When Dad died, I didn’t know what to make of my grief, so I immediately sought comfort in the words shared by others going through similar situations (which, in turn, inspired me to start this blog.)

Here is a collection of books that I have read on grief, and my favorite quotes from them.

“Resilient Grieving: Finding Strength and Embracing Life After a Loss That Changes Anything” Author: Lucy Hone, PhD

This was the first book that I read. In this book, author Lucy Hone, PhD writes about the painful experience of tragically losing her young daughter, friend, and friend’s mother in a car accident. Hone shares her background and research in resilience psychology, which helped her understand her grief process, and how we all learn to live with grief.

5 Favorite Quotes

“When traumatic events happen, we have a natural tendency to run from the hurt, but Chödrön advises us to walk straight into it, to approach the pain, loss, envy, and longing head on.”

“Experiencing pain is just a part of living, a symptom of the love we have for those we have lost.”

“Who are you now that you’ve lost this important person? Where will all the love you gave them get channeled? What do you do with your future hopes and dreams? What do you need to learn to do, however begrudgingly, now that they are no longer in your life?”

“…instead of five solid stages, think of grief as an oscillation between sadness and other emotions, often positive. The oscillation can occur frequently over the course of a day. The sadness lets us adjust to the loss. The other emotions allow us to engage with the world around us.”

“Those who have said, ‘You will find a new normal, but it will never be as good’ comfort me more because they know and speak the truth.”

“Loss of a Parent: Adult Grief When Parents Die” Author: Theresa Jackson

One of the biggest things I have been struggling with is losing a parent as a still relatively young adult. I haven’t hit all of the major milestones yet: getting a house, getting married, having kids, etc. and Dad won’t be there when it happens. I needed a book on losing a parent to help me navigate what life will look like in the future. In this book, author Theresa Jackson writes about the “death of a life-long relationship” with your parent and everything that surrounds that experience (including how it is different for everyone.)

5 Favorite Quotes

“If you experienced a ‘numb’ reaction like mine you may have felt able to return to work, you could have planned trips, activities, socializing, you may even feel that your reaction is entirely inappropriate to what has happened.”

“Although you can keep yourself busy, you might also beware of overworking yourself or burying yourself in activities that allow you to hide from the pain.”

“When you can’t see how much further you must go, it makes you wonder how you will get through the bleakest moments, and if you’re going to get there at all.”

“The pain will still be there, but in a more manageable place, and you are more able to control your emotions when you visit the painful or happy memories of your loved ones.”

“Death may bring life to an end, but it does not end a relationship. Eventually, you will readjust to a new relationship in which you may still feel your parent’s presence.”

“I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One” Authors: Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, PhD

My Mom recommended this one to me as one of the first books that she turned to when it happened. While Dad’s illness lasted several months and there was always a possibility that we could lose him, it felt shocking when it actually happened. In this book, authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, PhD write about the shock you feel when you unexpectedly lose someone.

5 Favorite Quotes

“Let your body lead you. If you feel tired — sleep. If you feel like crying — cry. If you are hungry — eat. Don’t feel you need to act one way or another.”

“It’s all right to feel hopeless, as if life has lost its focus or purpose. These are natural and normal feelings. Trust that life will go on, and that in time, you will reestablish your place within it.”

“No matter how small the task, it is too much for you right now. Be careful not to overburden yourself. Lower your expectations. Know that your ability to function will return — it takes time — it takes recovery.”

“…recovery is not like an elevator that takes you from the basement of despair to the penthouse of peace and understanding. It is more like a maze where you go forward a bit, move back a few steps, cover the same ground again, and find yourself at the beginning.”

“…one of the best things you can do for yourself is to know that you are a different person now.”

“Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” Authors: Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

This was my all-time favorite, which I discovered after reading a few quoted sections in one of the other books. In this book, author Sheryl Sandberg writes about unexpectedly losing her husband while raising young kids, and how you have to “lean into the suck” and learn to live without your loved one, because there is no other option but to do so.

5 Favorite Quotes

“Just weeks after losing Dave, I was talking to Phil about a father-child activity. We came up with a plan for someone to fill in for Dave. I cried to Phil, ‘But I want Dave.’ He put his arm around me and said, ‘Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”

“Sometimes I went to the women’s room to sob and sometimes I just cried at my desk. When I stopped fighting those moments, they passed more quickly.”

“I ran into friends at local parks who talked about the weather. Yes! The weather has been weird with all this rain and death.”

“Still, there’s powerful evidence that opening up about traumatic events can improve mental and physical health. Speaking to a friend or family member often helps people understand their emotions and feel understood.”

“For friends who turn away in times of difficulty, putting distance between themselves and emotional pain feels like self-preservation. These are the people who see someone drowning in sorrow and then worry, perhaps subconsciously, that they will be dragged down too.”

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