Sympathy is sorrow or pity for someone else’s misfortune. Empathy is being able to understand and share the feelings of another person.
There is a major difference between feeling sympathy for someone and in being able to truly empathize. When you’ve experienced true grief, finding sources for that empathy are a vital step in processing and healing.
The question is, where can you find individuals who can truly understand? The right books about grief provide a validating and comforting resource for those dealing with loss. Here are several to consider.
3 Must-Read Books About Grief
As unfortunate as it may be to acknowledge, many medical experts agree that grieving is an important step to allow and feel.
Fortunately, there is help and guidance for this undesired, but important phase.
1. A Grief Observed
If you haven’t heard of the profound author, C.S. Lewis, your life is about to change. His list of famous works is long, but perhaps one of his most poignant is A Grief Observed.
“I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out not to be a state but a process.”
In this compelling account, Lewis goes through the thoughts and emotions and responses of his following the death of his wife. If you’re looking for insight, understanding, and validation of your conflicting feelings, this is the right read.
2. Good Grief
What are normal emotional and even physical responses to deep personal grief? Is what you’re feeling “normal”?
This guide walks readers through the stages of grief, and what they mean and look like for those suffering.
Good Grief provides a look into the importance of the grieving process and gives hope for what can result from enduring it.
The truth is, there is such a thing as “good grief,” and it can be sought for with the help of this helpful read.
3. The Gateway We Call Death
World-renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson provides enlightening insight into the purpose of life, and death.
Doctor Nelson approaches the topic of death from both a medical and a theological perspective. This comforting book addresses questions like:
- What is the purpose of life?
- What happens after death?
- How to broach the sorrow of unexpected or sudden death?
- How choices involved with euthanasia and suicide may be factors?
Regardless of your religious or non-religious views, The Gateway We Call Death, sheds reassuring, logical, and hope-filled light on the topic of death and loss.
First Steps for Grieving Individuals
Finding helpful books about grief can be useful in coping, and they can become a resource to be used again and again as needs arise.
Knowing how to handle things when hardship or tragedy occurs is overwhelming. With the help of good information and professionals with experience making arrangements, the grieving process can be less burdensome.
For a step-by-step guide of what to do when a loved one passes, review our “what to do” guide.