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Books - Resource and Good Reads

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I saw sdarrah1130's Library Post in the General Discussion and I thought maybe we needed to have a book resources list in this forum.

I copied and pasted the Books that were posted in the General forum and then added more in following posts.  If you find a book that was helpful to you or might help another widow/widower, please add it to this post.




"A Grief Observed" by C. S. Lewis, which describes his journey through grief after losing his wife.


And the first half of:


"Man?s Search for Meaning . . ." by Viktor E. Frankl, in which he makes the argument that

"... suffering ceases to be suffering in some way in the moment that it finds a meaning".

Over the 5+ years of my widowhood, I have found this to be true.


H. Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People", which I have not read but many other widows and widowers have found helpful, are mentioned in the following article that you may wish to read about recovery from grief:







I was not a big reader on the subject but many people recommend I Am Grieving As Fast As I Can




I recommend "Widow to Widow by Genevieve Davis Ginsburg". I've gone back to it time and time again, and it's been 8 years for me.





"And Life Comes Back: A Wife's Story of Love, Loss, and Hope", by Tricia Lott Williford.


It's about the author's first year or so after being widowed in her early 30's, the different phases she experienced, and finally, a renewed sense of hope. The author is Christian. If you're not religious, I would still say the book is relatable,  and the author's not overly preachy.


Just a good read.




A few I've read, many I hope to read;


Widow to Widow: Thoughtful, Practical Ideas For Rebuilding Your Life ~ Genevieve Davis Ginsburg


For Widows Only ~ Annie Estlund


When Your Soul Aches ~ Lois Mowday Rabey


Companion Through the Darkness ~ Stephanie Ericsson


I Will Not Be Broken ~ Jerry White


The Tender Scar: Life After the Death of a Spouse ~ Mabry, Richard


Chicken Soup for The Greiving Soul ~ Jack Canfoeld, Mark Victor Hansen & Amy Newmark


Seven Choices ~Finding Daylight After Loss Shatters Your World" by Elizabeth Harper


Reflections of a Grieving Spouse: The Unexpected Journey from


Loss to Renewed Hope ~ H. Norman Wright's


Coping with Life After Your Mate Dies ~ Cushenbery, Donald C.


Getting to the Other Side of Grief: Overcoming the Loss of a Spouse ~Zonnebelt-Smeenge, Susan J.


The Light That Never Dies: A Story of Hope in the Shadows of Grief ~ William HendricksA


Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss ~ Jerry Sittser


Finding Your Way Through Grief, A Guide for the First Year ~ Marty Tousley


Waking Up Alone, Grief & Healing ~ Julie K Cicero


How to go on Living When Someone you Love Dies, ~ Therese A Rando


Widows Wear Stilettos, A Practical & Emotional Guide for the young widow ~ Carole Brody Fleet


I Wasn't Ready to say Goodbye ~ Brooke Noel & Pamela Blair


Healing After Loss by Martha W Hickman


Loving What Is, Four Questions that Can Change Your Life ~ Byron Katie


From One Widow to Another: Converstations on the New you ~ Miriam Neff


The Grief Club ~ Melody Beattie


A Widow's Story ~ Joyce Carol Oates


The Sisterhood of Widows ~ Mary Francis


Traveling With George: An Out-of-This-World Experience ~ Betty Waldron Portenlanger


Where Do I Go from Here? - Neff, Miriam


From One Widow to Another - Neff, Miriam


Captains Wife:

I personally liked "Saturday Night Widows", although would read this one a little further out.  "A Widows Walk-a Memoir of 9-11" - would also read this one later on. I personally liked I'm Grieving as Fast as I Can (in the beginning). "The UnFaithful Widow" (also a little further out).



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Books that were recommended to me. Some spoke to me, some didn't.

I also pulled some resource book lists for children from the old board that I will copy into another post.


Hello From Heaven - Bill Guggenheim, Judy Guggenheim (for those who believe in after life communication) I found it very interesting


The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom (not resource material but a good read)


Good Grief - A Novel by Lolly Winston (not resource material but a good read - was a very popular read on the old board )


When Bad Things Happen to Good People - Harold S. Kushner


Widowed - Dr. Joyce Brothers


Resource books:


A Decembered Grief - Harold Ivan Smith


Getting to the Other Side of Grief - ZonnebeltSmeenge/De Vries


A Time to Grieve - Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One


Transcending Loss - Ashley Davis Prend, A.C.S.W.




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The following is a long list of resource books that had been posted by a member (sorry I don't have the member's name)  from the old board. Most have to do with children, either as a resource for adults or books children could read. (Disclaimer: I know nothing about any of these resources but thought it may be helpful to parents looking for a starting point.)




The Grieving Child - A Parent's Guide

By Helen Fitzgerald

Simon & Schuster / New York / 1992


Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One, A Guide for Grownups

William C. Kroen, Ph.D., LMHC

Free Spirit Works for Kids/1996


Children and Grief, When a Parent Dies

J. William Worden

Guilford Publications, Inc./1996


Common Threads of Teenage Grief, A Handbook for Healing

By Teens Who Know & Janet N. Tyson, LPC

Helm Publishing/1998


No Time For Good-byes, Coping with Sorrow, Anger and Injustice After a Tragic Death-5th ed.

Janice Harris Lord

Pathfinder Publishing/California/2000


On Children and Death, How children and their parents can and do cope with death

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.

Simon & Schuster/1997 Copyright 1983 by Kubler-Ross


Helping Children Cope With Grief

Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Muncie, Ind.:Accelerated Development Inc./1983


Explaining Death To Children

Grollman EA, ed.

Beacon Press/Boston/1967


Helping Children Grieve: When Someone They Love Dies

Huntley T.

