The Best Books for Dealing with Grief of Losing a Loved One
Books are instrumental to one’s growth and development for several reasons. These printed materials hone the vocabulary of a reader by introducing unfamiliar words and expressions that can help one be more proficient in conversing with the language used to write the said output. Moreover, they help in a person’s emotional development since they provide stories that allow an individual to be empathetic and put himself/herself in other people’s shoes. They are also valuable in teaching the importance of certain values such as courage, hope, and excellence that come in handy when applied in real-life situations.
But more than these, books permit people to have a safe space where they can unload their burdens and acknowledge the strong emotions that they may have been feeling. Even in one’s darkest times such as the untimely passing of a beloved, they may be great companions to alleviate such a painstaking feeling of being abandoned. The grief from losing someone dear to you can take a toll on one’s mental and emotional health, but progress is never linear. Also, there is no deadline to be met in terms of lamenting–each person has his/her own timeline in processing and validating his/her feelings on a certain stimulus.
Thus, if you feel that you lack a sense of direction while dealing with the grief of losing a loved one and are looking for the best books to read, here are six recommendations that you may consider.
1. Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder
Tyler Feder’s Dancing at the Pity Party tells the story of the author herself who lost her mother due to cancer. The plot, as it thickens, infuses an element of humor since the timeline when this transpired was way back when Tyler was still a teenager. A common phenomenon that most people experience during the same period, one may find it hard to fully process his/her emotions in such a serious situation. With the combination of heart, comedy, and wit, this book can be a rightful choice for someone who currently feels adrift because of such a shaking experience brought about by the untimely passing of a beloved.
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2. Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
A memoir that revolves around grief, Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala recalls the story of their family vacation that turned into a complete tragedy. Set in Sri Lanka, the plot tells how Sonali lost her two children, husband, and parents in a Tsunami incident. The book is a perfect fit for those who are struggling to pick themselves up after the loss of multiple loved ones at once. This published work also narrates how the author herself managed to get through such a seemingly unsurpassable calamity in her life. This can console and bring light to the hopeless hearts of the sole survivors of grave accidents and fortuitous events.
3. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Another memoir that caused buckets of tears to flow from the eyes of its readers, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking shares the misfortunes that the author has experienced all at once. While her child is put in a drug-induced coma due to a septic shock, her husband suffered and died because of a heart attack. A few weeks after this unfortunate passing, her daughter woke up but subsequently confronted another health scare that required her to undergo surgery. Found in the pit of doom, Joan recalls the year that went after this series of events when she had realizations that eternally changed her way of defining grief, connections, and all other things between life and death.
4. It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine
An ensemble of personal anecdotes and alleviating pieces of advice, Megan Devine’s It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand is one of the widely acclaimed books by readers who have experienced dealing with the immeasurable grief of losing a loved one. Megan, both as a widow and a therapist, shares her fair share of struggles and breakthroughs in the account of grieving for the untimely passing of significant people in her life.
This book is celebrating the hype that it deserves at the moment because of its relevance to present-day social issues. Its message concerning the call for normalizing grief as a sane response to an unfortunate situation is in congruence with the clamor by a growing number of concerned public to initiate and continue sparking conversations about the existence and importance of mental health. This book is a progressive one due to its goal of putting pressure away from the victims of unfortunate circumstances and shedding light to everyone else that it is wrong to find grief as a troublesome feeling that must be set aside.
5. Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back by Kelly Farley
Written after the unfortunate demise of his two children, Kelly Farley’s Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back is an amalgamation of accounts of fathers who were crushed after they have lost their kids. This book introduces the concept of normalizing men that are showing their real emotions. Some of the parents featured in this collective plot were victorious in conquering their demons, while some are still in the process of recovery and remaining steadfast as the head of their respective households at the same time.
Moreover, this tackles alarming issues such as self-medication, suicide, and homelessness that are rampant in today’s society. A perfect fit for parents and children alike, this published work of art delineates how grief can be a seemingly unresolvable hindrance in one’s life–and how one can deal with them through the stories of some fathers who were able to do the same.
6. The Truth About Grief: The Myth of its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss by Ruth Davis Konigsberg
Ruth Davis Konigsberg’s The Truth About Grief: The Myth of its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss speaks much about the published work’s content: the logic behind the five stages of grief is a myth worthy to be debunked. In this book, Ruth emphasizes that there is no manual or even a theory that should encapsulate one’s grieving process. She believes that the actual process of lamenting for a beloved is left at the discretion of someone based on his/her definition of grief as an emotion. This liberating notion has been influential since it helped people who dealt with such a painstaking experience to find their own ways to cope and move forward with their lives.
Within the pages of a book is the ethereal prowess of its author to inspire and communicate to its readers a particular idea or moral. Hence, even amid one’s trying times, he/she must never deprive these published works of art a chance to help him/her navigate, process, and conquer the devastating grief that he/she meets along the way upon losing a loved one.
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