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20 Helpful Books About Losing a Parent

This article showcases our top picks for the Books About Losing A Parent. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

The Grief Survival Guide by Jeff Brazier

This product was recommended by Mario Cacciottolo from sbo

Jeff Brazier may not be a well-known name in America, but he went through one of the most covered deaths in Britain his ex-partner died – she also happened to be one of the country’s biggest reality television stars, Jade Goody. Since her death, he has raised two young children as they have become young adults and dedicated his life to becoming a wellness and life coach specializing in the area of grief, and this book looks at his tips for dealing with grief over a loved one’s passing personally as well as how he support young children who are dealing with the loss of a parent. The book is a must-read for anybody who has lost someone – it provides vital information and tips for everyone, while also being deeply relatable due to the personal accounts of his own experience

Wintering by Katherine May

This product was recommended by Kamyar Shah from KamyarShah

What Wintering offers beautifully and poetically, is how to deal with those moments when you fall through life’s daily cracks, and find yourself dealing with something you couldn’t expect – grief, depression or a chronic illness perhaps. It is in its ability to really speak about how to deal in these situations, and the openness about the realities that many of us will face that we find the books magic. No, it isn’t specifically about losing a parent, but what it still manages to discuss just how those lost times can feel, those lost moments as you might have guest, are called the ‘winters’ that we face. It is an essential read for everybody, simply because we all face those ‘winters’ in some form or another, and or those who did lose their parents, this book can really help you to focus on what you need right now, and how taking care of yourself is of vital importance.

You Can Heal Your Heart by Louise Hay

This product was recommended by Rachel Blank from Allara Health

This book gives practical advice for healing your heart after any kind of significant loss in life, including when it comes time to say goodbye to a parent. What I love most about it is that it empowers the reader to take control, assuring them that they can move forward as a stronger person than they were before. Healing exists within ourselves, and we don’t have to rely on outside sources of comfort to make us feel whole again.

How to Survive the Loss of a Parent by Lois F. Akner

This product was recommended by Mo Mulla from Parental Questions

This book is a comprehensive guide that offers practical advice on coping with the death of a parent. It covers all aspects of the grieving process, from handling the funeral to coping with feelings of sadness and loneliness. The author draws on her own experience and interviews with other survivors to provide compassionate support and guidance. She offers inspiration and encouragement, helping readers to see that if she survived her loss, so will they.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

This product was recommended by Jonathan Tian from Mobitrix

This book is widely renowned for its diligent work of autofiction, which takes the form of a letter written to a mom. Here, the catch is the letter written in English to an illiterate mother who can’t speak English fluently. This book is a massive exploration of war and trauma due to the author’s family history. When the protagonist’s mom is alive, the author wrote this beautiful book after his mom’s death, and his grief is persistent in the book’s loving treatment of the mom’s character.

Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman

This product was recommended by Jonathan Tian from Mobitrix

It’s her own experience when a woman loses her mother. Therefore, this book is a great exploration of what it actually means to lose your mom at a stage of growth, and through the testimonies of the women who survived such inexplicable losses. Being a humbling book, it illuminated how lucky you were to have your mom live as long as she did. This book showcased the legacy of mother loss shifted with the passage of time.

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung

This product was recommended by Alina Clark from CocoDoc

Losing a father while young is debilitating, especially if you are a young woman who’s been your father’s little princess for as long as you’ve been around. But that’s not the case with Ghost Forest. Rather than a present father, this novel is about losing a father who was more absent than present in early life. Often this means that one has more questions than answers. Ghost forest is about all that, This novel’s twists and turns are as scintillating as they are binding. The protagonist tries to find her way through life. She tries to get the answers from her mother and grandmothers, but even those answers she’s given don’t really satisfy her. At best, this novel shows how the void left by a departed parent can affect your life, and how one can go about seeking to fill this void, often without fulfilment.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

This product was recommended by Steven Walker from Spylix

It is an honest and one of the most loving books to grab. Misery is interspersed with the tale of Zauner’s relationship with her mother, from childhood to adulthood. Zauner is a musician, and artistry and lyricism resound throughout this narrative. It is about how she grapples with her Korean inceptions through stories about food and languages and many other aspects.

The Scent Keeper by Erica Baumeister

This product was recommended by Gilian Manassee from Jill on Journey

This book is not only heartwarming because of its writing style and its homage to nature. It’s also heartbreaking at times. It tells the story of Emmeline, a young girl that lives with her father on a remote island, teaching her about nature and scents. He keeps mysterious scents in the walls of their cabin, trying to catch memories. Yet, it always feels that a part of her is missing as she doesn’t know about what happened to her mother. As she keeps on trying to find out, she undergoes a surprising path. An immersive and lyrical read about how scents can transport us to places and bring up memories.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

This product was recommended by Gilian Manassee from Jill on Journey

This story about the nine-year-old Oskar is heart-warming yet heartbreaking all at once. After having lost his dad on September 11th, this young boy finds a key in his closet and sets out on a search leading him all over New York. He meets strangers, makes new friends, and tries to become closer to his lost dad. It’s a touching tale of loss and new friendships, of curiosity and tragedy. It will leave you laughing and crying.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

This product was recommended by Iryna Kidyba from foxoffers

The graphic memoirs of American artist Alison Beckdel are good for many reasons. First, they are extremely frank, and therefore sincere, and second, The Merry House touches on many important themes. Beckdel confessed her homosexuality to her parents early on, and only then learned that her father himself had slept with men for years, but concealed it. Soon after she learned the truth, her father died. The experience of his death is one of the main themes of the book, as well as her relationship with her family and with her past.

