Books about dying, death and grief: A reading list

Kate BucklandBlog

It might sound morbid to actively seek out information on death and dying, but as humans whether we want to or not, we do dwell on death. Believe it or not, reading about dying can actually be a very helpful and practical activity that serves a range of purposes. Reading about death can help us through different stages of the grieving process, can help us face our fears about dying and can also be useful when you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It’s easy to sweep the topic of death under the carpet until you lose someone you love or you are faced with a terminal diagnosis yourself, but we encourage you to read your way around your questions and fears. There are literally thousands of books out there on the topic of death and dying, but here we’ve put together a small reading list (in no particular order) of some of what is available out there for you. Ultimately, you have to do what works for you, but we hope that this article provides some guidance in a useful direction. We’ve also included some books to help children understand death at the end of this article. Surviving the Tsunami of Grief – Katrina Taee and Wendelien McNicoll “An illustrated and oral guide to grief, for those who are grieving and their families and friends who are supporting them. It offers guidance, wisdom and hope for the longer bereavement journey. The last three chapters suggest ways people can help those who grieve and offers practical and useful suggestions to support them.” With the end in Mind – Dr Kathryn Mannix “How should we think of death and how can we prepare for it? With the End in Mind is a book for us all: the grieving and bereaved, the ill and the healthy. By turns touching and tragic, funny and wise, it tells powerful human stories of life and death… A powerful and emotional book based on a lifetime’s clinical experience, With the End in Mind offers calm, wise advice on how to face death, live fully and find a model for hope in dark times.” Outside the Box – Liz Rothschild “We live in a society where people struggle to look death in the eye. Death has become the territory of professionals and we rarely see a dead body, unless it is someone very close to us. Death has become hidden, and so more traumatic. This book shows that, if we start talking openly about death, it can change the way we live. In it, people from all walks of life share their experiences and what they have learned from accompanying others. Heartbreaking, angry, questioning and contradictory – even laugh-aloud funny – the stories illuminate, inspire, reassure and inform. They are accompanied by advice and comment from professionals working in end-of-life planning, health, bereavement and funeral care.” Undying – Michael Faber “In Undying Michel Faber honours the memory of his wife, who died after a … Read More