10 Best Books for Grieving for 2023
In the early days following a loss, sometimes the only comfort comes from the turn of a page, the quiet understanding that someone else, somewhere, has felt this way before.
Maybe you want to send a book to a friend who's just lost someone they love or maybe it's you searching for hope or meaning or comfort in words.
We all need that connection, that gentle reassurance that what we're feeling is valid, is shared, is part of this shared human experience. Loss leaves us feeling so alone and any hope that we're not is all we can reach for.
This is where books on grief, those gentle companions of sorrow, step in. They offer the warmth of shared experiences, the balm of understanding, and the relief of shared burdens. So, here's a soft-spoken list of some of the best books on grief, the kind that can offer comfort when you need it most.
1. "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion
Joan Didion's raw, poignant account of the year following her husband's sudden death is a deeply personal exploration of grief. It's a book for grieving that doesn't shy away from the messiness of loss, but instead, embraces it, unearths it, and ultimately, makes us feel less alone in it.
2. "It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand" by Megan Devine
This book is a balm for those who feel misunderstood in their grief. Megan Devine's compassionate approach to grief is a refreshing departure from the usual 'stages of grief' narrative, offering a more realistic and understanding perspective. It's written from a very human and understandable point of view.
3. Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief" by Martha Whitmore Hickman
Sometimes all you can tolerate is one small bit at a time. Baby steps forward is the only way through. This book offers daily comfort and gentle encouragement for anyone navigating the journey of grief. It's a book about grieving that reminds us that healing doesn't mean forgetting, but rather, learning to live with the loss.
4. "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis
Penned by the renowned author C.S. Lewis after his wife's death, this is arguably one of the best grief books ever written. It's an honest, heartfelt exploration of the pain, doubt, and ultimately, the faith that can emerge from deep loss.
5. "Option B: Facing Adhttps://comfort-company-inc.myshopify.com/admin/articlesversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy" by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
In this deeply personal book, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg explores grief following the sudden death of her husband. It's a book that offers practical advice on building resilience and finding joy again after a devastating loss.
6. Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom
This beautiful book offers valuable insights into life, death, and love. Through his conversations with his dying professor, Mitch Albom shares lessons on how to live, and how to grieve, in the face of mortality. It's a fast read and more of a story narrative than a "how to" book on healing from loss.
7. "I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One" by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair
Since nothing of the future matters, everything in the here and now does. To learn to live in the present, to reap the gifts of the moment, is the best tribute we can give to anyone, much less ourselves.
This compassionate guide is one of the best books on grief for those dealing with a sudden loss. It offers practical advice on navigating the shock, numbness, and overwhelming grief that can accompany unexpected loss.
8. "The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss" by George A. Bonanno
This book offers an enlightening look at the science of bereavement. It's a book for grieving that offers a hopeful message: we are more resilient than we think. This is for those who are more analytical and are looking to understand the science behind bereavement and not just a run-down of the emotions.
9. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed
But compassion isn't about solutions. It's about giving all the love that you've got.
I'm gonna be honest. This book isn't for everyone. There's language and situations that can be uncomfortable. But her notes on grief are raw and real. She writes with wisdom and empathy for all of life's struggles, including grief. Her candid and heartfelt advice is a source of comfort and strength for anyone facing a loss. I've reached for this book time and time again when life has thrown unimaginable curve balls and have never been disappointed.
10. "Grief Day By Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living with Loss" by Jan Warner
The one person I shared everything with, still want to share everything with, is no longer alive.
This practical book offers a compassionate approach to navigating the everyday realities of grief. It's filled with simple practices and daily guidance that can help you honor your loss, while also taking care of yourself.
Each of these books, in its own way, reaches out a hand in the darkness, saying, "I understand. You're not alone." They remind us that grief is a journey, one that we need not walk alone. And in their pages, we might find fragments of our own stories, our own losses, and our own healing.
So, next time you're searching for a book for grieving, consider one of these gentle companions. They might just offer the comfort you need.
Remember, there's no right or wrong way to grieve. There's only your way, and whatever that looks like, it's valid. Whether you find solace in words, in silence, in laughter or in tears, remember that it's okay to grieve in the way that feels right for you.