Augsberg Fortress/Minneapolis/1991


For Those Who Live: Helping Children Cope With the Death of a Brother or Sister

LaTour K.

Centering Corporation/Omaha, NE/1983


Helping Children Cope With Death

The Dougy Center

The Dougy Center / 1998


35 Ways to Help a Grieving Child

The Dougy Center

The Dougy Center / 1999


Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss

Hope Edelman

Dell / 1995


Living With Grief: Children, Adolescents and Loss

Hospice Foundation of America

Brunner Mazel / Hospice Foundation of America / 2000


Helping Teens Cope With Death

The Dougy Center

The Dougy Center / 1998


Helping Children Grieve: When Someone They Love Dies

Huntley, T.

Augsburg Fortress/Minneapolis/1991


Life & Loss: A Guide To Help Grieving Children, 2nd Edition

Linda Goldman

Accelerated Development / 2000





Lost and Found: A Kid's Book For Living Through Loss

Rabbi Marc Gellman & Monsignor Thomas Hartman

Morrow Junior Books / New York / 1999


The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, A Story of Life for All Ages

Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D.

Slack Inc./1982


The Next Place

Warren Hanson

Waldman House Press, Inc./1997`


Gentle Willow, A Story for Children About Dying

Joyce C. Mills, Ph.D.

Magination Press, Washington, DC



The Tenth Good Thing About Barney

Judith Viorst

Atheneum New York/1971



Older Child


Help for the Hard Times: Getting Through Loss

Earl Hipp

Hazelden / 1995


How It Feels When A Parent Dies

Jill Krementz

Alfred A. Knopf / New York / 1996


Straight Talk About Death For Teenagers: How to Cope With Losing Someone You Love

Earl A. Grollman

Beacon Press / Boston


The Saddest Time

Simon N.

Albert Whitman & Co./Morton Grove, IL/1986



Younger Child


I Will Always Love You

Hans Wilhelm

Crown Publishers / New York / 1985


It Must Hurt A Lot: A Child's Book About Death

Doris Sanford

Multnomah Press / Hong Kong / 1986


The Accident

Carol Carrick

Text / 1976


The Empty Place

Roberta Temes, Ph.D.

New Horizon Press / 1992


The Saddest Time

Norma Simon

General Publishing / 1986


When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death

Laurie Kransy Brown & Marc Brown

Little, Brown & Company / 1996


I Know I Made It Happen

Blackburn L.B.

Centering Corporation/Omaha, NE/1991


Why Did Grandpa Die? A Book About Death.

Hazen BS

Western Publishing/Rancine, WI/1985


Anderson's Goodbye

Clifton L. Everett

Henry Holt/New York/1983


Sammy's Mommy Has Cancer

Kohlenberg S.

Magination Press/New York/1993


It Must Hurt A Lot: A Child's Book About Death

Sanford D.

Multnomah Press/Hong Kong/1986


I Heard Your Mommy Died

Scrivai M.

Centering Corporation/Omaha, NE/1994


What's Heaven?

Shriver M.

Scholastic/New York/1999


Saying Goodbye to Daddy

Vigna J.

Albert Whitman & Co./IL/1991


I Don't Have Uncle Phil Anymore

Marjorie White Pellegrino

Magination Press / Washington, DC / 1999


Gentle Willow: A Story For Children About Dying

Joyce C. Mills, Ph.D.

Imagination Press / New York / 1993


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Two more book recommendations from the old board.



Anyone longing for a sign from your spouse? You may be missing them because you don't know what to look for.

"Love Beyond Life: the Healing Power of After-Death Communications" (Joel Martin and Patricia Romanowski).



"Life Without Lisa" by Richard Ballo. He was widowed in 1993 - Lisa was 38, he was 39, and their two sons were 5 & 6. The bulk of the book covers the first two years after her death, with the last three chapters giving his perspective at 3, 4 & 5 years out and the epilogue written 10 years out.


I'd recommend it to both men & women - and while parts of it will resonate more if you have children, I think you'll appreciate the book even if you don't have children. I imagine all of us could find something in it that makes us stop & say "Oh yes - I know that feeling."


It is heartfelt and heartbreaking, filled with the details and realities we have to confront - but ultimately a story of hope and healing


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Ginger, thank you for pulling all of this together. It's an excellent resource list!

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Guest TooSoon

My Father's Arms Are a Boat (it appears on the brain pickings list) is absolutely beautiful, imo; one of my forever favorites.



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Although I wouldn't necessarily say I'm religious, several months ago one of dan's customers asked if it was alright if he sent me a book. He thought it might help me, so I agreed. What he sent me was "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young and it's just daily pieces to consider..some have been spot on for what I was feeling that day.  I've made it a daily routine, first thing in the morning and it does give me peace.

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Dan's Soulmate, My boss gave me "Jesus Calling."  He gave it to me about one year before my husband died suddenly.  Read what it says on March 24th, the day God called my husband home.  God told me right there that I was going to lose someone I love, and give them to God.  That book has been spot on for me too!

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I wanted to share that I just finished "American Wife" by Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle's widow, and have so much respect for her.  Her thoughts on the grief process really resonated with me.  While I have had a tough time this last year, reading her story certainly reminded me that others have far bigger challenges in their grief journey.

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"Confessions of a Mediocre Widow: Or, How I Lost My Husband and My Sanity" by Catherine Tidd really touched me.

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"Reaper Man" by Terry Pratchett - a fantasy novel about the Grim Reaper, humorous/kind/philosophical, made me feel really good.

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Thought I'd try reviving this thread.  What's your favorite "wid lit"?  Mine are (in this order; the first two are memoirs and the third a novel):


Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World


Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking




Colm Toibin, Nora Webster

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