Books about grief & bereavement


Hello everyone,
I’ve seen a few posts recently where people have talked about books they’ve read that have been helpful, so I thought it would be good to start a new thread to keep all those recommendations in one place.

To get started, here’s a recommendation from me:

I recently read ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ by Joan Didion, which is a very moving and personal exploration of grief following the sudden loss of her husband. Didion talks about what she calls the vortex effect, where events/places/objects trigger powerful memories and an intense emotional response. I think that’s a very apt name for an experience many of you have described.

Is there a book (or books) about grief and bereavement that you would recommend?


I would recommend The Grief Recovery Handbook by Russell Friedman & John James . It contains a series of excercises to help you work through your grief.


Thanks for the recommendation, Yvonne. I've not come across that one, but it sounds like a really useful and practical book.

Best wishes,

Life After You ,Lucie Brownlee is worth a read

My first recommendation is for "The courage to grieve" by Judy Tatelbaum. I have decided to recommend this because the author talks about Gestalt Therapy from some of her cases and its quite possible other members have benefitted from this.

This turned out to be a very personal and beneficial choice for me because i had never hear of this type of therapy and at the back of the book she recommends some guided fantasy exercises for those who can welcome the insights they can offer and feel up to it.

I read Healing a Spouses grieving heart by Alan D Wolfelt,100 practical ideas,it is aimed at losing husbands,wives and partners,I found it helpful and easy to read,has some good advice to help.

In reply to robina

Hi Robina

Thanks for your suggestion. I have just downloaded it from Amazon.


Thank you all for your recommendations. I saw mention in a different conversation of another book called 'The Orphaned Adult' by Alexander Levy. Thought it might be worth sharing here as it looks at grief and change after the death of parents.


My current and 2nd book is Overcoming Grief: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques (Overcoming Books) by Sue Morris.

I came across this book when two of my previous ones failed to fully hit the spot. As the title says it uses Self Help CBT techniques in the form of exercises which i have found easy to pick up and put down whenever I feel.

I think it is part of a range of self-help books.

Of all the books about grief I've read the one that helped me the most was CONFESSIONS OF A MEDIOCRE WIDOW by Catherine Tidd. It is both moving and humorous and in those early days after my husband died I think it kept me sane. She also has a Facebook page if you want to follow her story.