Sunday, January 22, 2017

Books and Poems That Have Helped - As of March 16, 2017

I have found solace in many types of books: those written for survivors of suicide, for parents who have lost a child, for those who look to writing as a way of coping, memoirs and even fiction.  The number in parenthesis is the rating given to the book.  I use the GoodReads system.

1 - didn't like it
2 - it was ok
3 - liked it
4 - really liked it
5 - it was amazing

List of books on Josh's blog with short reviews.

Survivors of Suicide
  1. No Time to Say Good Bye by Carla Fine (5)
  2. My Son, My Son by Iris Bolton (3)
  3. Take the Dimness of My Soul Away by William Ritter (3)
  4. When Suicide Comes Home: A Father's Diary and Comments by Paul Cox (4)
  5. Grieving the Unexpected - the Suicide of a Son by Gary LeBlanc (3)
  6. Grieving A Suicide, A Loved One's Search of Comfort, Answers and Hope by Albert Hsu (5)
  7. Those They Left Behind by Karen M. Bryson (4)
  8. Aftershock by David Cox and Candy Arrington (5)
  9. Surviving Suicide: Help to Heal Your Heart by Heather Hayes (4)
  10. Dying To be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After A Suicide by Jean Larch and Beverly Cobain (4)
  11. The Empty Chair by Beryl Glover (3)
  12. Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide by Christopher Lucas (2)
  13. After Suicide by John Hewett (2)
  14. History of a Suicide by Jill Bialosky (4)
  15. His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina by Danielle Steel (3)
Parental Bereavement
  1. Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff (5)
  2. The Worst Loss: How Families Heal From the Death of A Child by Barbara Rosof (4)
  3. After the Death of a Child: Living With the Loss Through the Years by Ann Finkbeiner (4)
  4. Life After the Death of My Son by Dennis Apple (4)
  5. The Grieving Garden: Living With the Death Of a Child by Suzanne Redfern and Susan Gilbert (4)
  6. Beyond Tears by Ellen Mitchell (4)
  7. Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt (4)
  8. Gabriel By Edward Hirsch (5)
On Death, Dying, Grief
  1. On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  2. On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
  3. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (5)

  1. Writing Through the Darkness by Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer (5)
  2. Writing As a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo (5)
  3. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (5)
  4. Journal to The Self: 22 Paths to Personal Growth by Kathleen Adams (4)
  5. Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott (5)
  6. The New Diary by Tristine Rainer (4)
  7. On Keeping a Journal: Leaving a Trace by Alexandra Johnson (4)
  8. The Writer's Portable Mentor by Priscilla Long (5)
  9. Writers and Their Notebooks by Diana Raab (4)
  10. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (4)
  11. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (5)
  12. Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood (4)
  1. Lucky by Alice Sebold (5)
  2. Paula by Isabel Allende (4)
  3. The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham (5)
  4. The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende (4)
  5. An Unquiet Mind by Kay Jamison (2)
  6. The Journal Keeper by Phyllis Theroux (4)
  7. I know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (4)
  8. How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen (4)
  9. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis (4)
  10. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (4)
  11. A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates (4) 
  12. Darkness Visible by William Styron (5)
  13. Reading My Father by Alexandra Styron (4)
  14. Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett (4)
  15. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy (4)
  16. Blue Nights by Joan Didion (3)
  17. My Brother by Jamaica Kincaid (4)
  18. Nothing Was the Same by Kay Redfield Jamison (4)
  19. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (5)
  20. Half a Life by Darin Strauss (4)
  21. Wild by Cheryl Strayed (5)
  22. Searching for Mercy Street by Linda Gray Sexton (5)
  23. Half in Love by Linda Gray Sexton (4)
  24. Heaven's Coast by Mark Doty (5)
  25. When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (5)
  26. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald (4)
  27. After A Funeral by Diana Athill (2)
  28. Memory Slips: A Memoir of Music and Healing by Linda K. Cutting (4)
  29. The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown (4)
  30. A Buddhist Grief Observed by Guy Newland (5)
On Suicide
  1. By Their Own Hand: Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideas in Adolescents by Keith Rodham
  1. In Memoriam A.H.H. by Lord Alfred Tennyson - post on Josh's blog
  2. The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing - posts on Josh's blog;   "The Dead by Billy Collins
  3. Monthly poetry posts:  January,  February,  
  4. Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins - posts on Josh's blog 1) Grave and 2) Horoscopes for the Dead
  5. Remember by Christina Rossetti - post on Josh's blog
  6. Poetry as Survival by Gregory Orr (5) - see post
  7. Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood (5)
  8. The Works of Anne Bradstreet (5)
  9. What the Living Do by Marie Howe (5)
  10. The Kingdom of Ordinary Time by Marie Howe (4)
    Original Poetry - written in memory of Josh (click here)