The Adult Orphan Club by Flora Baker

This product was recommended by Eden Cheng from PeopleFinderFree

Flora Baker’s parents sadly passed away in her twenties and after a decade of coming to terms with her grief, she put together this book which acts as both a memoir and guidebook that takes us through the journey of grief. It is a book that combines practical advice on what to do before, during, and after such an emotional time. If you’ve lost one or even both parents, then this is a book that will undoubtedly resonate with you, and for those who may be afraid of triggering moments, you can rest assured that the author wrote this book in a style that allows a fair amount of distance for those who may still be struggling with the grieving process and are feeling emotional.

The Tao of Hoop by Ann Humphreys

This product was recommended by Ann Humphreys from Line&Circle

This book is a memoir about, strangely, hula-hooping…and Taoism….and space, time, faith, loss, friendship, and family. Author Ann Humphreys was blindsided when her beloved father was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor two weeks before she left home for college. When he died six months later, her fragile, teenage Christian faith was irrecoverably shattered, leaving her with no place to start from except the immense, implausible, incomprehensible universe into which he had disappeared forever. Finding the hula-hoop some 15 years later allowed Humphreys to begin to form a more solid, embodied sense of faith, an understanding based not on an imaginary, punitive, disembodied-yet-somehow-male God, but on the pulses and shapes and rhythms of the universe itself. Supporting her hoop buddy and dear friend–the Cree artist Kimowan Metchewais–through his own struggle with terminal brain cancer, allowed Humphreys to find a deeper engagement with the questions that had plagued her since her father’s untimely death: Where did my father go? What is a soul? What is beyond what we know? The Tao of Hoop is a brief but powerful read, offering a glimpse into how profoundly grief can alter the mind and the body…but also offering readers a clear vision of healing and hope through embodiment, feeling, and movement.

Loss of a Parent by Theresa Jackson

This product was recommended by Daniela Sawyer from FindPeopleFast

Theresa lost her father in 2007 and struggled to cope with her grief. With a background in medical communications and a Master’s degree in clinical research, Theresa has brought together the most valuable resources, grief healing methods, and professional advice on mourning. Understanding how complex or lengthy sorrow is expected, as well as gaining insight into how to try to move on, are some of the things she wishes to assist you in understanding.

My Heart Will Stay by Jennifer Leroux

This product was recommended by Daniela Sawyer from FindPeopleFast

This reassuring, pleasant, and wonderfully drawn novel was created with love and care for children and families grieving the loss of a loved one. The author lost her mother at a young age and hoped to generate a sense of optimism and tranquility in readers by reminding them that the love shared between parents and children is never-ending. She wants her close friend’s adorable boys to know that their father’s love will always be with them, so she wrote this in remembrance of those who had to depart too soon. If the time comes when they must fly away, I assure you that their heart will stay, says an angelic white owl ascending into the sky.

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye by Brook Noel

This product was recommended by Daniela Sawyer from FindPeopleFast

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye delivers a sympathetic hand to assist you through the grieving period, from the first few weeks to the long-term emotional and physical impacts. This book, written by two authors who have experienced it directly, has provided comfort to over 150 thousand people, ranging from elderly to youngsters and from the recently bereaved to those who have lost a loved one for years.

Obit by Victoria Chang

This product was recommended by Todd from RideFAQs

The obituary serves as OBIT’s primary source of design inspiration. Chang’s collection covers a wide spectrum of subjects, from the banal to the lofty. OBIT was written after the poet’s mother died, and it deals with both her mother’s death and her father’s death. Civility, self-control, and even clothing are all on her death list. This collection has the advantage of allowing you to go at your own speed. As a result, even though the poems are intertwined and follow a narrative thread, each one may stand alone and be enjoyed as such. In certain cases, grieving demands that you go at your own pace, and OBIT allows you to do so.

It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine

This product was recommended by Shiv Gupta from Incrementors

It’s OK That You’re Not OK is a must-read for anyone going through a difficult time. The theme of the book is universal to anyone who has suffered a severe loss. Although it is not primarily directed at the bereaved widower, it provides practical sorrow and mourning suggestions that other publications seem to overlook. According to the author, Devine, there is no end to the grief and suffering that comes with the death of a marriage. She claims that there is no such thing as getting over grief. Instead, she discusses how loss follows you for the rest of your life and how the agony only reduces to the point where it is tolerable. In her book, she allows the bereaved to grieve their loss without being made to feel defective or less than for feeling the agony of their loss.

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

This product was recommended by Shiv Gupta from Incrementors

Harold Kushner was a young rabbi when he discovered his 3-year-old son had a terminal disease. This bleak prognosis sent Harold on a lifetime quest to discover how God could allow decent people to suffer. In this famous book, he reveals how he reconciled his religious faith with his fears, concerns, and doubts, and it has become a resource for those suffering similar catastrophes. It covers Harold’s own experience as well as anecdotes from folks he’s assisted throughout his career.

Do Death by Amanda Blainey

This product was recommended by Sam Lockwood from 52Editions

Amanda Blainey, a social activist, encourages open dialogues about death in this clear book about grieving that transforms our relationships with death. Do Death explains death’s fundamental inevitability and offers tips on how to cope with it. A must read for those who have a hard time accepting their parents’ death and can’t look forward to living their life with normalcy.

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