Books That May Help

When I lost my mum, suddenly, in April 2017, I felt that there was no way life could go on. The books below are a selection of those that helped me and those other people have recommended for this site.  There is no one book that works in all cases, and even within the books it may just be a chapter or a line that resonates. If you have a book you would like to recommend we add here, please email me at

after this

Claire Bidwell Smith, an only child, lost both of her parents, by her mid 20s. This book is her year-long journey to find meaning through speaking with spiritual advisors, mediums, healers and other people about the grief of losing her parents. I found the common themes, regardless of who she spoke to, comforting. 

option b

Sheryl Sandberg is best known as COO of Facebook and author of Lean In. Recently she lost her husband while they were both on holiday. He was just 47. While this book isn't specifically about losing your mother, it's about death and grief and learning to live when what we had imagined in the future is no longer possible. A good read. 

the year of magical thinking

A beautiful book about Didion's own personal loss, suddenly, of her husband after they had both been to visit their daughter who was in a coma. It delves into the grief Didion felt and the way this grief brought itself out into her life and the ways in which she did, and did not, manage it. A beautiful reminder we are never alone

WYMD Books (2).png
WYMD Books (1).png


A beautiful stranger gave this to me after seeing a post I'd put on IG about my mum dying. She knew I had a son and wanted me to have a way to share my feelings about losing my mother with him. This is a children's book but it's just as beautiful for adults to read. One to get or borrow from the library if you want to be able to talk about death with children in a gentle, peaceful way. 


This book does have some religious elements (Christian) in it. I want to say that up front because it's not for everyone. However, it also has some beautiful messages to reflect on every day of the first year after someone passes. Some will impact you, some won't, but even knowing that you're trying to find some peace and guidance through it all may help. 


Death is a part of life but one we feel like we can't talk about, especially in the West. This book looks at how we learn through our grief and how, as we heal, we become stronger in some ways. This book discusses the lessons our loved one leaving us can have on our lives and how we can, in time, look at the positive elements that still exist for us in life.