10 Best Books to Help You Deal with the Loss of a Loved One

There is no darker pain in the world than the loss of a loved one. 

Once someone you love so wholeheartedly gets taken away from you due to some unforeseen events, you come to comprehend how fragile and uncertain life is.

Losing someone you love can leave you grieving for years. You feel like you spiralling down a dark bottomless pit without any ray of hope. No matter how much your friends and family give a shoulder to burden your pain, everything seems to go downhill.

Here are the 10 best books to help you deal with the loss of a loved one that will make you realize that you are not alone and equip you with strategies to deal with the trauma and pain that comes with the loss of a loved one.

Let’s dive right in.

Here’s a list of 10 Best Books to Help You Deal with the Loss of a Loved One

Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief -A Comprehensive Guide to Reclaiming and Cultivating Joy and Carrying on in the Face of Loss, by Emily Thiroux Threatt

Loving and living through grief- best books to help you deal with the loss of a loved one

This book aids in the healing process after trauma and loss, and its pages are filled with insight, wisdom, and relatable stories. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to begin living again with joy, meaning, and love after a loss.

It’s laid out so that you can pick a topic from the table of contents that relates to the issue that’s troubling you the most at the time.

Good Grief I’m Healed -Hurt in the World, Healed by the Word, by Suzanne Grimaud

Good Grief I am Healed

During a particularly painful time in her life, Suzanne Grimaud discovered inner healing through losing both her mother and sister in a fatal car accident.

Those who’ve exhausted themselves trying to process the traumatic grief, anxiety, panic, and fear and want to begin anew will find solace in this book.

Also Read: 9 Best Audiobooks for Dealing With Anxiety and Depression

The Language of Loss – Poetry and Prose for Grieving and Celebrating the Love of Your Life, by Barbara Abercrombie

The language of loss

When Barbara Abercrombie’s husband died, she found the language of condolence offensive, despite its good intentions. Instead, she yearned for words that acknowledged the reality of death and expressed her grief, loneliness, guilt, and anger.

This is a book to dip into and read slowly; it is a collection of poems and prose that will guide you through the stages of grief.

Lost Without You – Loving and Losing Tanya, by Vinne Jones

Lost Without You

Tanya Jones, Vinnie Jones’ wife and soulmate died in July 2019 after a six-year battle with cancer. Vinnie found that he was having a difficult time coping after her death.

This intimate memoir deals frankly with Vinnie’s grief, by sharing poignant and lively anecdotes about his 25-year marriage to Tanya together with uncensored accounts of the reality of grief.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg

Option B

Sandberg was only in her mid-40s when the unthinkable occurred. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of the best-selling book Lean In, found her husband, Silicon Valley executive Dave Goldberg, dead in Mexico.

After the shocking loss, she would have to face her children, her demanding job, and her seemingly endless grief. “We all live Option B,” she writes.

Sheryl’s Option B was her life without her love. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, co-authored by psychologist and Wharton professor Adam Grant, PhD, shows how the human spirit can help you persevere and rediscover joy even after suffering tremendous pain and loss.

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye, by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair

I wasn't ready to say goodbye

Sudden loss, compared to expected loss, “robs the bereaved person of a sense of safety and normalcy,” says Benhaim, who compares it to an act of sudden violence.

This book describes this dizzying and destabilising assault on the mourner’s inner and outer life masterfully. Stang notes that the book covers a wide range of topics, making it “an invaluable resource addressing all ages and relationships.”

“A sense of safety and companionship” is established between them and the reader in the first few chapters, even though this is not a memoir.

A Parent’s Guide to Raising Grieving Children, by Phyllis R. Silverman and Madelyn Kelly

A Parent's Guide to Raising Greiving Children

Many adults are unfamiliar with the challenges of parenting a grieving child. As Schuurman puts it, “This book helps parents navigate their own grief and better understand how to support their children following the death of a family member.”

The book covers everything from explaining death to a toddler to managing a grieving teenager’s mood swings.

The authors help readers “feel a greater sense of normalcy in the midst of an abnormal and terrible event,” says Cirlin.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold Kushner

When bad things happen to good people

Harold Kushner was a young rabbi when he learned his 3-year-old son had a terminal illness. This bleak prognosis set Harold on a lifelong quest to discover how God could allow good people to suffer.

In this classic book, he shares how he reconciled his religious faith with his fears, questions, and doubts, and it has become a resource for others facing similar tragedies.

It includes Harold’s personal experience as well as stories from people he’s helped throughout his career.

When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chödrön

when things fall apart

When Things Fall Apart is a collection of Buddhist nun Pema Chodron’s wise insights on how to face fear, sickness, and grief, among other challenges. This is a timeless bit of advice from the beloved classic. It advises those who are suffering to confront their pain instead of fleeing from it.

She believes that confronting the situation or feeling and embracing it will enable readers to work through their feelings and ultimately heal. To reach a wide variety of different lives, the book weaves Buddhist wisdom and practical advice throughout the book.

This is true whether we find out that something is not what we expected or that we are not sure whether something is what we believe it to be. We’ll be faced with this question over and over again.

When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

when breath becomes air

Paul Kalanithi’s autobiography about battling stage 4 lung cancer as a young neurosurgeon became a worldwide hit. The book follows Paul’s early career, diagnosis, illness, and death, with a touching epilogue by his wife.

Considering the subject matter, I was surprised that I read this in a few hours in a coffee shop. Even though his story is written clinically and academically, it is heartbreaking, not least because he died before the book was published.

That said, Paul’s meditations on “facing mortality and trying to understand what made life worth living” are beautifully realised.

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