10 Grief Awareness Books
Often, grief is seen as something to hide, to shy away from. Something we’re meant to bounce back from after a loss and start work towards the ‘happy’ life we once had.
If you’ve ever felt grief though, you know it isn’t so easy, and often not possible. The Good Grief Trust want to raise awareness for those facing grief after a bereavement, by busting the taboo behind it.
That’s why this week is Grief Awareness Week (2nd – 8th December 2020).
It’s time to acknowledge grief as something we must all face at some point in our lives, and we shouldn’t hide away from feeling it. And most importantly, we shouldn’t hide away from sharing it.
Like what The Good Grief Trust say on their website, “Your story could become someone’s hope”.
You can read more about what this amazing charity is doing over on their website, National Grief Awareness Week.
We also wanted to show our support, by sharing with you some books that we’ve found personally helpful. We know it’s not always easy to talk about hard topics like death and loss with kids, so we’ve shared our favourites below for this difficult time. We’ve also shared some books that aren’t necessarily aimed at helping with grief, but nevertheless we’ve found helpful during difficult times.
1. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
If you’ve lost everything in your life, everything you once held dear, you need to read this.
Ray and her husband, Moth, are faced with this very predicament. Within a few months they lose their house, their home, and everything they once owned. Plus, Moth is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Now homeless, without direction, they turn to walking The South West Coast Path to find solace, to find ‘home’ once again along the dusty path that follows the sea.
Everyone needs to read this book. It truly is an eye-opening experience and will make you reconsider what you really, truly, need in life.
2. Grief is The Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
A mixture between prose and poetry, Grief is The Thing with Feathers is unlike anything else you would have read. It deals with grief, the unspoken emotions of what it’s like to lose your mother at a young age, and how even though the loss is always there, you can begin to heal with it. Definitely one to read if you’ve lost someone.
3. I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell
I am I am I am is Maggie O’Farrell’s memoir, specifically recounting her seventeen near-death experiences. Told in seemingly random order, the stories are scattered with tales of adventure, misjudgement, human cruelty, but ultimately of survival. Everyday we face near-death experiences without even realising it, but after you’ve read this, you’ll 100% want to take life by the horns and truly start living again.
4. Goodbye Mog by Judith Kerr
If you need to explain death to a young child, this is the book to read. It’s an incredibly moving story of how to say goodbye to your beloved pet. Mog feels like she wants to sleep forever… so she does. There honestly won’t by a dry eye in the room when you read this, but Judith Kerr handles this sensitive topic so gently that it’ll definitely help.
5. The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup
Along the same wavelength as Goodbye Mog, The Memory Tree is a beautiful picture book to help children understand what happens when a loved one dies.
Fox feels tired, very tired. He lays down in the forest and falls asleep, he dies. One by one his forest friends arrive to tell beloved stories about their time with Fox, and how he meant so much to all of them. As each one tells a story, a tree begins to grow, getting stronger and stronger with each loving memory.
This story will surely bring comfort to both parents and children alike.
6. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards Non-Fiction Lifestyle Book of the Year 2020, this is the book that everyone’s talking about at the moment. And rightly so! With delicate, intricate ink drawings, paired with a heart-warming moving tale about the relationship between the boy, the mole, the fox, and the horse, this is the book everyone loves, and needs. This book glows with positivity, and it’s ultimately about how not to lose yourself in a world that feels like it’s filled with negativity.
7. Things I wish I Knew Before My Mum Died by Ty Alexander
In her early 20s, Ty’s mum died. Before that, she was faced with dealing with her mum’s illness. She had to quickly learn how to be a caregiver, researcher, and now, grieving daughter. When her mum died, she wanted to help others learn how to grieve and move on, whatever that might look like. This book is her way of doing that, and we hope it helps anyone who is struggling to grieve.
8. Grief Day by Day by Jan Warner
We’ve all heard the phrase, “one step at a time” and this book is that for dealing with grief. It’s a complex process, grieving, and this book knows that. That’s why every day it gives you a prompt or an idea, a practice or reflection to help you process the ever-changing emotions that come with grief.
9. It’s Okay You’re Not Okay by Megan Devine
Loss of a loved one is something that you’ll probably never get over, and neither should you, according to Megan. Don’t you think it’s weird how our culture’s way of dealing with grief is to try and mend it, to try and get people back to a normal, ‘happy’ life? Building on her personal experience as a therapist and the loss of her partner, Megan states that there is a healthier middle path, one that builds a life alongside grief, than striving for the past life of ‘happiness’. A new way to look at grief, and one we should all read.
10. No Matter What by Debi Gliori
Another amazing children’s book dealing with hard topics. No Matter What is all about the unconditional love a parent feels for their child, which is beautifully told and illustrated. For children dealing with anxiety, this could be the perfect comforting bedtime read.
What did you think of our list? Grief Awareness is so important, so why not share your favourite in the comments over on our Facebook page? You never know who you might help.
Remember, you can order any of the books above from The Book Nook, or by clicking on any of the books above. And don't forget you can also email us, too, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01920 467 597 to place an order.