Coping with Grief and Loss


Albom, Mitch.  Tuesdays with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson. Doubleday, c1997. Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Didion, Joan. Blue Nights. Random House, 2011. This new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old. In The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion wrote about her reaction to the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne. Here she addresses the death shortly thereafter of her 39-year-old daughter, Quintana, who died of complications from pneumonia. 

Grollman, Earl A. Living When a Loved One Has Died. Beacon Press, 1997, c1977. This gentle, reassuring book explains the bewildering feelings that arise after a loved one's death and helps you honestly confront your loss. Grollman was rabbi of the Beth El Temple Center in Belmont for 36 years. He also wrote Straight Talk About Death for Teenagers: how to cope with losing someone you love, 1993.

Gunther, John. Death Be Not Proud, a memoir. Modern Library [1953]. Johnny Gunther was only seventeen years old when he died of a brain tumor. During the months of his illness, everyone near him was unforgettably impressed by his level-headed courage, his wit and quiet friendliness, and, above all, his unfaltering patience through times of despair. This deeply moving book is a father’s memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy.

Hitchens, Christopher. Mortality. Twelve, 2012. While on a book tour in 2010 for his bestselling memoir,Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of award-winning columns for Vanity Fair, he suddenly found himself being deported "from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady."

James, John W. and Russell Friedman, The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith. Collins Living, c2009. Newly updated and expanded to commemorate its twentieth anniversary—this classic resource helps people complete the grieving process and move toward recovery and happiness.

Kushner, Harold. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Schocken Books, 1981. This thoughtful, life-affirming book by a distinguished Jewish rabbi will help you cope with hard times and personal pain. Filled with compassion, it will give you comfort and strength when tragedy threatens to take away your faith.

Lewis, C. S. A Grief Observed. HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moment," A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss.

Marton, Kati. Paris: a love story. Simon & Schuster, 2012. In this remarkably honest memoir, award-winning journalist and distinguished author Marton narrates an impassioned and romantic story of love, loss, and life after loss.

Oates, Joyce Carol. A Widow's Story: a memoir. Ecco Press, 2011. Oates's deeply personal and intimate memoir—unlike anything she's written before—about the unexpected death of her husband of 40 years, Raymond Smith, and its wrenching, surprising aftermath.

Pausch, Randy. The Last Lecture. Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow. Hyperion Books, c2008. Reflections of a Carnegie Mellon computer science professor who lectured on "Really achieving your childhood dreams," shortly after having been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His advice concerned seizing the moment while living, rather than dying.

Rosenblatt, Roger. Kayak Morning: Reflections on love, grief, and small boats. Ecco, 2012. Kayak Morning is a moving meditation on the passages of grief, the solace of solitude, and the redemptive power of love, from the bestselling author of Making Toast and Unless It Moves the Human Heart.



Banks, Russell. The Sweet Hereafter. HarperCollinsPublishers, c1991. In The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks tells astory that begins with a school bus accident. Using four different narrators, Banks creates a small-town morality play that addresses one of life's mostagonizing questions: when the worst thing happens, who do you blame? 

Cohen, Leah Hager. The Grief of Others. Riverhead Books, c2011. The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth.Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try toreturn to their previous lives. In the aftermath of the baby's death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface.

Genova, Lisa. Still Alice. iUniverse, Inc., c2007. Genova, who holds a doctorate in neuroscience, meticulously traces the downward spiral of a woman suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Still Alice, however, is far from bleak as it depicts both the unalterable course of the disease and the various ways family members can cope with it.  

Henkin,Joshua. The World Without You. Pantheon Books, c2012. From the author ofthe widely acclaimed Matrimony, amoving new novel about love, loss, and the aftermath of a family tragedy. Overa July 4th weekend in the Berkshires, the Frankels will contend with siblingrivalries, marital feuds, bitterness, and the true meaning of family.

Tyler, Anne. The Beginner's Goodbye. Alfred A. Knopf, c2012. Explores how a middle-agedman, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by herfrequent appearances-- in their house, on the roadway, in the markets ... Only Dorothy's unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the momentand to find some peace.

Waldman, Ayelet. Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. Doubleday, c2006. With wry candor and tender humor, acclaimednovelist Ayelet Waldman has crafted a strikingly beautiful novel for our time,tackling the absurdities of modern life and reminding us why we love somepeople no matter what.


September 2012
Coping with Grief and Loss
Recommended by the Library Staff
Belmont Public Library ~ 336 Concord Ave. Belmont, MA 02478   

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