Best Books for Grieving the Loss of a Child

recommended by Jon Baer

“As a father who’s lost a child, I’m always looking for books that help dads get through the grieving process in a healthy way and also for books that help those who love these dads understand what they’re going through”—Jon Baer, author of Gone Too Soon.

Of his own book, Jon says: “While written primarily for me, its audience is much broader, including those who never quite know what to say to a grieving parent. I’m told by readers that the book has been very helpful. My goal is to help other guys who are going through the loss of a child. The other thing about the book is that it helps people who know someone who’s lost a child interact with the grieving parents. I know it’s crazy but a good number of our friends abandoned us because they couldn’t handle it/thought our bad luck would wear off on them, etc. This book helps them to know what to say and how to support us rather than treat us like lepers.”

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    Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing
    by Thomas R. Golden

    This book highlights the differences of how men grieve, incorporates cultural and historic references, and provides some illumination on paths forward.

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    Snapshots in Memory of Ben
    by Alan D Busch

    The author of this book shares a similar story to mine - losing a child without any warning. I like this book because I can relate to the pain felt by this bereaved father.

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    When Bad Things Happen to Good People
    by Harold S. Kushner

    When my child died, I instantly became mad at God and gave up religion. My parents, who come from a religious background, urged me to read this book because the book tries to explain the question "how can a God exist when my precious innocent child has died?". While I enjoyed reading this book, and found some of the author's arguments compelling, I still haven't been able to embrace religion since the death of my daugher.

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    A Parent's Guide to Raising Grieving Children: Rebuilding Your Family after the Death of a Loved On
    by Phyllis R. Silverman

    As a researcher on grief, Ms. Silverman wrote this book because grieving parents always asked her "will my children be ok?" For those of you who have surviving children, the author states that if you can be there for your child while the child is grieving (even though you're experiencing horrendous sorrow for your loss) the child can still live a fulfilling life.

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    Samantha Rose
    by Ruth Baer

    This is a very touching book to help children deal with grief. (Disclosure: this book is by my Mom).

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