Grief has been compared to ocean waves, a storm, and a wildfire. Many people compare their experience of grief with being thrown into the wilderness with a challenge to survive and find a way to live. While our initial reaction is often shock and numbness, we often seek to find something to hold on to, something to help us find the path through this experience.

I am frequently asked to suggest some books that clients can read between their counselling sessions. Something that would help make more sense of their experience and help them to stay afloat. Books can serve as a guide, a road map, or a frame of reference. In the absence of a counsellor, they offer additional support.

My usual suggestion would be to stay mindful of your internal response to the materials you are reading and remember that there is no “right way” of going through grief. It is helpful to take breaks in reading and balance processing of grief with other activities in your life, as much as possible.

Here are a few books I can recommend. These are affiliate links for Amazon, but you may find some of the titles at your local library or if you are living in Saskatoon, at the Edwards Family Centre, Grief and Resource Lending Library.

Grief and Coping

The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith

Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief

Mindfulness for Prolonged Grief: A Guide to Healing after Loss When Depression, Anxiety, and Anger Won’t Go Away

A Grief Observed: Readers’ Edition

Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens: 100 Practical Ideas

Grieving a Loss of a Child

The Unspeakable Loss: How Do You Live After a Child Dies?

Surviving My First Year of Child Loss: Personal Stories From Grieving Parents

Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child

Healing a Parent’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Child Dies

Loss of a Parent

When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults

Finding Your Way After Your Parent Dies: Hope for Grieving Adults

Healing a Parent’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Child Dies

Helping Others Through Grief

101 Ways You Can Help: How to Offer Comfort and Support to Those Who Are Grieving

Healing a Friend’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Helping Someone You Love Through Loss (Healing a Grieving Heart series)


Alexandra Froese, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist