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Top 5 Books on Dealing With Loss

Written by Dragana Ivanovska

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Posted on October 25 2019

In life, there comes a moment where we all have to face the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, we are not eternal, and neither are our loved ones. These periods of our lives impact us greatly, and they change us forever. It is a period of grief, mourning, sadness, and struggle, where we battle to learn that the world, our world is missing one of the most important persons in our lives. It is a harsh reality which we have to face every day. Although there is nothing that can prepare us for that grief, we can always grow from it and make the journey of acceptance a little easier on ourselves. Here are a few book recommendations that can help you deal with loss a little easier:

1. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

If you have lost a very dear person to you, and you feel like the whole world has moved on except for you, then this book is the one that you should pick up. Through her journey, Didion touches the souls of those who struggle with grief:

We are not idealized wild things. We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

This is a simple book, that will help you to understand what is going on with yourself as you grieve your loss, and connect with an honest and sincere soul that passed through a similar loss. This book has helped many souls to find solace in their loss, and move on when needed.

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe their husband is about to return and need his shoes.

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

2. Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton

Sometimes, when losing someone dear to you, you simply can not accept the fact that they passed away. A world without your loved ones seems like a place that doesn’t exist. In reality, part of this non-acceptance is because, on a very raw, basic level, we know that their journey doesn’t end there because our souls are eternal.

If you’d like to learn more about what happens to your loved ones when they pass away and find out more about the immortality of the soul, then definitely pick this book up. It will clear so many questions that you might be asking yourself, and help you to gain peace through understanding. Newton in his book explains the journey between lives, through 29 case studies of people who still recall their past lives and their journey in between. It is a fascinating book that can shed some light of the mystery of the great beyond

When clients tell me how much they suffered from the actions of family members, my first question to their conscious mind is, "If you had not been exposed to this person as a child, what would you now lack in understanding?" It may take a while, but the answer is in our minds. There are spiritual reasons for our being raised as children around certain kinds of people, just as other people are designated to be near us as adults.

Michael Newton, Journey Of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives

3. On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, David Kessler

Although losing a loved one is a very hard time in an individual's lifetime, and the grief adds in unimaginable weight to everyday life, and existence in general, grief can actually help us find peace, understanding and the meaning of true strength. In her last book, Elisabeth Ross talks about each stage of grief and how it can be seen from another perspective.

She explains grief realistically, and digs into each phase, helping you to understand that grief will change you in more ways than one. It’s a great book that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime.

That’s really what grief has taught me. That I can survive. I used to be afraid that if I experienced grief it would overcome me and I wouldn’t be able to survive the flood of it, that if I actually felt it I wouldn’t be able to get back up. It’s taught me that I can feel it and it won’t swallow me whole. But we come from a culture where we think people have to be strong. I’m a big believer in being vulnerable, open to grief. That is strength. You can’t know joy unless you know profound sadness. They don’t exist without each other.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss

4. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry Sittser

This book is a very strong, and powerful one because the writer of the book has experienced a horrible loss. In a car accident, his wife, mother, and daughter died, leaving a gaping pit of grief into Sittser’s heart. Although it’s a horrible loss that no one should ever experience, this tragedy helped Sittser to develop spiritually, and gain a deeper understanding of life itself. In his book, he will lead you on a remarkable journey of growth, that will help you to discover grace, even in the biggest losses.

Gifts of grace come to all of us. But we must be ready to see and willing to receive these gifts. It will require a kind of sacrifice, the sacrifice of believing that, however painful our losses, life can still be good — good in a different way then before, but nevertheless good. I will never recover from my loss and I will never got over missing the ones I lost. But I still cherish life. . . . I will always want the ones I lost back again. I long for them with all my soul. But I still celebrate the life I have found because they are gone. I have lost, but I have also gained. I lost the world I loved, but I gained a deeper awareness of grace. That grace has enabled me to clarify my purpose in life and rediscover the wonder of the present moment.

Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss

5. Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief by Tom Zuba

And last, but not least, Permission to Mourn is the book everyone wishes they learned from when a loved one passes away. In everyday life, it is expected of a person to move on gracefully with life whenever a loved one passes away. We are taught that people’s opinion and image of ourselves is more important than processing our feelings. We are expected not to mourn. However, Zuba experienced loss a few times in his life and has realized that this is not the way to heal after a loved one passes away. As he learned, he wrote this amazing book that can shed a different light on grief and mourning.

If you are working with a therapist counselor social worker grief expert minister priest or anyone else who is trying to help you navigate the wilderness of grief and they start talking about the groundbreaking observations of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross suggesting there is an orderly predictable unfolding of grief please please please. Do yourself a favor. Leave. People who are dying often experience five stages of grief: denial anger bargaining depression and acceptance. They are grieving their impending death. This is what Elizabeth Kubler Ross observed. People who are learning to live with the death of a beloved have a different process. It isn’t the same. It isn’t orderly. It isn’t predictable. Grief is wild and messy and unpredictable

Tom Zuba, Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief

Tune in to our blog for more book recommendations!

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