Recommended Reading

There are countless books available on grief and they come from all different angles and beliefs.  We have acquired quite a stack of them from friends and family and from recommendations from others who are dealing with grief as well.  I (Joni) will admit that I have yet to read many of them and know that I will when time tells me that I should.  My own personal journey with grief has me writing more than I’ve ever written before which isn’t surprising as writing has always been my prescription of choice when dealing with the good and bad that life throws me.  I have, however, read small passages here and there as I’ve browsed through the many titles looking for answers and ideas to specific questions and situations that have come up.  Strategies to help us through holidays and birthdays and special dates have been helpful for sure.  My husband, on the other hand, is an avid reader of everything and he has read quite a few books on the subject of grief.

Because grief is a personal journey and it is possible that no two people will grieve in the same way, Murray wanted to emphasize that not all books will impact you the same as they may someone else.  Grief challenges your belief system, your faith or lack of, and it is not uncommon that you may find yourself searching for something/anything that can help you understand it through books. There have been some books that he has read that he simply couldn’t finish because it went against his belief system.

The following is a list of books (and a movie) that we (and not always both of us) found interesting and helpful:


THE SHACK by Wm. Paul Young


I WASN’T READY TO SAY GOODBYE by Brook Noel & Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D

THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle

THE AFTER LIFE by Deepak Chopra

THE TREE OF LIFE – Movie (2011)

BEYOND TEARS, by Ellen Mitchell

I’M SPIRITUAL, DAMMIT! by Jennifer Weigel

Not Just Another Day (A Centering Corporation resource by Missy Lowery Throckmorton)



Though I (Joni) tried reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, it was too much for me for right now.  Good friends of ours gave it to us saying that it had helped them through some trying events in their own lives.  The day that I received this book, I was having tea with my friend; it was a difficult day filled with many tears, disbelief, and overwhelming sadness and as we sat side by side on her couch, she took my hand in hers and told me that we couldn’t change what happened in the past and that we had no control over what would/could/might happen tomorrow or in an hour or in five minutes for that matter.   What she did say was that we only had “now” and that at that moment of “now” what she did know was that she was sitting on her couch feeling the sun streaming in through the window.  Beside her sat her friend, in her hand she could feel my soft skin, the cups we were drinking tea from were beautiful, no one was interrupting us, we were talking from our hearts and sharing tears and that in that moment of “now” even though it was sad, there was beauty and she was grateful for our visit.  I remember feeling that at that moment she was right and I felt it too when she was describing it to me.  I remind myself of that story often when I am feeling so overwhelmingly sad and it does help somewhat to break down time into the smaller chunks that we call “the now”.  I am quite certain that there is much more to this book than this message, but if it’s all I get out of it, it is something quite helpful to me.

I won’t say much here about the movie, The Tree of Life, other than if you can get through the long middle of this movie, it had a very powerful ending for me.  I find myself thinking about it frequently.

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