Resources to help with the journey of grief
Books about grief and grieving
Understanding the grief journey is important. Walter Carter Funerals has brought together a range of book titles that may help with your journey.
Grief is a journey
By Dr Kenneth J Doka
The vital bonds we form with those we love in life continue long after death – and in very different ways. This book overturns the prevailing, often judgemental, ideas about grief and replaces them with a hopeful, inclusive and personalised approach. It offers a variety of self-help strategies for coping with grief.
A grief observed
By CS Lewis
This book comprises the reflections of the great scholar and Christian on the death of his wife after only a few short years of marriage. Painfully honest in its dissection of his thoughts and feelings, this is a book that details his paralysing grief, bewilderment and sense of loss in simple and moving prose.
Coping with grief
By Mal McKissock and Dianne McKissock
This is a go-to book on the grieving process. Suitable for both the bereaved and their support team, it explains what to expect emotionally, psychologically and practically from the first day through the first year, as well as outlining the physical and emotional reactions to grief and some of the long-term consequences of bereavement.
Grief and remembering: 25 Australians tell it like it is
By Allan Kellehear
Do you ever wonder why you don’t seem to be “getting over” your grief? Do you ever get annoyed by people’s pop psychoanalysis of your loss? 25 everyday Australians reflect upon these questions and more, as they describe their own unique experiences of grief.
Life after death – Understanding bereavement and working through grief
By Dr Philip Bachelor
This book is a collection of 24 personal stories exploring grief and bereavement. Mourners share their feelings on faith, funerals, commemorative responses and personal memorials after the death of a friend, child, spouse, sibling, parent or grandparent.
Motherless daughters: The legacy of loss
By Hope Edelman
Although a mother’s mortality is inevitable, no book had discussed the profound, lasting, and far-reaching effects of this loss until Motherless Daughters, which became an instant classic. Twenty years later, it’s still the book that women of all ages look to for comfort and understanding when their mothers die.
No time for goodbyes: Coping with sorrow, anger and injustice after a tragic death
By Janice Harris Lord
Survivors grieving the tragic death of a loved one will find in this book to be full of deep understanding and insight, as well as detailed practical information on dealing with legal and financial issues. Eloquent comments from survivors are combined with the author’s many years of research and experience to make this an incredibly helpful resource.
Now that the funeral is over: Understanding the effect of grief
By Doris Zagdanski
There is no easy way around grief. It is a natural response to the loss of someone special or someone we value. Unfortunately, friends can often disappoint and add to the sense of loss when they don’t know what to say at this difficult time. Find out how to choose the right response to support your grieving friend.
The courage to grieve: The classic guide to creative living, recovery and growth through grief
By Judy Tatelbaum
Each of us will face some loss, sorrow and disappointment in our lives, and this book provides the specific help we need to enable us to face our grief fully and to recover and grow from the experience. Although the book emphasises the response to the death of a loved one, it can help with every kind of loss and grief.
Tuesdays with Morrie
By Mitch Albom
Maybe it was a grandparent, a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise who understood you when you were young and searching. They helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way though it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly 20 years ago.
Who dies? An investigation of conscious living and conscious dying
By Stephen Levine
This book shows the reader how to be open to the immensity of living with death, and participate fully in life in preparation for whatever may come next. The author writes with calm compassion, rather than the frightening melodrama of death.
Badgers parting gifts
By Susan Varley
After the unfortunate death of Badger, his animal friends reflect on their memories of him. Despite the obviously sad theme that runs through this children’s book there is an element of hope and happiness that comes from what the animals say about Badger. This book can help children understand the trauma of death in a sensitive and caring way.
I’ll always love you
By Hans Wilhelm
Elfie, a dachshund, and her special boy progress happily through life together. When she is young, Elfie is full of pep and pranks. But as her master grows taller and taller, Elfie grows fatter and slower. One morning Elfie does not wake up. The boy refuses a new puppy. He is not yet ready for another pet; but when he is, he will tell that one, as he told Elsie every night: “I’ll always love you.”
Lifetimes: The beautiful way to explain death to children
By Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen
When the death of a relative, a friend, or a pet happens or is about to happen how can we help a child to understand? This book is a moving book for children of all ages, even parents too. It lets us explain life and death in a sensitive, caring, beautiful way. Lifetimes tells us about beginnings. And about endings. And about living in between.
Talking about death: A dialogue between parent and child
By Earl A Grollman
Why do people die? How do you explain the loss of a loved one to a child? This book is a compassionate guide for adults and children to read together, featuring a read-along story and answers to questions children ask about death.
Teenagers and grief
By Doris Zagdanski
Death, loss and grief are openly discussed in this book for young people. It is a well-respected resource for teens and their parents, as well as medical professionals and school counsellors, and includes a chapter titled ‘Questions that adults ask’.
Water bugs and dragonflies: Explaining death to young children
By Doris Stickny
Waterbugs and Dragonflies is a graceful fable written by Doris Stickney, who sought a meaningful way to explain to neighborhood children the death of a five-year-old friend.
By Maria Shriver
According to Maria Shriver, the death of her famous grandmother – Rose Kennedy – and its effect on her daughters (then aged five and six), led her to write this book. It is a series of conversations between a girl named Kate and her mother about the death and funeral of Kate’s great-grandmother.
Death of a child
On children and death
By Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Based on a decade of working with dying children, this compassionate book offers the families of deceased and dying children the help and hope they need to survive. In warm, simple language, the author speaks directly to the fears, doubts, anger, confusion and anguish of parents confronting the terminal illness or sudden death of a child.
Sadako and the thousand paper cranes
By Eleanor Coerr
The star of her school’s running team, Sadako is lively and athletic … until the dizzy spells start. Then she must face the hardest race of her life – the race against time. Based on a true story, the book celebrates the courage that makes one young woman a heroine in Japan. The story speaks directly to young readers of the tragedy of Sadako’s death.
The forgotten mourners: Guidelines for working with bereaved children
By Susan C Smith
Children have long been the “forgotten mourners”. This book raises awareness of the sensitive issues involved for bereaved children, highlighting their needs and their emotional and behavioural responses when a bereavement occurs.
When bad things happen to good people
By Harold S Kushner
When Harold Kushner’s three-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease and that he would only live until his early teens, he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God? Years later, Rabbi Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. Kushner shares his wisdom as a rabbi, a parent, a reader and a human being.
Grief counselling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner
By J William Worden
Grieving over death is an innate, vital process that most people are able to experience and emerge from in a healthy manner. In this book, the author offers counselling techniques, incorporating a refined basic model of mourning and added information on special types of mourning.
The anatomy of bereavement
By Beverley Raphael
Grief is a universal human experience, painful and inevitable. In this wise and compassionate book, a psychiatrist who has done extensive work and research with the bereaved shares her broad experience, revealing how people cope with, understand, and eventually adapt to many different bereavements in the course of human life.