Self-Help books for dealing with the loss of a loved one


Eventually, everyone is confronted with the death of a loved one. As with any of life’s challenges, there are many different ways to handle the death of a loved one and the inevitable grief and bereavement that accompanies death. Some are comforted through their faith, or through therapy and counseling or from the comfort offered by their friends and relatives.

There are thousands of self-help books dealing with death, grief, and bereavement that offer help in dealing with the emotional pain surrounding the death. There are also self-help books dealing with the practical side of death, such as what is planned for the remains of the loved one and dealing with wills and estates. Listed are some of the best self-help books for coping with death and the gamut of emotions associated with death, grief, and bereavement.

“Dealing with Death, Funerals, Wills and Bereavement: A Practical Guide”, by Roger Jones,

This book is the #3 best-selling book on in the category dealing with funerals and deaths. This book tells the reader about who should be informed about a death, how to arrange the funeral, what happens to the deceased’s property and other necessary arrangements. These arrangements can be difficult and stressful to handle when dealing with grief. This book compassionately guides the reader through these difficult decisions.

“On Death and Dying”, by Elisabeth Kubler Ross

This book is the classic top-selling self-help book on dealing with death, grief, and bereavement. This book is one of the most important psychological studies of the late 20th century.

The five stages of death (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) are discussed in detail through interviews and discussion. The book gives an understanding of how imminent death affects the person dying, the health care workers and the dying person’s family by bringing hope.

“On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss”, by Elizabeth Kubler Ross

This book applies the stages of death to the grieving process. She brings together inspiration, sadness, dreams, and healing for the reader.

“Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander

This book is the #1 non-fiction New York Times bestseller for the week of January 19, 2013. Dr. Alexander, a brilliant Harvard-trained neurosurgeon, recounts his astounding near-death experience as he lay dying from rare meningitis.  Before his experience, Alexander had no belief in heaven, God, or the soul. His inspirational journey to heaven and meeting God inspires the reader in that death is not the end of life, but only a transition.

“Heaven is for Real”, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

This book is the #4 non-fiction New York Times bestseller for the week of January 19, 2012. This book is the amazing and true story of a 4-year-old boy who enters Heaven and then returns to earth after being unconscious during a serious illness. Using his words, his simple message is that heaven is real and that we are loved by Jesus.

“The End of Your Life Book Club”, by Will Schwable

This book is the #1 best- selling book on death and grief. A dying mother begins a book club with her son that brings them together as her life comes to an end. They learn the power of books to comfort, astonish, teach and that “reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.”

“Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson”, by Mitch Albon

This book is #2 best selling self-help book in the category on death and grief. The 12 million copies sold of this book testify to the significance of Morrie’s life lessons given to his former student as he was dying. Morrie helped Mitch see the world as a more profound place by giving him sound advice to help Mitch make his way through his own losses encountered in life. The reader learns from Morrie’s lessons along with Mitch.

“Life after Loss: A Practical Guide to Renewing Your Life after Experiencing Major Loss” by Bob Deits

This book is the #4 best-selling book in the category on grief and grieving. This book is considered one of the best self-help books written about how to deal with grief and grieving. The author presents exercises helping the reader to find positive ways to deal with grief with great compassion and insight. This book is named as “One of the classics in the field of crisis intervention” (Dr. Earl Grollman).

“Empty Arms: Coping After Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death“, by Sherokee Ilse

This book is the #2 best-selling book in the category about dealing with funerals and deaths. This book is a compassionate guide about decision making at the time of death of an infant, how to memorialize the infant’s death and, over time, dealing with anniversaries, holidays, and the births of other babies.

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery: 101 Inspirational and Comforting Stories about Surviving the Loss of a Loved One”, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark

This book is one of Barnes and Noble’s top-selling self-help books on death and grieving. Through this collection of personal stories, the reader learns how to regain strength, appreciate life and how to cope which eases the journey to healing.

“The Reason – Help and Hope for Those Who Grieve”, by Sally Grabblick

This book won the “Best Books 2011 Award”, in the death and dying category. This book is about learning lessons, using tools, and insights learned while traveling the path through grief to hope.

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break” – “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare.

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