Grief Books and Blogs for Coping with Loss
These print and online resources help the bereaved deal with loss
Some deaths, such as those of our parents, spouses, and children, leave us devastated and desperately seeking answers and support. But, finding time to get help is difficult when you’re saddled with grown-up problems, like getting back to work to pay the bills and funeral expenses. If you don’t have time to attend in-person grief support groups or seek grief counseling, the following grief books and blogs can offer assistance on your schedule.
Rabbi Steve Leder spent 27 years helping others through their personal tragedies, believing he had a firm understanding of pain. Yet, it wasn’t until he was involved in a car accident and suffered his own pain that he was really able to grasp it. This book, through Rabbi Leder’s experience, shows you how to transform your pain into something more meaningful. Follow him as he guides you through how to use grief to survive, heal, and grow.
Following the death of his 14-year-old son to a degenerative disease, Rabbi Harold Kushner had trouble understanding why God let it happen. Knowing his question was one many others face when loved ones pass away, he wrote this book to offer an answer through his reflection on the subject based on his experience as a rabbi and a human being. If a loved one’s passing has left you questioning your religious beliefs, perhaps Kushner’s ideas can provide comfort.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband to a sudden death, leaving her to care for their two children, feeling unsure about the future, and believing she could never be happy again. This book, which she co-wrote with Wharton psychology professor Adam Grant, shares the steps people can take to mend and move forward from tragic experiences, such as death. Follow their steps to strengthen yourself and your family and learn how to experience joy again.
Famed author C.S. Lewis penned this book in the year following the death of his wife. It was a time when he reflected on life, became angry with God, and questioned his beliefs, but then he reemerged with gratitude for the chance to have loved. Through Lewis’s account of grief, you can understand the turbulent grief process and make sense of your own.
Ty Alexander’s No. 1 supporter was her mom. The tables turned when her mom was diagnosed with cancer, leaving Alexander to be her advocate and caregiver until the disease took her. Alexander published this book about her grief and how she deals with it every day in order to answer the questions she received on her popular lifestyle and beauty blog. Her personal story and suggestions may help you cope with your grief, too.
Pema Chodron uses her deep roots in Buddhism and time as an ordained nun to suggest ways to overcome suffering and experience rebirth in life. Her book seeks to help people conquer painful events by taking a different path — moving toward and getting comfortable with the pain. Even if you don’t follow the Buddhist religion, Chodron’s approach is universal enough to apply to your grief.
In its 20-plus years in publication, “The Grief Recovery Handbook” has helped people bearing various forms of loss to move forward. Both authors endured their own losses, and James founded The Grief Recovery Institute after he lost his 3-day-old son. Together, they use this book to look at grief, provide a process to overcome it, and help people find happiness again. Their handbook’s specific steps can guide you to recovery.
“On Grief and Grieving”
by Elisabeth Kübler Ross and David Kessler
Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross is a psychiatrist renowned for her theory on the five stages of death, which she discussed in her book, “On Death and Dying.” Kübler-Ross teamed up with bestselling author and healing and loss expert David Kessler to write her final book, “On Grief and Grieving.” This book presents the five stages of death as the five stages of grief to help readers understand why grieving is so important. You may find its application of practical advice based on theoretical evidence helpful with your grieving process.
Grief blog sites
“What’s Your Grief”
by Litsa Williams and Eleanor Haley
Williams and Haley are mental health professionals who specialize in grief and bereavement. Their grief blog was born out of the frustration they felt when they didn’t know where to go for information after they each lost a parent. “What’s Your Grief” provides resources to others who may not know where to turn. Visitors, both grief professionals and mourners, can find a plethora of information for various forms of loss. It even includes grief support exercises to keep you on track and moving forward.
Tousley is not only a registered nurse with a master’s degree in advanced psychiatric mental health nursing and a bereavement counselor, she has also lost both parents, a son, and other loved ones. She brings her professional and personal wisdom to her grief blog, where she answers readers’ questions and shares valuable resources on understanding and managing grief. Visit her site to find practical advice as you go through the various stages of grief.
by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner
Blog founders Soffer and Birkner live on opposite sides of the country, but they have much in common. Both have husbands, two children, and labradoodles, and both lost parents too early in life. Together, and with a team of contributing editors, they run a candid, relatable grief blog. It provides personal insight on diverse topics, ranging from how to spend life insurance money to ideas for memorial tattoos. Go see them when you need to feel connected to fellow mourners and for insight you never imagined you’d need.
This grief blog site is maintained by the grief recovery specialists of The Grief Recovery Institute and serves to provide support and guidance after the loss of a loved one. The Grief Recovery Institute was founded by John James after he lost his newborn son and had no resources to help him navigate his grief. The blog features a wide range of subjects, from being aware of situations that may trigger your grief to handling regrets.
Dr. Alan Wolfelt travels the country, educating people on such topics as the need for funerals and how to help children cope with loss. He also shares his professional wisdom via this grief blog site, which is designed to help families and individuals heal after the death of loved ones. The site also provides basic advice on grief and mourning and access to resources. Wolfelt’s goal is to be your companion in mourning and not someone who solely provides treatment.
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Photo credit: Milan Virijevic