During this pandemic, people are experiencing grief and loss while isolated from their communities that typically provide practical and emotional support. Books can be a comfort for those experiencing loss or looking for guidance on how to support others. These death-positive resources, available as either ebooks, audiobooks, or free online resources, can help.
It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand by Megan Devine
Deeply empathetic but allergic to schmaltz and platitudes, Devine’s work meets the grieving person where they are. For those supporting grievers, Devine provides concrete ideas of what to do to help, and perhaps most importantly, what not to say. No religious overtones for those who do not want them, but the book would likely not offend those for whom religion provides comfort. Devine hosts a robust online community and grief writing workshops at Refuge in Griefopens a new window.
Modern Loss: Candid Conversation about Grief by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner
A collection of essays from grievers of all kinds digging into the often unexplored truths of grief, this book is an offshoot of the popular online community Modern Lossopens a new window. The editors founded the website after meeting in a support group for young people whose parents had died; they felt there were few resources that spoke to their experience in a fashion relatable to their age and inclinations.
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death by Caitlin Doughty
Mortician and death-positive activist Doughty brings her trademark pitch-perfect humor and clarity to children’s questions about death. This book can act as a low-stakes gateway into tougher conversations and learning experiences by engaging children’s natural curiosity in an open and honest way. Tons of practical death-positive information including everything from funeral planning opens a new windowto book recommendations opens a new windowto a COVID-19 toolkit opens a new windowis available at Doughty’s nonprofit organization, The Order of the Good Deathopens a new window.
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. by Tutu, Desmond, Dalai Lama, & others
One might think this title would be about sunny optimism, but the whole book centers around finding joy through adversity, sadness, loss, and grief. The book chronicles a week of conversations between these two old friends, where one (Tutu) was in the midst of battling a recurrence of prostate cancer; mortality is a theme that’s woven throughout. This book is a stealth death-positive primer for people who might be afraid to read a book that markets itself as about dealing with death anxiety.
Content by Megan Rosenbloom. April 22, 2020. Resources for Those Facing Grief and Mortality. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=resources-for-those-whove-lost-loved-ones-grief-loss-self-help