Dying Matters Week: books to support with bereavement
Dying Matters Awareness week (an awareness week led by Hospice UK), runs from 8th to 14th May 2023. This years’ focus is on death, dying, bereavement and grief in the workplace. We spoke to our Counselling Services Lead, Ella Williams, about grief in the workplace and asked for her book recommendations to support those facing grief.
‘Grief happens in every workplace, and I think it’s really important to have a space for conversation about it at work. Many people who are facing a bereavement can oscillate between grieving and functioning and whilst they can appear fine at work I think its important to look for signs when they might need acknowledgement there has been a big change in their life. This can be something small like recognising they want to chat for five more minutes at lunch or a friendly smile in the corridor.’
‘Grief can also hit us unexpectedly, particularly around occasions like anniversaries or at events like Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, and Ramadan. I think its important to try and remember that people are bereaved all of the time, even if they may appear ok. Changes in life, like moving role or workplace, can also trigger feelings of grief and bereavement. I hope these book suggestions can be useful to point people towards in their grief journey’.
Books for Adults
Speaking of Death – What the bereaved really need by Annie Broadbent
This book normalises grief as a collective experience rather than an individual one. It highlights that we need a collective understanding of grief to help those who are struggling. When we understand that grief is a more collective experience we can be there in the background to help people with grief should they need it.
Keeper by Andrea Gillies
This book focuses on dementia and the anticipatory grief that often comes with the illness for those supporting their loved one. It explores the feelings of grief resulting from the person who you knew changing in front of you. It can be hard to juggle this alongside normal life and work.
Grief Day by Day by Jan Warner
This book has simple suggestions and exercises for dealing with different stages of grief. It suggests activities for different weeks up to a year after a bereavement but can be dipped in and out of.
Finding Joy by Gary Andrews
This book is written from a male perspective and is a comic based on family life after a loss. Often pictures can speak louder than words and the images in the book can help you interpret your loss in a way that is personal to you.
Supporting people with Learning Disabilities
Bereavement, Loss, and Learning Disabilities (A guide for professionals and carers) by Robin Grey
This book focuses on specific needs and worries that those with learning disabilities may face following a bereavement.
Books for children
Sad by Michael Rosen
This book focuses on the death of Michael’s son, Eddie, from meningitis at the age of 19. It acknowledges that sadness following grief is not always avoidable or reasonable.
I have a question about death by Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky
This book gives clear answers on death for all kids, including children with Autism or other special needs.
If you need more resources on grief feel free to visit our bereavement pages for wider resources.