Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult parts of life. Coping with the loss can be challenging and causes many emotions to surface that one might not be typically used to. These books about grief open up honest discussions about loss and are of great help to those in the grieving process.

The Art of Losing It by Rosemary Keevil

When it comes to books about grief, a firsthand account is always helpful. This memoir recounts Rosemary Keevil’s experiences through an incredibly turbulent time in her life; when her brother and husband passed away from terminal illnesses in the same year, Rosemary was left with her two daughters and an addiction problem. The Art of Losing It details Rosemary’s navigation through her life as a grieving, single mother and the addiction she struggles with that lands her in rehab. This vulnerable look into her life provides a bit of solace for those that have recently undergone a loss, are coping with addiction problems, or both.

Splitting the Difference: A Heart-Shaped Memoir by Tré Miller Rodríguez

Tré Miller Rodríguez has experienced a lot of loss in her life. At age 18, she gave up her baby for adoption. The following year, her only sibling died in a car accident. When Tré was 34, her husband, Alberto, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. But Tré’s life took a shift when, at age 36, her daughter found her on Facebook. In an honest and inspiring narrative, Tre describes her shift from a dissatisfying widowed life, to one full of adventure as she travels to dream locations, releasing Alberto’s ashes into bodies of water and connecting with his past in his homeland of Cuba. Poignant and raw in every way, Splitting the Difference tells the story of a woman who finds an entirely new side of herself as she quits her job, reunites with her daughter, and comes to terms with the death of her late husband.

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Loss and Love by Margaret Renkl

Margaret Renkl writes a series of essays that reminisce on her childhood as well as her parents. She paints the portrait of her uniquely extravagant mother and stable father, along with the transition of her as their child into their caregiver. These enchanting excerpts taken from Renkl’s personal experiences bring light and laughter as she recalls moments in time with the people she loves. Late Migrations fills the grieving heart with light and love.

Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief by Joanne Cacciatore

In these fifty-two short chapters, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore paves the road to understanding grief and the emotional impacts on humans. She shares moving stories of overcoming grief from people she has helped in her practices over the years, along with her personal stories of loss. Bearing the Unbearable illuminates the grieving process and walks through the stages of the human experience. It is not only a necessity for those who have experienced loss, but for usage by therapists, educators and other professionals to help guide their clients.

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

After the death of his wife, author C.S. Lewis wrote A Grief Observed as a means of surviving and keeping himself together. In an incredibly honest reflection on emotion and the pain that comes from loss, Lewis dives into his experiences in coping with this difficult period in his life and a new discovery of self that was once lost.

More books about grief

The Last Act of Love: The Story of my Brother and His Sister by Carly Rentzenbrink

Carly’s brother, Matty, was knocked unconscious by a car in the summer of 1990. From then on, Carly and her parents would face the most difficult decision of their lives. While comatose and on a heart monitor, Matty’s GCSE results came back as the highest in his school. In The Last Act of Love, Carly describes the painstaking results of the accident, its impact on the family, and the conclusion they had to come to for their loved one. 

Do Death: For a Life Better Lived by Amanda Blainey

In this straightforward book about grief that transforms our relationships with death, social activist Amanda Blainey encourages open conversations about the topic in a destigmatizing perspective. Do Death rationalizes death’s natural inevitability and provides advice and guidance in accepting it. 

Fifty Words for Rain: A Novel by Asha Lemmie

It was the 1940s in Kyoto, Japan, and young Nori’s mother left without saying little else other than, “Do not question. Do not fight. Do not resist.” From that point on, Nori was left at the mercy of her aristocrat grandparents who confined her to the attic and subjected her to painful skin-lightening treatments in an attempt to protect the royal pedigree.

If you’re seeking strength and hope in a time of grief, you’ll surely find it in the story of young Nori and her faithful will to carry on.

Fifty Words for Rain was also included in our list of best Fall book club picks.

It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine

“Grief is simply love in its most wild and painful form,” says Megan Devine. “It is a natural and sane response to loss.” Thus, is Megan’s approach to experiencing grief and how we treat others who are grieving. Readers will find spiritual wisdom, advice, practical guidance and more in this heartfelt and helpful guide through grief.

Readers will learn to give themselves grace throughout the process and toss away expectations about how grief should look.


Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg’s husband died suddenly, leaving Sheryl and her two young children devastated. When the first father-child activity arose, a friend said, “Option A is not available. So, let’s just kick the shit out of Option B,” stepping in as the father figure for the evening. It was that moment that sparked the idea of taking responsibility for one’s reaction to loss… to hardships… to adversity.

Sandberg’s book will offer strength to rise back up during the lowest of lows – a must-read for anyone facing hardship.

Opening to Grief: Finding Your Way from Loss to Peace by Claire B. Willis

Loss can take so many forms, and during the pandemic, nearly everyone has felt loss in one way or another. In this timely guide, and in the gentle, honest tone of a close friend, Willis invites readers to grieve fully, openly, and purposefully for those lost, while remembering to love ourselves and others along the way.

If you’re looking for something to soothe your soul during this uncertain time, look no further. Willis’ words are kind, comforting, and filled with hope.

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