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Grief & Loss Resources for Bereaved Parents

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Featured Books in this Category / Main Booklist

Featured Books

About What Was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing and Hope. Jessica Berger Gross, editor, $24.50

Revealing a wide spectrum of perspectives, this powerful collection offers comfort and community for the millions of women (and their loved ones) who experience this all-too-common kind of loss.


Bereaved Parents and Their Continuing Bonds: Love After Death. Catherine Seigal, $25.95

For bereaved parents the development of a continuing bond with the child who has died is a key element in their grieving and in how they manage the future. Using her experience of working in a children's hospital as a counsellor with bereaved parents, Catherine Seigal looks at how continuing bonds are formed, what facilitates and sustains them and what can undermine them. She reflects on what she learned about the counsellor's role supporting parents in extremely distressing situations.

Using the words and experiences of bereaved parents, and drawing on current theories of continuing bonds, the book is relevant to both professionals and parents. It covers important subjects such as the benefits of a therapeutic group for bereaved parents, the challenges for parents when another child is born, the important role of siblings in keeping the bonds alive and how it is for parents whose child dies before birth or in early infancy. The book uses theory lightly but relevantly and places it into the heart of the lived experience. It offers anyone working with bereaved parents insight into the many and varied ways grief is experienced and expressed and what can be helpful and unhelpful. And it offers bereaved parents the opportunity to share other parents' experiences, to understand a little more about their own feelings and to know they are not alone, providing an original and valuable guide to continuing love after death.


Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child, Revised. Ellen Mitchell, editor, $15.50

The death of a child is that unimaginable loss no parent ever expects to face. In Beyond Tears, nine mothers share their individual stories of how to survive in the darkest hour. They candidly share with other bereaved parents what to expect in the first year and long beyond. This sharing in itself is a catharsis and because each of these mothers lost her child at least seven years ago, she is in a unique position to provide perspective on what newly bereaved parents can expect to feel. The mothers of Beyond Tears offer reassurance that the clouds of grief do lessen with time and that grieving parents will find a way to live, and even laugh again.

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Capturing a Short Life. Directed, produced & written by Sheona McDonald. $50.00 DVD format, 54 minutes

Capturing a Short Life is a beautiful and intimate documentary about families dealing with the loss of a child in the first months of life. This is a film about acknowledging, celebrating and honoring those powerful, impossibly few moments.


Comfort: a Journey Through Grief. Ann Hood, $22.00

A moving and remarkable memoir about the sudden death of a daughter, surviving grief and learning to love again.


Couple Communication after a Baby Dies: Differing Perspectives. Sherokee Ilse & Tim Nelson, $15.95

Couple Communication presents practical perspectives on the differences and similarities of men and women who grieve. This book includes the stories of two couples who have endured the ups, downs, and togetherness since their babies died.


Creating a New Normal After the Death of a Child: a Guide to Coping and Informational Skills for Bereaved Parents, Family Members, Friends, Therapists and Grief Related Organizations. Sandy Fox, $31.95

Learning to rebuild your life with purpose is what all bereaved parents strive to attain. Using the ideas from those who have been there and readjusting them to fit your own situation can give you the practical and emotional support needed:

  • Learn a variety of coping and informational skills to help any bereaved parent as they move through the grief process.
  • Read up to 80 articles dealing with topics such as anger, journaling, taking care of yourself, making a marriage work, childless issues, preserving a childís memory, grief triggers, confronting negative statements, workplace grief, signs from our children, the importance of rituals and many more.
  • Identify how to get through the various holidays.
  • Read 10 inspirational stories that let you see how others cope.
  • Go through grief book descriptions and purchase information.
  • Delve into the abundant resource section listing many general and specific support groups, web sites and chat rooms

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Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby, 3rd Edition. Deborah Davis, $29.95

The heartache of miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death affects thousands of families every year. Empty Cradle, Broken Heart offers reassurance to parents who struggle with anger, guilt, and despair during and after such a tragedy. In this new and updated edition, Deborah Davis encourages grieving and strives to cover many different kinds of loss, including information on issues such as the death of one or more babies from a multiple birth, pregnancy interruption, and the questioning of aggressive medical intervention. There is also a special chapter for fathers as well as a chapter on "protective parenting" to help anxious parents enjoy their precious living children. Doctors, nurses, relatives, friends, and other support persons can gain special insight. Most importantly, parents facing the death of a baby will find necessary support in this gentle guide.


