Grief is a universal human experience that can be incredibly challenging to navigate. Whether you're dealing with the loss of a loved one or experiencing a major life change, finding solace and guidance in books can be immensely helpful. In this blog post, I will share many of the books I read during my grief that offered valuable insights, practical advice, and emotional support.
I'm a reader, so for me I wanted to dive into anything and everything. I think in a way all the self help books and the memoirs of others that have/had lost someone, really helped me not feel so alone. I will be honest, it wasn't instant for me either, so if your like "No way I could read a book right now" and your only a month out; man I get that and it's okay. You do you and go at your own pace; you will definitely know when you are ready. For me, even in the beginning, it was being involved in a small book club with a wonderful leader and reading only a chapter a week and even if we couldn't, just talking through some of the main takeaways from the book were very helpful for me. I will also say that reading a "beach" read that had nothing to do with anything but it was an easy read and it placed me in that persons life and I felt better because I wasn't "living" my life. Sounds so strange I'm sure; but I honestly just wanted to escape the depths of my grief and inputing myself in Nantucket on an island having a party and arguing with my family, sounded way better than my current life. So, I say this because reading is a passage into a different world, whether it's familiar or unfamiliar, books are very important to guide, help, practice, or even support other grievers.
I will provide a list here of books I've read that helped me, guided me, or released anxiety in me. I will link all these books so you can click and be directed to amazon, but always please check your local library or audible. (By the way...Do you prefer an actual paper book or do you like listening to books or do you like a kindle?) I'm a paper book gal through and through and if you saw the amount of books I have you would be shocked!! On vacations though, I do take a kindle just because of the simplicity of it and I always read smut on vacation because I don't want to dive to deep into a heavy topic :)
- "It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is cool too) by Nora McInery (Currently reading)
- "The Gift of Ben" by Lindsey Roger-Seitz
- "Microjoys" Finding hope (especially) when life is not okay" by Cyndie Spiegel
- "The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck" by Mark Manson
- "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis
- "When Breath becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi
- "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion
- "Option B: facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy" by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
- "Tear Soup: A recipe for healing after loss" by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck Deklyen (this book we read and watched the video clip many times at Ted E. Bear Hollow, so it holds a special place in my heart)
- "Better, Not Bitter: a journey from heartbreak to healing" by Michelle Cowan (this one obviously holds a special spot...she's my podcast co-host)
- "Live your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero" by Amanda Loots
- "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End" by Atul Gawande
- "From Depths We Rise: A Journey of Beauty from Ashes" by Sarah Rodriguez
- "Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love" by Anna Whiston-Donaldson, Glennon Doyle
- "Second Firsts: Live, Laugh, and Love Again" By Christina Rasmussen
- "I'll See You Again" by Jackie Hance
- "Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife" by Even Alexander
- "Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss" by Jai Pausch (and of course her husbands book "The Last Lecture" was amazing)
- "The Color of Rain: How Two Families Found Faith, Hope, and Love in the Midst of Tragedy" by Michael Spehn and Gina Spehn
- "Where You Left Me" by Jennifer Gardner Trulson
As you can see, SOOOOOO many good books and this isn't even the dent. I'd have to go to my archives in the basement to find the books that I read right after Garret died. I will do that for you some day. But like I said, some of these books are memoirs of actual peoples stories and how they lived through loss. Some are very inspirational, some are very matter of fact and sad, and most will give you the hope you need to move forward in this crazy life.
I hope you found this helpful and I did attach all links to each book, phew!! But, honestly let me know your feelings on books and/or let me know of books. I've read a lot, but I know there may be some I haven't read yet. If you just skipped over this entire blog because you dislike books...well, I'm sorry, but maybe just maybe you could share this with a book lover in you life because you know...TOGETHER WE ARE BETTER!
PS. Did you know I'm writing my very own book????? So very very exciting and I can't wait to share with all of you and hopefully be on a list like this some day!