Books

The following book list is not an all-inclusive listing but a few suggestions of resources available to assist patients and families dealing with serious illness, end-of-life and grief.

Books Specific to Serious Illness or End-of-Life

“After the Darkest Hour” by Kathleen Brehony
A book about how our suffering brings us to wisdom.

“Fall of Freddie the Leaf” by Leo Buscaglia
A story of life for all ages.

“Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth” by Douglas Wood (Candlewick Press, 1999)
This is a picture book that remembers the life of one boy’s Grandfather, his hero. Appropriate for all ages, 5 years+.

“Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief” by Martha Whitmore Hickman

“Healing Your Grieving Heart 100 Practical Ideas” by Alan Wolfelt
This book offers 100 practical here-and-now suggestions for helping yourself mourn so that you may live well and love well again.

“Hope for the Flowers” by Trina Paulus (Paulist Press, 1972)
This is a story for all ages and focuses on life and gives hope to all who may have lost a loved one.

“The Gift of a Memory” by Marianne Richmond (Waldman House Press, Inc., 2000)
This picture book focuses on the general loss of a special life. Appropriate for all ages 10 years+. The book includes beautiful artwork on each page, a legacy page, and a journal page, inviting friends and family to record memories.

“The Land Beyond Forever” by Tracy Flynn Bowe (Three Sisters Publishing House, Ltd., 2006)
The author notes, “[This book] is a story about family, hope, joy, and resurrection.” The story reminds the reader that we are never left alone on earth, because the spirits of our loved ones are forever with us. This book is appropriate for all ages looking to understand the serious illness or death of a loved one.

“The Next Place” by Warren Hanson (Waldman House Press, Inc., 1997)
This picture book is a celebration of life and the journey to everlasting life. The topic is general loss of a loved one. Appropriate for all ages, 8 years+.

“Surviving the Death of a Sibling” by TJ Wray
Living through grief when an adult brother or sister dies.

“When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Rabbi Kushner
Understanding grief and suffering happens to all of us.

Books for Children

“Fall of Freddie the Leaf” by Leo Buscaglia
A story of life for all ages.

“Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth” by Douglas Wood (Candlewick Press, 1999)
This is a picture book that remembers the life of one boy’s Grandfather, his hero. Appropriate for all ages, 5 years+.

“Hope for the Flowers” by Trina Paulus (Paulist Press, 1972)
This is a story for all ages and focuses on life and gives hope to all who may have lost a loved one.

“If Nathan Were Here” by Mary Bahr (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2000)
This picture book tells the story of a young boy who is grieving the loss of his best friend. This book is appropriate for all ages, specifically children who have lost a friend.

“Jungle Journey” by Barbara Betker McIntyre (Traverse Publishing Company, 2000)
This picture book tells an inspiring story of animals journeying through the jungle after the loss of their beloved friend. The book aims to continue the process of healthy childhood development after a loss. This book may be appropriate for all ages, but specifically for children who have lost a loved one.

“The Gift of a Memory” by Marianne Richmond (Waldman House Press, Inc., 2000)
This picture book focuses on the general loss of a special life. Appropriate for all ages 10 years+. The book includes beautiful artwork on each page, a legacy page, and a journal page, inviting friends and family to record memories.

“The Land Beyond Forever” by Tracy Flynn Bowe (Three Sisters Publishing House, Ltd., 2006)
The author notes, “[This book] is a story about family, hope, joy, and resurrection.” The story reminds the reader that we are never left alone on earth, because the spirits of our loved ones are forever with us. This book is appropriate for all ages looking to understand the serious illness or death of a loved one.

“The Next Place” by Warren Hanson (Waldman House Press, Inc., 1997)
This picture book is a celebration of life and the journey to everlasting life. The topic is general loss of a loved one. Appropriate for all ages, 8 years+.

“What’s Heaven?” by Maria Shriver
Nice book for children when facing the death of someone they love.

“When Someone has a Very Serious Illness” by Marge Heegaard (Woodland Press, 1991)
The author states, “This book will help families communicate and evaluate a child’s understanding and feelings about family change while teaching basic concepts of illness and healthy coping skills.” This book is intended for children to express emotions about serious illness through art, in order to develop healthy coping skills.

“When Someone Very Special Dies” by Marge Heegaard (Woodland Press, 1988)
This is a book for children, 6-12 years, designed to teach children about death. In this book children are encouraged to draw pictures to illustrate their own story, recognize and express emotions, and communicate openly. This book helps adults realize the unhealthy misunderstandings a child may have about death.

Books for Caregivers

“Caregiving: A Step-by-Step Resource for Caring for the Person with Cancer at Home” by Peter S. Houts, PhD & Julia A. Bucher, RN, PhD (American Cancer Society, 2000)
This is an easy to use guide for caregivers including information on cancer treatments, managing care, emotional and physical conditions, checklists, questions to ask, signs and symptoms, and additional available resources. There is a glossary of terms, an index, and a section to take notes. This book guides the caregiver through dealing with the possible situations and conditions that may arise from caring for a person with cancer. This is a practical book for adult caregivers.

“Self-Care for Caregivers: A Twelve Step Approach” by Pat Samples, Diane Larsen & Marvin Larsen (Paradise Publishing, 1998)
The authors share how to balance the special needs of their loved ones they care for and their own self-care through easy to follow steps. This book uses the personal stories of the authors to demonstrate how to break free of the stress and pain felt after taking on the responsibilities of others. It also helps caregivers find strength in order to continue to provide loving support. This book is for all caregivers.

“Taking Time: Support for People with Cancer and the People Who Care About Them” by National Institutes of Health & National Cancer Institute (National Cancer Institute, 1990)
This book is for all those affected by cancer, either personally or through a loved one. The book progresses from sharing the diagnosis, living with the cancer, and the years after. The book includes a list of information and resources for those diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones. This is aimed at an adult population.

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