A Gift of Time: Continuing Your Pregnancy When Your Baby's Life is Expected to Be Brief. Amy Kuebelbeck & Deborah Davis, $20.50

A GIFT OF TIME is a gentle and practical guide for parents who decide to continue their pregnancy knowing that their baby's life will be brief. 

When prenatal testing reveals that an unborn child is expected to die before or shortly after birth, some parents will choose to proceed with the pregnancy and to welcome their child into the world. With compassion and support, A GIFT OF TIME walks them step-by-step through this challenging and emotional experience — from the infant's life-limiting prenatal diagnosis and the decision to have the baby to coping with the pregnancy and making plans for the baby's birth and death. 

A GIFT OF TIME also offers inspiration and reassurance through the memories of numerous parents who have loved a child who did not survive. Their moving experiences are stories of grief — and of hope. Their anguish over the prenatal diagnosis turns to joy and love during the birth of their child and to gratitude and peace when reflecting on their baby's short life.

Full of practical suggestions for parents and for caregivers, A GIFT OF TIME also features the innovative concept of perinatal hospice and palliative care. Caring and thoughtful, the book helps parents embrace the extraordinary time they will have with their child.


Healing a Grandparent's Grieving Heart: Compassionate Advice and Simple Activities to Help You through the Loss of a Grandchild. Alan Wolfelt, $13.95

This heartfelt manual is an indispensable and easily referenced resource for grieving grandparents, offering them a way forward after the death of a grandchild. Whether they were close to their grandchild and keenly feeling his or her absence, or even if they were not close to the child and are mourning the loss of a relationship they’ll never have, this book offers grandparents compassionate comfort and practical ideas for their journey through grief, addressing as well the unique pain of watching their children mourn the loss of their child. The ideas offered in the book clarify the basic principles of grief and mourning and offer immediate suggestions for things grandparents can do to embrace their grief, honor and remember their grandchild, and begin to heal.

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How to Expect What Youíre Not Expecting: Stories of Pregnancy and Parenthood Loss. Edited by Jessica Hiemstra & Lisa Martin-Demoor, $19.95

One size fits all does not apply to pregnancy and childbirth. Each one is different, unique, and comes with its share of pleasure and pain. But how does one prepare for an unexpected loss of a pregnancy or hoped-for baby? In How to Expect What Youíre Not Expecting, writers share their true stories of miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, and other, related losses. This literary anthology picks up where some pregnancy books end and offers diverse, honest, and moving essays that can prepare and guide women and their families for when the unforeseen happens.


I'll Write Your Name On Every Beach: a Mother's Quest for Comfort, Courage, and Clarity After Suicide Loss. Susan Auerbach, $22.95

Written by a mother who lost her 21-year-old son to suicide, this book deals with the themes of suicide loss through the lens of the author's personal grief. Addressing the process of post-traumatic growth, this memoir provides the bereaved with therapy exercises and creative activities to help them come to terms with their loss.

Although it deals directly with losing a child, much of the book pertains to grief generally, especially complicated grief after a sudden death, and thus provides comfort to any reader who has lost a close one to suicide or anyone interested in young people struggling with mental health. Organised thematically, it addresses the many issues and stages involved in the grieving process and ends each chapter with a variety of beneficial yoga, breathing and therapy activities. This allows readers to dip in and out of the book, and go at their own pace - replicating the fact that grief is not a linear journey but an iterative one that goes back and forth. This book is a lifeline for anyone struggling to process loss.


Jesse: a Mother’s Story. Marianne Leone, $17.00

Jesse Cooper was an honor-roll student who loved to windsurf and write poetry. He also had severe cerebral palsy and was quadriplegic, unable to speak, and wracked by seizures. He died suddenly at age seventeen.

In fiercely honest, surprisingly funny, and sometimes heartbreaking prose, Jesse's mother, Marianne Leone, chronicles her transformation by the remarkable life and untimely death of her child. An unforgettable memoir of joy, grief, and triumph, Jesse: a Mother’s Story unlocks the secret of unconditional love and speaks to all families who strive to do right by their children.

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Josie’s Story: a Mother’s Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe. Sorrel King, $32.50

The account of one woman’s unlikely path from full-time mom to nationally renowned patient advocate, Josie’s Story is the inspirational chronicle of how a mother—and her unforgettable daughter—are transforming the face of American medicine.

