Books to Help You Process Grief and Loss

With all the joy life brings, there also comes inescapable grief and sadness. During these difficult moments, it’s important to remember that you are not alone in this experience. Loss is the ultimate commonality – no one goes through life without experiencing it in some capacity. If you are struggling to cope with grief and loss, check out some of these heartfelt books written by independent authors who have been there – and made it to the other side.

Goodbye is not Goodbye by Michelle Meek

(Self-Help/Death, Grief, Bereavement)

Part memoir and part help guide, this book is an empowering resource for anyone who is coping with the loss of a loved one. In Goodbye is not Goodbye, author Michelle Meek acknowledges that grief breaks us. It shatters our very existence. However, that does not mean hope is lost. Although the temptation to give in to loneliness and depression is ever-present, through trust and faith, we can discover the encouragement and comfort needed to navigate this unchartered territory.

This inspirational book details the author’s nineteen-month journey after losing her husband in 2020. The search for healing through the deep pain and anguish of grief led her on a path of continual divine revelations from God through different creative avenues. This includes the re-creation of an “Out West” trip that vividly portrays how the beauty and spiritual aspects of nature can facilitate healing. You’ll find deep healing is possible through spiritual connection to a higher power. You can venture out of the darkness and brokenness to realize assurance of purpose and continuity of life. Michelle Meek’s writing is beautiful, spiritual, and deeply personal. Her story shines a light as a beacon of hope for others.

Messages of Hope: Life After the Death of a Child by Vickie Oakley

(Self-Help/Death, Grief, Bereavement)

This soulful book takes you on a journey from complete brokenness to restoration, and ultimately transformation. Messages of Hope shares author Vickie Oakley’s traumatic experience in the tragic death of her youngest daughter, and how her faith in God helped her to rise above the sorrows of life and learn to live again with hope and joy.

Losing a child is every parent’s most horrific nightmare. In this book, Dr. Oakley encourages you to acknowledge and embrace your grief. Through that, she provides insight into the habits she developed to cope with her own grief. Mostly, she encourages you to understand that you never truly get over the death of a child. However, you will learn that their death becomes a part of who you are – and you can begin a new life by celebrating the life they lived with you. Equally heartbreaking as it is inspiring, this book serves as a reminder that we cannot get rid of our feelings. Instead, we must embrace our feelings and emotions – and grant them space to exist. Eventually the pain fades and you become a stronger, more spiritually connected person.

Say This, Not That: When Someone You Know is Grieving by Kim West Kyle

(Self-Help/Death, Grief, Bereavement)

In this touching book, author Kim West Kyle writes from a place of compassion and experience. She lost her only child to a terrible accident when he was only 21 years old. During an unfathomable time of grief, she fell to the lowest imaginable place in her life. So, she knows that when tragedy strikes, you can find yourself at a complete loss for words.

While she was struggling and grieving, Kim realized that many people don’t know what to say to someone who loses a loved one. Or worse, they unknowingly say something hurtful or offensive. To address this dilemma, she wrote this book that will help when the time comes to support family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers in their time of grief. It is human nature to want to empathize with the suffering, but it’s crucial to do it appropriately to avoid causing further pain. This book will help you be remembered for nothing but love and support during this seemingly unbearable time.

And No One Saw It Coming by Marci Glidden Savage

(Self-Help/Death, Grief, Bereavement)

Marci Glidden Savage lived through the unthinkable. Twice. On August 13th, 2014, Marci found Paul, her beloved husband of thirty-four years, dead by suicide. There was no warning and no explanation. Less than five years later, the unimaginable happened again. Michael, Marci’s second husband of only eight months was found dead by suicide. In this breathtaking book, she vulnerably shares her intimate journey from anger, hopelessness, and sorrow to acceptance, and joy. In the process, she offers hope to others facing similar situations today.

With dogged determination, Marci uses her grief as a vessel to expose the ill-conceived and biased attitudes towards mental illness that prevent so many people from getting the help they need. With grit and candid openness, Marci opens the door into her personal story of lost love, betrayal, abandonment, shattered dreams, unanswered questions, and harmful social stigma. From the very first page, her riveting open letter to mental illness exposes the insidious way it torments and holds captive its victims under the guise of silence. This is a tremendously powerful book that you won’t be able to put down.

R.E.V.E.A.L., The Year Without My Dad by Donvinnie Boykin

(Self-Help/Death, Grief, Bereavement)

It can be downright frightening to face our mortality. When we experience loss, so many thoughts run through our heads, and it can be incredibly difficult to dig out of that emotional hole. Although this feels awfully lonely, there is comfort and connection to be found in other stories – particularly this book, R.E.V.E.A.L. by Donvinnie Boykin.

After losing his father, Boykin details how he suffered from depression, and battled stereotypical views regarding masculine vulnerability. But tragedy also helped him go back to his roots – where he remembered his mother’s unrelenting faith. Suddenly he learned how to go through life with a new, practical approach and leaned on God to get him through the painful moments. If you are struggling to cope with the pain and struggle that comes after losing a loved one or family member, you will find comfort and guidance in Boykin’s meaningful book. In just fifty pages, the book addresses the complexities of emotion that come when grieving, and how social stigmas make the process even more challenging. Heartfelt, vulnerable, and moving, this is a book that speaks to you on many different levels. You’ll find that despite the pain that arises from tragedy, there comes a hopefully opportunity to heal and grow.

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