Beneficial Reading Materials
I like to have a variety of materials available to the people who come to me. Sometimes it is hard to absorb everything said in my office or at an appointment, and it is helpful to have the information in front of you in print. Sometimes people don’t connect with their grief counselor well and would rather do things on their own, or perhaps their counselor is unavailable. Or, for a multitude of other reasons, they choose to grieve privately. Here are some of the materials that I offer to those in need of comfort:
- Grappling with Grief: A Guide for the Bereavedby Penny Rawson. This book, written by a psychotherapist and counselor, walks people through their feelings and stages of grief. Free of technical terms and written in a very accessible manner, it will help the reader understand the whirlwind of emotions going on within him or her as well as provide some comfort. Many who come to me find it of great comfort.
- Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen, illustrated by Taylor Bills. This incredibly well thought out book can apply to grief in almost any situation. It does not specifically make clear who Grandy lost, so it is incredibly adaptable. Early in the book, it gives cooking tips for the specific chef—if a child is the chef, if it is a friend, if there are two of you, and several other examples.
- Portraits of Hope DVD. This is a wonderful DVD from griefHaven that interviews parents who have lost a child. It spans 25 years, so it charts the whole grief process and can provide hope and comfort to parents and others who have recently lost a child.
- The Vitas Healthcare website. Vitas is a hospice organization, and they have an incredible variety of resources available on their site. From losing Alzheimer’s patients to suffering from depression, you can find a variety of articles with clear titles so that you can find something applicable to you. I usually print off a variety of topics and have them handy to give to people. Although they are shorter than books, they are still beneficial and are more likely to be read by some people who don’t feel like they have the time for a longer book or who are too overwhelmed and intimidated by something longer.
- Sesame Street. Through their Talk, Listen, Connect program, this iconic and educational television show has a variety of sources available on their website in the form of videos, downloadable guides, printable worksheets, a storybook, and links to resources. Children can create a memory chain, parents can print them a feelings journal, and a host of other things. These are characters that many small children already recognize and trust, so it can make the topic easier to tolerate.
- The Dougy Center has information for children of all ages and their parents, but I recommend their teen section especially. It has excellent information, written directly to teenagers in a way that will help them feel understood.
If you are looking for materials on your own, I hope that you find this list of some comfort to you. I will be keeping you in my thoughts as you go on this difficult journey, and I hope these books, articles, videos, and websites are like torches lighting your path as you travel.