When Sorrel King’s eighteen-month-old daughter Josie was badly burned by a faulty water heater in the family’s new home, she was taken to the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she made a remarkable recovery. But as she was preparing to leave, the hospital’s system of communication broke down and Josie was given a fatal shot of methadone, sending her into cardiac arrest. Within forty-eight hours, the King family went from planning a homecoming to planning a funeral. Dizzy with grief and close to ending her marriage, Sorrel slowly pulled herself and her life back together. Accepting Hopkins’ settlement, she and her husband established the Josie King Foundation. They began to implement basic programs in hospitals emphasizing communication between patients, family, and medical staff—practices which can now be found in hospitals around the country.


Losing Frankie. Linda Chen, $18.95

In 2006 the life of an 18-year-old Toronto high school senior ended abruptly on a rugby field five minutes into the game.  Frankie’s life provided his parent’s with their greatest joy. Recounting his short life in this touching memoir is both a celebration and a healing for his family and for others who have known the abrupt and unexpected loss of a loved one.


No Child Should Grieve Alone. Emilio Parga, $17.95

A guide for parents, caregivers and professionals.

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Nurturing Healing Love: a Motherís Journey of Hope & Forgiveness. Scarlett Lewis, with Natasha Stoynoff, $19.95

On December 14, 2012, Scarlett Lewis experienced something that no parent should ever have to endure: she lost her son Jesse in an act of unimaginable violence. The day started just like any other, but when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Scarlett's life changed forever.

Following Jesse's death, Scarlett went on an unexpected journey, inspired by a simple three-word message he had scrawled on their kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died: Norurting Helin Love (Nurturing Healing Love). It was as if he knew just what his family would need in order to go on after this horrible tragedy. Bolstered by his words, Scarlett took her first step toward a new life. And with each step, it became clearer how true Jesse's message was. She learned that love was indeed the essential element necessary to move forward and that taking the path of love is a choice. NURTURING HEALING LOVE is Scarlett's story of how choosing love is changing her life — and how it could change our world.


Parenting After the Death of a Child: a Practitioner's Guide. Jennifer Buckle & Stephen Fleming, $63.95

The death of a child has a tremendous and overwhelming impact on parents and siblings, completely altering the psychological landscape of the family. In the aftermath of such a tragedy, parents face the challenge of not only dealing with their own grief, but also that of their surviving children. How can someone attempt to cease parenting a deceased child while maintaining this role with his/her other children? Is it possible for a mother or father to effectively deal with feelings of grief and loss while simultaneously helping their surviving children?

Parenting After the Death of a Child addresses this complex and daunting dilemma. Following on the heels of a qualitative research study that involved interviewing bereaved parents, both fathers and mothers, Buckle and Fleming have put together several different stories of loss and recovery to create an invaluable resource for clinicians, students, and grieving parents. The authors present the experience of losing a child and its subsequent impact on a family in a novel and effective way, demonstrating the strength and importance of their book for the counseling field.


Silent Birth: When Your Baby Dies. Sharon Covington, $8.95

Based on the experiences of parents who have lost an infant during pregnancy, at — or shortly after — birth, Silent Birth will help you know what to expect and what to do when suddenly faced with the trauma of your baby’s death. Though nothing will take away the pain, this booklet is designed to help you find a meaningful way to commemorate your baby’s life and manage your grief.

This brief, compassionate guide is written for parents but will be of value to professionals, family and friends as well.

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The Unspeakable Loss: How Do You Live after a Child Dies? Nisha Zenoff, $22.49

Nisha Zenoff lost her son in a tragic accident when he was just seventeen years old. Now, with decades of experience as a grief counselor and psychotherapist, she offers support and guidance from her own journey and from others who have experienced the death of a child. No matter where you are in your grieving process, The Unspeakable Loss provides a space to mourn in your own way, and helps you understand how the death of a child affects siblings, other family members and friends, recognizing that we each grieve differently. And while there is no one prescription for healing, Zenoff provides tools to practice the important aspects of grieving that are easily forgotten — self-compassion and self-care.


When a Child Dies From Drugs. Patricia Wittberger & Russ Wittberger, $14.95

Compassionate advice and practical help for parents, siblings, family and friends in bereavement after losing someone to substance abuse.


