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Five top books on coping with loss and grief.

Five top books on coping with loss and grief.


When dealing with sorrow, even a thousand books may not be sufficient. This limited collection is provided in the hope that it may offer some comfort – or at least lead to something that does.

Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

This poetic novella tells the story of a family who takes in a giant crow after the death of their mother. While initially seeming unlikely, the author uses this semi-allegory to explore the ways in which loss can disrupt and distort a family’s sense of space and logic. The narrative is told through the perspectives of two boys, their father, and a crow that can shapeshift, creating a mix of humor, fear, and love in this magical exploration. As someone who experienced loss as a child, I approached this tale with caution, but instead found solace in its raw and honest portrayal of pain.

The book titled “Sad Book” written by Michael Rosen.

Grief might not always be beyond words, but it sometimes needs little elaboration. This spare book, written about the sudden death of Rosen’s son, Eddie, illuminates how grief’s complexity can be rendered through seemingly simple words and images. “Who is sad?” , Rosen writes. “Sad is anyone. It comes along and finds you”. This is not strictly a children’s book, but a book that recognises how acutely grief can speak to the child within us. Quentin Blake’s grey wash illustrations create a space for sadness to breathe.

You Are Not Alone: A New Way to Grieve by Cariad Lloyd

Lloyd’s acclaimed podcast Griefcast has featured guests who have faced the loss of a loved one through suicide, as well as those who have mourned the passing of siblings, children, parents, and dear friends. Lloyd’s exceptional book incorporates insights from these podcast conversations, along with her personal experience of coping with grief following her father’s death when she was 15. This guide provides valuable insights and a sense of levity, reaching out to others who are navigating the grieving process. A list of recommended readings at the end of the book serves as a helpful guide to navigate through the difficult journey of grief.

Time Lived, Without Its Flow by Denise Riley

After sixteen months since her son’s unexpected passing, Riley describes herself as “superficially ‘fine'” but with an invisible hole in her mind. In a journal-like manner, Riley utilizes her poetic abilities and formal, icy composure to share a gentle, philosophical narrative of the “changed state of existence” that results from losing a loved one.

Late Fragments: Everything I Want to Tell You (About this Magnificent Life) by Kate Gross

Kate Gross was 34 years old when she found out that she had terminal bowel cancer. She passed away two years later, leaving behind her twin boys who were only five years old at the time. Gross wrote a stunning memoir and commonplace book to express her sorrow for the experiences she would miss and also as a tribute to her loved ones who she had to leave behind. This book is both insightful and incredibly inspiring.

Source: theguardian.com