After the loss of a loved one, everyone experiences grief differently. However, grief extends beyond the person who suffered the loss. Those close to the person in mourning also feel the effects of grief, and are often at a loss when it comes to guidance or advice on what to do or how to react to someone else’s pain. In a world that views grief as something no one has time for, those struggling to express their emotions and process their feelings look for the best way through these pain-filled times.
The funeral specialists at The Gardens, have rounded up the best books on grief to help those hurting and those looking for some guidance on how to experience grief.
1. It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine
Centered on the premise that there is nothing wrong with grief, this book explores how our culture treats grief. Throughout the book, the author offers sincere advice on how to challenge the myths surrounding grief, explains why sometimes well-meaning advice often does more harm than good for people grieving, and shares a practical guide on how to manage stress, improve sleep, and lower anxiety. A book for grieving people, those who love them, and all those navigating through what our culture believes needs to be fixed. Find the book here.
2. Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist
The concept behind this book centers on its name – bittersweet. Looking for a way to change our way of life, this book explores how even in the worst of heartbreaks, there’s still a hint of hope that makes the situation, well, bittersweet. There’s no doubt, losing someone is perhaps the bitterest situation one can experience. This book shows you how to find the sweet between it all, how to reach to that bittersweet spot that’s all too beautiful, too complicated, and full of depth. Find the book here.
3. Hope When It hurts: Biblical Reflections to Help You Grasp God’s Purpose in Your Suffering by Kristen Wetherell & Sarah Walton
For those who are moving through challenging times, the biblical reflections in this book are full of realism about the hurts of life because suffering is real. However, then it brings back the concept of hope. A book that will encourage you and help anyone who’s hurting. Every reflection is aimed to help you find hope not just beyond your suffering, but for life in the suffering. Find the book here.
4. Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting by Dave Furman
When you have a family member or a friend hurting after the loss of a loved one, you often find yourself struggling in your unique way too. While on the one hand, your loved one suffers in silence, not knowing how to reach out for support. You also suffer, not being able to find the right way to pass through the wall your loved ones have built. This book touches upon that, offering support, wisdom, and encouragement to help you find a way to help others. We often talk about how sometimes “being there” is all a loved one needs after losing someone. This book brings a new meaning to this concept. Find the book here.
5. Karuna Cards: Creative Ideas to Transform Grief and Difficult Life Transitions by Claudia Coenen
Developed in counseling with bereaved families, these cards are designed to help those struggling with loss and grief. By prompting questions and starting points, the Karuna Cards give those struggling to find a healing path meditations and activities that they can do each day to heal and transform grief into new emotions. Find the book here.
6. Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief by Claire Bidwell Smith
Most of us know about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This book goes a step ahead and includes one more stage – anxiety. Our culture focuses on grief as something that needs to be treated and processed as fast as possible so that those suffering can move on with their life after a loss. This book touches on the anxiety this generates, and how we can feel anxious to find a solution to our suffering and a way out. Without a doubt, this is a unique and revolutionary look at grief that teaches us key elements on how to understand and heal after a loss. Find the book here.
7. A Grief Unveiled: One Father’s Journey through the Death of a Child by Gregory Floyd
There are no words, expressions, or guides on how to process the death of a child. In his book, Floyd merely takes the reader on his heartbreaking journey of losing his youngest son. Beyond the loss, the book takes you through his struggle to reconstruct his role as a husband and father after his loss. This book offers encouragement and an intimate connection to anyone who has experienced the agony of losing a child, or anyone who has suffered a loss. Find the book here.
8. A Manual for Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink
This is a wise book that brings a therapeutic memoir to life. In the book, the author opens up about how her family was torn apart by an unthinkable tragedy, and how she learned to live with grief and loss as part of her life so that she could find joy in the world again. This moving, uplifting, and warm book offers you comfort and solidarity when you’re suffering. Explore how to cope with life at its most overwhelming phases, and how even while we suffer, we can emerge out of these situations filled with hope. Find the book here.
9. Loving from the Outside In, Mourning from the Inside Out by Alan D. Wolfelt
This calming guide talks about mourning as a healthy and necessary experience following a life-changing loss. The very foundation of this book is reflected in the principles of love. The book was written not to explain how to move past grief, but in how to embrace it. Showing yourself some love from the outside, while mourning from the inside is the key behind this books’ guide. Find the book here.
10. Beyond the Broken Heart: A Journey through Grief by Julie Yarbrough
Some believe that grief is a crisis of faith. This book explores grief as a crisis of the heart. Comforting, guiding, and spiritual, this book takes mourners through a grief journey that helps them find comfort and strength with God. Ideal for anyone experiencing the anguish of grief, and those doubting their faith and struggling to find hope within their suffering. This remarkable grief guidance program is a beautiful and thoughtful read to anyone mourning the loss of a loved one. Find the book here.