Recommendations for Books on Grief, Trauma, and Meaning
Recently I was asked for recommendations for books on grief, trauma, and how to find meaning through immeasurable sadness and doubt about the future.
Fortunately, a few days later I found myself hosting one of COPE’s workshops through our partnership with Pinelawn Memorial and Arboretum and remembered the prior conversations that I had with the workshop facilitator Kathryn Monaco-Douglas about books on these exact topics in preparation for the workshop. Ms. Monaco-Douglas is an avid reader and she has found comfort, inspiration, understanding, and support in the many books she has read on grief, trauma, faith, spirituality, the afterlife, and grappling with the question of what is the point of it all. As she shared with the workshop participants, she allowed me to share many of her book recommendations with some of my own recommendations here:
The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss by George Bonanno
Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore and Jeffrey Rubin
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.
After by Bruce Greyson
The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman
Note: COPE and Ms. Monaco-Douglas do not endorse any specific views shared in these books. The opinions expressed are those of the authors. The goal is to provide sources of useful information for bereaved families.