Recommended Books For Child Loss

Loss, Survive, Thrive: Bereaved Parents Share Their Stories of Healing and Hope

by Meryl Hershey Beck

No one is prepared for the loss of a child. No one. It feels completely unnatural for children to predecease their parents. Every year in the US, there are over 135,000 deaths of people under the age of forty. According to one study, 19% of parents now outlive their children, often carrying the weight of horrendous grief with them to their own graves.

The Worst Loss

By Barbara Rosoff

One of the best books ever written on the death of a child, Barbara Rosoff lovingly guides us to a better and more cogent understanding of what life is like after a child dies. With the interweaving of her own story after the death of her child, Rosoff gives the reader a full spectrum of knowledge so that anyone who reads this book will gain clarity and insight from it. Highly recommended by griefHaven as one of the best books on this subject.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

By Harold S. Kushner

Rarely does a book come along that tackles a perennially difficult human issue with such clarity and intelligence. Harold Kushner, a Jewish rabbi facing his own child’s fatal illness, deftly guides us through the inadequacies of the traditional answers to the problem of evil, then provides a uniquely practical and compassionate answer that has appealed to millions of readers across all religious creeds. Remarkable for its intensely relevant real-life examples and its fluid prose, this book cannot go unread by anyone who has ever been troubled by the question “Why me?”

A Broken Heart Still Beats After Your Child Dies

Anne McCraken and Mary Semel, 1999, Hazeldon Publications

This anthology of poetry, fiction, and essays compiled from the literature of loss and grief is remarkable. The authors have included pieces from everyone from William Shakespeare to Dwight D. Eisenhower whose works explore the shock, the grief, and the search for meaning that come with the death of a child. Each piece is clearly introduced explaining the details surrounding the person’s loss.

After the Darkest Hour the Sun Will Shine Again

Elizabeth Mehren, 1997, Fireside

This helpful and inspirational book clearly helps bereaved parents deal with the many questions and issues that come up for them. It’s both a guide and a meditation that offers support and comfort. It is written in a clear and simple style with sort stories dealing with difficult issues. The advice and solace found in this small book is very valuable.

An Empty Cradle, A Full Heart.

By Christine O’Keeffe Lafser

“Bereavement after the loss of a baby is often quiet and lonely,” writes Christine O’Keeffe Lafser, who has twice lost a child to death. “There is no wake or funeral, no grave site, no memorial to our baby’s life or death. . . . Since there are no real memories of our little one’s life, people have a hard time comprehending the depth of our love and grief.” In these reflections, Lafser offers grieving parents the empathy and courage that can come only from one who has walked the same difficult path.

Empty Arms

By Pam Vredevelt

They are the most dreaded words an expectant mother can hear. As joy and anticipation dissolve into confusion and grief, painful questions refuse to go away: Why me? What did I do wrong? Doesn't God care? With the warmth and compassion of a licensed counselor and a Christian woman who has suffered miscarriage herself, Pam Vredevelt offers sound answers, advice, and reassurance to the woman fighting to maintain faith in this heartbreaking situation. Now in a fresh, contemporary cover, Empty Arms: Emotional Support for Those Who Have Suffered a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Tubal Pregnancy is the essential guidebook through the agony of losing a child.

Empty Cradle; Broken Heart

By Deborah L. Davis

Deborah encourages grieving and makes suggestions for coping. Incisive comments from parents who have suffered through the death of a baby convincingly relay this message: "You are not alone and you can survive."

Free to Grieve

By Maureen Rank

One-third of all women who conceive will have at least one miscarriage. This important book offers guidance for the sorrowing. It tackles the tough questions, including "Why did this happen?" and "Should we try again?" as well as exploring options for treatment and emotional healing. Free to Grieve has helped thousands of couples since it was first published nearly twenty years ago.

First Year; Worst Year: Coping With the Unexpected Death of Our Grown-Up Daughter

Michael and Barbara Wilson

When clinical psychologist Barbara Wilson was faced with the devastating loss of her adult daughter Sarah, her professional skills were sorely tested. How she, her husband Mick, and their family came to terms with their loss is detailed in First Year, Worst Year, a moving memoir of survival during and after bereavement. Filled with photos of the Wilson family and their journey retracing the last moments of their daughter, who perished in a rafting accident in Peru, this book is a testament to the resilience of the human heart, even after it’s been broken.

Healing Your Grieving Heart After Stillbirth

By Alan D. Wolfelt

Beloved grief educator Dr. Alan Wolfelt compassionately explores the common feelings of shock, anger, guilt, and sadness that accompany a stillborn child, offering copious suggestions. This book is a winner.

A Hike for Mike: An Uplifting Adventure Across the Sierra Nevada for Depression Awareness

Jeff Alt, 2005, Dreams Shared Publications

The author writes about the physical and emotional challenges of the trek and its parallels to our journey through life and grief.

How to Survive the Loss of a Child


How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies

Therese Rando, Ph.D.

Miscarriage: Women Sharing From the Heart

By Ellen M. Dubois

This book is comprised of stories from women who have experienced the pain of miscarriage. The stories are varied in how the pregnancy ended, including surgery, natural miscarriage, etc. The stories are heart breaking and warm at the same time.

Silent Sorrow: Guidance and Support For You and Your Family

By Ingrid Kohn

A Silent Sorrow has long been considered one of the best books for families seeking emotional and practical support after a pregnancy loss. Well organized, easily accessible, and filled with practical suggestions for each topic it covers, A Silent Sorrow is a positive first step for bereaved parents and their families, providing support and guidance to help them look to the future with hope.

When Hello Means Goodbye

By Paul Kirk

Preparing for the birth of your baby that has already passed or will pass shortly is the main theme of this book. It deals with a lot of emotions and practicalities of stillbirth and neonatal death.