Books to read for grieving

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Books to read for grieving

Postby momppsp » Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:42 am

Many of you have mentioned different books to read that will help with the grieving. I've noticed many of these book titles are scattered in postings so I thought if you guys would post the titles and authors under this post, it will be handy for whomever needs them.
Deborah-Mom w/PSP symp 9yrs+-diag. 6/04
received her wings January 10, 2008
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Postby Beth » Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:22 am

Great Idea!!

(Maybe we can ask them to make this a sticky topic, thus keeping it at the top)

I have two suggestions:

Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley

This was given to me by a friend the day Mom entered Hospice. I'm not the only one to have found this book helpful. It solved for me the problem of not wanting to leave Mom's bedside for fear she would die while I wasn't there. It says, among other things, that the dying person has some degree of control. S/he can wait for someone to get there if that person is necessary for the journey to begin, or if s/he wants to be alone for the process, will wait until you leave the room. I wasn't afraid of going to the bathroom myself, knowing Mom would do what was right for her. For me too, I could see one of Mom's final gifts to me was choosing to die when she knew my best friend was on her way to town. She knew that being alone after she left would be hard for me. As soon as she knew I wouldn't be alone, she let go.

The other is one which you can get from the NIH. They'll mail it to you, free. It is something that would be good to have before hand. It is:

End of Life, Helping with Comfort and Care, By the National Institute on Aging, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Hope this helps.

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Postby josephblanc » Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:01 pm

Here's a short list of grieving books that I copied from a self-help group. The only I have read myself is "Necessary Losses" by Viorst; i found the book quite helpful.

Joe Blanc


The Courage To Grieve - Creative Living, Recovery, & Growth Through Grief; by Judy Tatelbaum; Perennial Library, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, NY; 1980. A realistic and positive approach to moving through loss, by a professional grief counselor.

Good Grief Rituals - Tools for Healing, by Elaine Childs-Gowell, A.R.N.P; Ph.D.; Station Hill Press, Barrytown, NY; 1992. Brief, clear, relevant, and helpful.

The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death Divorce, and Other Losses; by John W. James and Russell Friedman (Paperback - June 1998). Recommended by Sierra Tucson Recovery Program.

Necessary Losses - The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have To Give Up in Order to Grow; by Judith Viorst; Fireside Books paperback, reprinted 1998. Though a little heavy on the Freudian, this was a New York Times best-seller because it is compassionately insightful for us each.

No Time For Goodbyes - Coping With Sorrow, Anger, and Injustice After a Tragic Death; by Janice Harris Lord; Pathfinder Publishing; Ventura, CA, 1990. A paperback specially helpful for those who have suffered the violent or unexpected death of a loved one.

Rebuilding - When Your Relationship Ends; by Bruce Fisher, Ed. D.; Impact Publishers paperback, San Louis Obispo, CA; 1995 (2nd ed.). A warm, practical guide for adults healing from broken primary-relationship bonds.

Transitions - Strategies for Coping With the Difficult, Painful, and Confusing Times in Your Life, by William Bridges, Ph.D.; Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., New York, NY; 1980. A wonderfully clear, compassionate, practical way of understanding and managing the endings, chaos, and new beginnings we all experience throughout our lives. Related workbook available.

Suitable books

Postby CaroleLB » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:21 am

I need help. My beloved is gone. I want to read but I don't want to read anything that tells me what I should have done or known before his death.
I don't want to read something that will add to my guilt already.
If anyone has read 'Finding Meaning with Charles' or 'Final Gifts' ? Are these appropriate for after death readings?

Much appreciation to any help offered.

Peace, Carole
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Postby Robin » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:08 am

Hi Carole,

Members of the local support group have read both of those books after their family members died. I think after-death "Final Gifts" resonated more with people. I wouldn't say that it's particularly oriented towards people reading it after their loved one has died but people have found it comforting to know about others' deaths.

Based on what you say, however, I think you will probably feel guilt in reading either book.

There are lots of good grief books out there. Do any of the titles that Joe mentioned above appeal to you? What about "Necessary Losses"?

The funeral home we used for my father's cremation put me on a mailing list to receive a grief newsletter. I thought it was terrific. It gave ideas of books to read.

I forget if you had hospice's assistance...? I'm sure your hospice grief counselor could recommend some books to you.

If you didn't utilize hospice, there are many hospice organizations (and other groups) that provide free grief counseling to the recently bereaved. Can you join such a group? These grief groups have helped a great number of local support group members.

There are also lots of grief websites out there. Have you checked out any?

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Postby Alice Gillam » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:02 pm

I have read 'Final Gifts', it has helped me so much, my grown daughters are reading it now, I'm sure it will help them deal with whats ahead. I still have my husband with me, but I know that the stories in the book will help us with whats in the future, after he's gone. It also helps you to understand that towards the end they might not need all the food that you think they should have, for their own comfort. The book is filled with 'hope'. There might be something to the term "the hereafter". That's just some of what I got out of it. Good Luck on finding strength.
Alice Gillam
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