When Your Child Dies: Tools for Mending Parents’ Broken Hearts. Avril Nagel & Randie Clark, $16.95

The death of your child is devastating. No parent feels that he or she should outlive his or her child. WHEN YOUR CHILD DIES provides grief-stricken parents with the tools to navigate the grieving process and addresses possible challenges including the intrusion of the media, the justice system, medical system and coroners. 

Grieving parents will learn how to reduce anxiety and depression and promote healthy self-soothing, identify and address issues that linger and cause emotional pain following the child’s death and incorporate their loss into their lives in healthy ways. There are suggestions for talking with surviving children about death and grief, how to handle the impact on extended family systems and social relationships, how to foster a continued loving relationship in their lives with the dead child's memory, among other practical advice, as well as providing a comprehensive list of resources and reading for ongoing support.

WHEN YOUR CHILD DIES is a comprehensive handbook for grief-stricken parents, grief counseling organizations, resource centers and library grief collections.

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Complete Booklist

About What Was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing and Hope. Jessica Berger Gross, editor, $24.50

The Bereaved Parent. Harriet Sarnoff Schiff, $16.00

Bereaved Parents and Their Continuing Bonds: Love After Death. Catherine Seigal, $25.95

Beyond Tears: Living after Losing a Child, Revised. Ellen Mitchell, editor, $15.50

Capturing a Short Life. Directed, produced & written by Sheona McDonald. $50.00 DVD format, 54 minutes

Comfort: a Journey through Grief. Ann Hood, $22.00

Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth about Miscarriage, Jon Cohen, $26.95 (multiple pregnancy loss)

Couple Communication after a Baby Dies: Differing Perspectives. Sherokee Ilse & Tim Nelson, $15.95

Creating a New Normal After the Death of a Child: a Guide to Coping and Informational Skills for Bereaved Parents, Family Members, Friends, Therapists and Grief Related Organizations. Sandy Fox, $31.95

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby, 3rd Edition. Deborah Davis, $29.95

Ended Beginnings: Healing Childbearing Losses. Claudia Panuthos & Catherine Romeo, $39.95

Facing the Ultimate Loss: Coping with the Death of a Child. Robert Marx & Susan Davidson, $16.95

50 Ways to Cope with the Loss of Your Child: a Guide for Grieving Parents. Norma Sawyers-Kurz, $18.95

A Gift of Time: Continuing Your Pregnancy When Your Baby's Life is Expected to Be Brief. Amy Kuebelbeck & Deborah Davis, $20.50

Healing a Grandparent's Grieving Heart: Compassionate Advice and Simple Activities to Help You through the Loss of a Grandchild. Alan Wolfelt, $13.95

Healing a Parent’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas after Your Child Dies. Alan Wolfelt, $14.50

How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting: Stories of Pregnancy and Parenthood Loss. Edited by Jessica Hiemstra & Lisa Martin-Demoor, $19.95

I'll Write Your Name On Every Beach: a Mother's Quest for Comfort, Courage, and Clarity After Suicide Loss. Susan Auerbach, $22.95

Jesse: a Mother’s Story. Marianne Leone, $17.00

Josie’s Story: a Mother’s Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe. Sorrel King, $32.50

Life Touches Life: a Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing. Lorraine Ash, $19.50

Losing Frankie. Linda Chen, $18.95

Nurturing Healing Love: a Mother’s Journey of Hope & Forgiveness. Scarlett Lewis, with Natasha Stoynoff, $19.95

On the Death of a Child, 3rd Edition. Celia Hindmarch, $56.50

Parenting After the Death of a Child: a Practitioner's Guide. Jennifer Buckle & Stephen Fleming, $63.95

Silent Birth: When Your Baby Dies. Sharon Covington, $8.95

Suicide of a Child: for Parents Whose Child Has Completed Suicide. Adina Wrobleski, $4.75

The Unspeakable Loss: How Do You Live after a Child Dies? Nisha Zenoff, $22.49

When a Child Dies From Drugs. Patricia Wittberger & Russ Wittberger, $14.95

When a Grandchild Dies: What to Do, What to Say, How to Cope. Nadine Galinsky, $17.95

When Your Child Dies: Tools for Mending Parents’ Broken Hearts. Avril Nagel & Randie Clark, $16.95

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