Grief is such an intimate personal experience, that it is my belief that nobody can really say ‘I know how you feel’ or ‘just follow these steps to feel better’, but sometimes simply knowing others have gone through similar experiences and struggles (no matter how different) can make you feel less like you’re tackling this on your own.
Healing Grief: A Guide to Loss and Recovery by Barbara Ward
As recommended on Cruse Bereavement Care
For those looking for a pragmatic approach to dealing with loss and how to get themselves on the road to recovery, this book guides you through simple and effective ways of managing and healing the wounds left by grief. This simple and effective guide also looks at other types of loss, such as grieving a marriage after divorce, as well as death and dying.
The Madness of Grief: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Reverend Richard Coles
Bestseller at Waterstones
If a self-help guide is not the kind of book you’re looking for, then maybe The Madness of Grief might be more suited. It’s a frank and revealing look at one man’s descent into the madness brought about by grief. This raw look at the tragedy of bereavement might not be for everyone, but if you want to gain a better understanding of your own grief, then reading a first hand account from someone else going through a similar experience might help to make sense of your own feelings.
‘H is for Hawk’ by Helen Macdonald
As recommended on Flora The Explorer
A lot of people looking for books on grief might not even look at this twice, as on the surface it is very much a story about learning to train and look after a goshawk. But it’s under the surface that we find the authors true intentions, and that is finding a way to process and cope with the grief of losing her father. Not a book for everyone, but if you want a book that’s not going to remind you of your grief every 30 seconds, then this addresses it in a more gentle manner.
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom
#1 Bestseller on Amazon
This book is less about grieving, and more about learning to make the most of the time you do have with people, and creating wonderful memories together. It’s an uplifting real-life account of a student who rekindles a friendship with his dying ex-college professor, and all the life lessons that he is taught in their final class together.
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
As recommended on Live Happy
When people hear the name C.S. Lewis they tend to think of the world of Narnia, a vast fantasy realm that he created in his children’s literature, but he also wrote several books on his own beliefs and philosophies. A Grief Observed was written as a way of finding his own way through the grief of losing his wife. He was also a devout Christian and so there is some exploration of how grief affected his belief systems, but even for those of a different faith (or no faith at all) there is something here in his deep exploration of loss and of love.
When you can’t find the words to express your own emotions during one of the most difficult times of your life, hopefully one of these books can help make sense of things for you and put you on the path to living with the loss you have suffered. If you have any other recommendations of books that have helped you, then please leave them in the comments below.
If you need some more support regarding a bereavement, then take a look at our Bereavement Support section.
If you feel like you need to reach out and ask for help, then Cruse Bereavement Care have a helpline and a live chat feature that you can find here: cruse.org.uk/get-help