    1. Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth by William Shakespeare - see two posts (teenage suicide ideation and grieving parents)
    2. Hamlet by William Shakespeare - see Death, Grief and Suicide Part I and Part II
    1. The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult (4)
    2. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (5)
    3. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffengger (5)
    4. Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber (4)
    5. Ordinary People by Judith Guest (5)
    6. Beach Music by Pat Conroy (2)
    7. Legend of A Suicide by David Vann (3)
    8. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (2)
    9. Sea Change by Jeremy Page (3)
    10. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow (4)
    11. The Hours by Michael Cunningham (5)
    12. The Catcher In the Rye by J. D. Salinger (4)
    13. The Memoir Club by Laura Kalpakian (2)
    14. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (5) - see post
    15. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold (5)
    16. Every Last One by Anna Quindlen (4)
    17. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (5)
    18. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (4)
    19. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (5)
    20. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (5)
    21. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (4)
    22. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (5)
    1. Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eban Alexander (4) - see post
    2. My Son and the Afterlife by Dr. Elisa Medhus (4) - see post
    3. Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives by Dr. Brian Weiss (3.5) - see post
    4. on Life After Death by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (4) - see post
    5. Life After Death by Deepak Chopra (4) - see post
    6. Bridges to Heaven: True Stories of Loved Ones on the Other Side by Sue Frederick (4) - see post
    7. Return from Tomorrow by George Ritchie with Elizabeth Sherrill (5) - see post
    8. Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back By Todd Burpo with Lynne Vincent (3)
    9. The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story Of Live Beyond Death by Janis Heaphy Durham (3)
    10. Finding Peter by William Blatty (2)
    11. The Map of Heaven by Dr. Eban Alexander (5)
    12. My Life After Death: A Memoir from Heaven from Erik Medhus with Elisa Medhus (4)
    1. Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra (4) - see post
    2. Power of the Soul: Inside Wisdom for an Outside World (3) - see post
    3. Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life by Brad Willis (5) - see post
    4. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer (5) - see post
    5. Kripalu Yoga by Richard Faulds (5) - see post
    6. Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra (4)
    7. True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart by Tara Brach (5)
    8. To Bless the Space Between Us by John O'Donohue (5)
    9. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckart Tolle (4)
    10. No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh (5)
    11. Tao Te Ching translated by Stephen Mitchell (5)
    12. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (5)
    13. Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World by John O'Donohue (5)
    14. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh (5)
    15. How To Meditate by Pema Chodron (5)
    16. Looking at Mindfulness: Twenty-Five Paintings to Change the Way You Live by Christophe Andre (5)
    17. Mindfulness is Better than Chocolate: A Practical Guide to Enhanced Focus and Lasting Happiness in a World of Distractions by David Michie (5)
    18. Buddhism for Busy People: Finding Happiness in an Uncertain World by David Michie (5)
    19. Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening by Stephen Batchelor (4)
    1. The Apology of Socrates by Plate (5)
    2. Aristotle for Everybody by Mortimer Adler (5)
    3. Poetics by Aristotle (3+) 
    1. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves by Sharon Begley (4)

    A list of recommended books for survivors of suicide from the American Association of Suicidology. 


    1. I just noticed that you are currently reading The Greek Way by Edith Hamilton. Coincidentally my husband just asked me yesterday to order that book for him.

      Have you read Blossoms of the Lower Branches: A Hero's Journey Through Grief by Rebecca Guevara?

      Thank you for your blogs, they are so thoughtful and well written. I'm sorry that Josh is gone and that you need to write that blog at all.

      1. I would never have read The Greek Way except that my daughter took a class in college and had to get this book. She recently moved to NYC and while going through her books, put it on my dresser since she knew I was reading the Greek tragedies. I hope your husband finds comfort within it as I have.

        Thank you for the suggested book! I will put it in my Amazon cart - looks like a book that would fit nicely with what I am reading and thinking about.

        I hope our boys have found one another....

    2. "I hope our boys have found one another..."

      What are your views on the afterlife? I don't know what I think...but I would like to believe that a spirit or a soul continues. It's just too painful to think that my son could be completely gone (and it just doesn't help me to be told that he's in my heart....).

    3. I do believe that Josh's spirit still lives but in my doubting moments, I think back to the "could possibly be" and the "most definitely is" signs that we have received - all of which I have documented on his blog:

      Have you seen anything that you thought was a sign from your son? Or a dream? Or even just a feeling?

      Do you want to begin corresponding via email? If so, here is mine: