Grief and Loss Library

  • When My Mommy Cries
    Crystal Godfrey LaPoint’s tender story in When My Mommy Cries is one that has needed to be told for some time now. Like any good children’s author, LaPoint is able to succinctly express her theme, ...
  • Parenting after Traumatic Events: Ways to Support Children
    One of the most important messages for parents about traumatic experiences—such as car accidents, medical trauma, exposure to violence, ...
  • The Lonely Screams: Understanding the Complex World of the Lonely
    Loneliness is certainly a common human experience; even if you’ve been lucky enough to feel it only briefly, or rarely, you know the misery of it, the actual physical pain of it. Arising from a ...
  • Find the Upside of the Down Times
    Some people have all the bad luck, and by any measure Rob Pennington, author of Find the Upside of the Down Times, has had more than his fair share. He was shot in the chest, ...
  • The Empty Chair at the Holiday Table
    Getting ready for the first Thanksgiving after David died was very, very hard. The loss of my husband’s brother ...
  • You Should Be So Lucky: Dealing with Tragedy
    Katy was diagnosed with a meningioma, a rare operable brain tumor occurring in about 7 in 100,000 people. The ...
  • Change Your Thinking To Change Feelings of Hopelessness
    How many people have you met or heard of who have experienced a loss in their life? As human ...
  • Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older
    In the film Gigi, Maurice Chevalier sings about the advantages of aging in the song titled "I’m glad I’m not young anymore."  Wendy Lustbader would agree with him.  As she puts it in this book, ...
  • Resilience: How Your Inner Strength Can Set You Free from the Past
    Boris Cyrulnik is a renowned neuropsychiatrist and psychoanalyst, director of teaching at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the Université du Sud, Toulon-Var, France. At the age of 5, he lost both of ...
  • The Long Goodbye
    In her book, The Long Goodbye, Meghan O’Rourke explores the fifteen months following her mother’s death. In a culture that has few traditions and rituals for mourning, O’Rourke longs for something, anything, that will help ...
  • History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life
    After reading History of a Suicide, written by Jill Bialosky, I was moved by the way the author not only shared her story of her sister's suicide, but also how committed she was to researching ...
  • Saying Goodbye: How Families Can Find Renewal Through Loss
    Terminal illness is a diagnosis that sends dreams and plans for the future into a tailspin.  Regardless if the patient is elderly or in the prime of life, this news changes everything for them and ...
  • The Long Goodbye: A Memoir
    The Long Goodbye by poet and literary critic Meghan O’Rourke is a beautifully written and poignant memoir about grappling with a mother’s death. In the first of three sections, O’Rourke recounts her mother's colon cancer ...
  • Treating PTSD with Surf Therapy
    For the last handful of years, Britain and the United States have done quiet experiments with a new form of therapy for veterans ...
  • Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading
    In her memoir Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading, author Nina Sankovitch recounts the year she spent reading a book a day in hopes of soothing her grief. Sankovitch’s oldest sister, ...
  • Grief After Suicide: An Interview With Dr. Jack Jordan
    With approximately 30,000 suicides happening each year in the US, countless people are grieving the loss of loved ones who have taken their lives. The grieving process is different to those who have lost a spouse, father, sister, or friend to cancer, heart disease, or a stroke. Many “suicide survivors” are left to process their emotions in private because the topic of suicide is still so taboo in this country. One great resource is the Grief Support Services of the Samaritans of Boston. They recently conducted an interview with Dr. Jack Jordan on the topic of grieving a loved one who has committed suicide. Dr. Jordan is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he specializes in working with loss and bereavement. He is coeditor of the 2011 book Grief After Suicide (Routledge) and the Clinical Consultant for Grief Support Services of the Samaritans of Boston (www.samaritanshope.org), where he is helping to develop innovative outreach and support programs for suicide survivors. I have obtained permission to reprint the interview here, specifically for Psych Central readers. Q. Your book notes that “suicide survivors” can include people who are not on close terms with the deceased. Can you explain? A. Immediate kin are the most likely to be affected, but it’s not just them. It could be a next-door neighbor who saw the person every day. Or a subway train driver could be traumatized after someone jumps in front of a train. Or a high-school student may have had no personal relationship with another student who died by suicide, but may have somehow identified with that person. In general, a survivor is anyone who felt responsible for the death or for not preventing it, or who was deeply and negatively impacted by the death. Q. How is grief after suicide different from other kinds of grief? A. It depends on what aspects of grief you’re talking about. After any type of death, there is a yearning for the deceased. After sudden death, there is shock or disbelief; people have trouble accepting the reality of the death. After a sudden, unexpected, violent death (such as a homicide or suicide), people focus on the horror or trauma of the death. There is a preoccupation with, “What did my loved one go through during their final moments?” But with suicide, there is a whole struggle with, “Did they know what they were doing? Why did they choose this? Didn’t they know how much this would hurt me?”
  • The Way of the Comedian
    This article has been excerpted from Humor’s Hidden Power: Weapon, Shield and Psychological Salve by Nichole Force, M.A. According to a tale in the ...
  • Coping with the Grief of a Stillborn: An Interview with Ann Faison
    The word stillbirth is used to describe the loss of a pregnancy after the 20th ...
  • The Long Half-Life of Trauma
    Here's a question: How many times in the last week have you thought about the disaster in Japan? What about the ...
  • Book Review: Mortal Bonds
    Losing one parent is devastating. But losing both parents within 13 days of each other? In his eBook memoir, Mortal Bonds, John Tsilimparis recounts his parents’ difficult deaths, his father from various health conditions and ...
  • Understanding and Managing Your Controlling Mother
    You are 35 years old and your mom is still trying to run your life. She doesn’t approve of your boyfriend. She thinks your best ...
  • The House on Crash Corner
    Mostly anecdotal, “The House on Crash Corner,” by Mindy Greenstein, Ph.D., has a message if you “listen between the lines.” It’s a message on life and death, of understanding, simplicity, synchrony and relating. Divided into four ...
  • The Truth About Grief: The Myth of Its Five Stages
    Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s famous five stages — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — have been taught all over America and basically become part of our vernacular. In fact, in many ways these stages have been ...
  • Veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Conversation with Dr. Frank Ochberg
    Thanks to generous gifts from a new donor, Gift From Within and the Dart Society are collaborating to better serve the needs of veterans, members of the Armed Forces, and military families who carry the ...
  • On Grief, Loss and Coping
    When I was driving my mom and I to the hospital, I knew that my father, who had ...