There are several books, including some fiction, that we can recommend that deal mostly with the grieving process.
- “Torch” by Cheryl Strayed (“Wild”) tells a tale of a family’s loss and how they dealt with their grief. If you have read Strayed’s “Wild,” this book is a fictionalized version of the loss of Cheryl’s mother; it deals largely with the different selves that grieving persons try out, desperate to find that “new normal.”
Grief was not a road or a river or a sea but a world and she would have to live there now.
- “The Sky is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson. This book tells Lennie’s story, a 16 year old teenager, after her older sister passes suddenly. The story touches on every aspect of grief, its memorable takeaway being the way that the world physically looks and sounds different when a close loved one passes.
My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.
- “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion is a memoir that deals with the loss of her husband. Being a writer by trade, Didion’s pen never stopped moving when her husband tragically and suddenly died. This memoir details every thought that she has in the very real moments after someone passes.
Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.
- “Hello from Heaven” by Bill and Judy Guggenheim. The authors interviewed hundreds of people to catalogue and interpret their after death communications with their departed loved ones.
- “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg details the author’s sudden loss of her husband and how she attempted to rebuild her life.
- “Dreamland” by Sam Quinones tells the tale of big pharma pushing opioid pain pills alongside cheap heroin entering the US from Mexico.
- “By Grief Tranformed” by Susan Olson. This is a very specific book that deals with grief dreams, explaining why we might sometimes have premonitory death dreams as well as dreams featuring our deceased loved one after they have passed.
- “I Wasn’t Ready to say Goodbye” by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair. The authors offer a step-by-step guide in surviving and coping with the sudden death of a loved one. Debbie Werner found this book very helpful and very practical.