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Claire Handscombe

8 Books to Help You Walk Through Grief (If You're Missing Your Mom)

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Claire Handscombe
Claire Handscombe

Mother's Day isn't easily when you're missing your own mom. Society doesn't really allow for grief around now, and marketing emails certainly don't. If you're grieving, you might feel it especially accutely right now. Some of these books might help you, if that's you. (Descriptions are taken from online bookstores.)

The Adult Orphan Club, by Flora Baker
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In The Adult Orphan Club, Flora draws on a decade of experience with grief and parent loss to explore all the chaotic ways that grief affects us, and how we can learn to navigate it. Written with the newly bereaved in mind and packed with practical tips and advice, this book guides the reader through every step of their grief journey and opens up the death conversation in an honest, heartfelt and accessible way.

Grief Day By Day, by Jan Warner
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Explore the stages of grief with a collection of quotes, musings, meditations, and more that are tied together by a weekly theme, allowing you to reflect on each concept in depth. Work through topics like loneliness, grief attacks, exhaustion, hope, love, and creating meaning. You’ll find opportunities to write, draw, meditate, do breathing exercises, and more as you learn to live fully with your grief.

How to Carry What Can't Be Fixed, by Megan Devine
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With her breakout book It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine struck a chord with thousands of readers through her honest, validating approach to grief. In her same direct, no-platitudes style, she now offers How to Carry What Can’t Be Fixed―a journal filled with unique, creative ways to open a dialogue with grief itself. “Being allowed to tell the truth about your grief is an incredibly powerful act,” she says. “This journal enables you to tell your whole story, without the need to tack on a happy ending where there isn’t one.”

It's Not Supposed to Be This Way, by Lysa Terkeurst
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Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she's also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It's Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor,

It's Okay That You're Not Okay, by Megan Devine
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In It’s OK That You’re Not OK, Megan Devine offers a profound new approach to both the experience of grief and the way we try to help others who have endured tragedy. Having experienced grief from both sides―as both a therapist and as a woman who witnessed the accidental drowning of her beloved partner―Megan writes with deep insight about the unspoken truths of loss, love, and healing. She debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, "happy" life, replacing it with a far healthier middle path, one that invites us to build a life alongside grief rather than seeking to overcome it.

A Manual for Heartache, by Cathy Retzenbrink
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When Cathy Rentzenbrink was still a teenager, her happy family was torn apart by an unthinkable tragedy. Here she describes how she learned to live with grief and loss and find joy in the world again. She explores how to cope with life at its most difficult and overwhelming and how we can emerge from suffering forever changed, but filled with hope. This is a moving, warm and uplifting book that offers solidarity and comfort to anyone going through a painful time, whatever it might be. It's a book that will help to soothe an aching heart and assure its readers that they're not alone.

Modern Loss, by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner
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Your Grief, Your Way, by Shelby Forsythia
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Everyone experiences grief differently after the loss of a loved one. Some people find solace in comforting quotes and warm words, while others feel a need to take action--to do something to memorialize their loss. And some benefit from both approaches. Here's a path forward for you, no matter how you process your grief.
Your Grief, Your Way features:
• Multiple ways to process grief: Find relief through short meditations, mindful reframings, journaling prompts, concrete actions, and more.
• A year of daily messages of comfort: Each page includes a quote and a short paragraph about grief along with a practical tip--something you can do to tend to your grief.
• Comfort and practicality in short spurts: Discover strength and support in these bite-size nuggets, since grief reduces the ability to focus.
• Quotes from a wide range of grievers: Tend to your grief with thoughtful words of people who have been in your shoes.
Whether you're looking for inspiration, a practical way to honor your loved one, or both, Your Grief, Your Way helps you navigate life after loss.