Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words like “Journey” in the Title by Leslie Gray Streeter
After her husband dies at the age of 44, a journalist manages to find humor in the bleakest moments in this sad and funny memoir of mothering her son as a new widow.

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom
A best-selling author shares his heartbreaking story of adopting a child from the orphanage he runs in Haiti. While his child’s medical struggles don’t end well, their brief seven years together as a family created a lifetime of memories.

No Happy Endings by Nora McInerny
The host of the podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking, writes about losing her husband just as they were beginning their lives together.

Nobody Will Tell You This but Me: A True (as Told to Me) Story by Bess Kalb
Written in the voice of her deceased grandmother, the author’s memoir about their special relationship covers all human emotions —happiness, sadness, and love.

Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
Greene’s daughter’s death was a news event when bricks fell from an Upper West Side building, killing the toddler and injuring her watchful grandmother. What began as the author’s diary, became his way of coping as he wrote about how he mourned with his wife and slowly moved forward.

The Smallest Lights in the Universe by Sara Seager
In this beautiful memoir of motherhood and science, an MIT astrophysicist links the death of her husband to her lifelong search for stars and other planets.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
This classic book about mourning is the author’s account of the year following her husband’s sudden death of a heart attack.

Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself by Jill Biden
The wife of former Vice President Joe Biden writes about the multiple losses—the death of Joe’s first wife, baby daughter, and his adult son—that have deeply affected her life.


The Anatomy of Grief by Dorothy P. Holinger
A psychologist describes grief’s impact and shepherds the bereaved through the grieving process, helping them learn how to find joy in their lives once more.

Grief: The Price of Love by Svend Brinkmann
However painful, grief unites us all. A psychology professor suggests that rather than trying to escape or smother grief, we should allow ourselves to feel and accept it as the price we pay for love.

Grieving is Loving: Compassionate Words for Bearing the Unbearable by Joanne Cacciatore
This book is filled with meditative words from “Dr. Jo” and other writers and can be a comfort when bearing the unbearable pain of a loved one’s death.

When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses by John W. James, Russell Friedman, and Leslie Matthews
This practical, compassionate guide for parents focuses on emotional safety and suggests actions to help children move forward successfully.


Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
A young boy is the sole survivor of a plane crash that kills his parents and brother in this portrait of childhood loss that becomes a tale of giving back, friendship, and finding meaning in life.

Monogamy by Sue Miller
A wife must deal with the aftermath of her husband’s death as she discovers secrets she wishes had remained unknown.

Writers & Lovers by Lily King
In this lyrical novel about love and writing, an aspiring writer has been laboring over her novel for six years while working at a fancy restaurant, living in a potting shed, and grieving the death of her mother.

For Children

The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown
Finding a dead bird, a group of children give it a fitting burial and come again to the woods to place fresh flowers on its grave. This is an excellent handling of the subject of death, in which all young children have a natural interest.

Death is Stupid by Anastasia Higginbotham
This book is an invaluable help in discussing death, exploring grief, and honoring the lives of loved ones.

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr
Told through the lens of a pet fish who has lost his companion, this is a moving and wholly accessible story about saying goodbye.