to document your wishes.

Creating Meaningful Funeral Ceremonies: A Guide for Families
By Alan Wolfelt
This compassionate, friendly workbook affirms the importance of the personalized funeral ritual and helps families create a ceremony that will be both healing and meaningful for years to come.

Caregiving/Diagnosis/Life-Threatening Illness:

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communications of the Dying
By Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley
This book was written by two hospice nurses who share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life. Through their stories one comes to appreciate the near-miraculous ways in which the dying communicate their needs, reveal their feelings and even choreograph their own final moments. It is filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and help them prepare emotionally and spiritually for death.

Being Mortal
By Atul Gawande
Through eye-opening research and gripping real stories, the author reveals the suffering modern medicine has produced. Riveting, honest and humane, this book shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death, but a good life, all the way to the very end.

Living in Limbo: Creating Structure and Peace When Someone You Love Is Ill
By Laura Michaels and Claire Zilber
The moment a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness or disability, your world changes. Every assumption you had about the future vanishes. Your plans are replaced with doubt, fear and anxiety. You are plunged into limbo, into a state of constant uncertainty. This book offers hope for caregivers by providing useful coping strategies and behavioral changes you can make as you take on the mantle of caregiver.

On Death and Dying
By Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD
This book is one of the most important psychological studies of the late 20th century. It grew out of her famous interdisciplinary seminars on death, life and transition. She explores the five stages of death: denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. She helps provide a better understanding of how imminent death affects the dying individual, the professionals providing care and the person’s family.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson
By Mitch Albom
This is a story about a man connecting with a mentor who he had lost contact with over the years. He reconnects with him during the last months of his life. Their rekindled relationship turns into lessons on how to live.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People
By Harold S. Kushner
This is a straightforward, elegant contemplation about the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. It offers clear thinking and consolation in times of sorrow.

Dying Well
By Ira Byock, MD
Through the true stories of patients and families with whom the author has work, he shows that a lot of important emotional work can be accomplished in the final months, weeks, and even days of life. It is a companion for families, showing them how to deal with doctors, how to talk to loved ones and how to make the end of life as meaningful and enriching as the beginning.

The Needs of the Dying: A Guide for Bringing Hope, Comfort and Love to Life’s Final Chapter
By David Kessler
In gentle, compassionate language, this book helps people through the last chapter of life. The author has identified key areas of concern: the need to be treated as a living human being, the need for hope, the need to express emotions, the need to participate in care, the need for honesty, the need for spirituality, and the need to be free of physical pain. The book provides a vocabulary for family members and the dying that allows them to communicate with health care providers and each other—at a time when the right words are exceedingly difficult to find and to find a way to say good-bye.

The Grace in Dying: A Message of Hope, Comfort and Spiritual Transformation
By Kathleen D. Singh
This book illuminates the profound psychological and spiritual transformations experienced by the dying as the natural process of death reconnects them with the source of their being. It offers a fresh, deeply comforting message of hope and courage as we contemplate the meaning of mortality.

Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life
By Maggie Callanan
This book is written by a long-time hospice nurse. It is designed to be your companion, resource, and advocate from diagnosis through the final hours. It will help you keep the lines of communication open, get the help you need, and create the peaceful end we all hope for.

On Life After Death
By Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD
This is a collection of inspirational essays, revealing the afterlife as a return to wholeness of spirit. This book offers a compelling message of hope to the living to those dealing with a terminal illness or death of a loved one, so they may grow stronger from tragedy and live life to the fullest.

Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness
By Joanne Lynn, Joan Harrold and Janice Lynch Schuster
This book is for those who wish to approach the final years of life with greater awareness of what to expect and greater confidence about how to make the end of their lives a time of growth, comfort and meaningful reflection. This book provides equal measure practical information and wise counsel.